Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<Sept. 2, 2022>
- The Japanese government decided Friday to introduce penalties for major hospitals that fail to provide outpatient care and prepare beds for patients with COVID-19 and other infectious diseases against prearrangements with local governments.
<Sept. 1, 2022>
- The government held an annual disaster drill Thursday, though again scaling it back to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on the scenario that a massive earthquake originating off Japan's Pacific coast had affected wide areas.
- Pretax profits among nonfinancial Japanese companies jumped 17.6 percent from a year earlier to a record 28.32 trillion yen ($203 billion) in the April-June quarter, government data showed Thursday, boosted by a weak yen and the waning impact of the COVID-19 pandemic despite surging commodity prices.
<Aug. 31, 2022>
- U.S. drug regulators on Wednesday approved two updated formulations of COVID-19 vaccines as booster shots intended to provide increased protection against the currently circulating Omicron variant.
- Japan will raise its daily entry cap on arrivals to 50,000 from the current 20,000 from Sept. 7 in a further easing of strict COVID-19 border controls, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday.
<Aug. 30, 2022>
- The government may start inoculating the public specifically against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus by the end of September, rather than mid-October as originally planned, government sources said Tuesday.
<Aug. 29, 2022>
- Japan's daily coronavirus tally totaled 95,916 cases on Monday, falling below 100,000 for the first time in six weeks.
<Aug. 27, 2022>
- Japan is considering allowing asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to leave their homes to buy daily necessities as long as they wear a mask and take other measures against spreading the virus, government sources said Saturday.
- Japan is considering simplifying the way it deals with the coronavirus, sources close to the matter said Friday, potentially taking a step toward downgrading the virus and treating it like the seasonal flu.
- U.S. biotechnology firm Moderna Inc. said Friday it is filing patent infringement lawsuits over a COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE, alleging a key technology was copied.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Health ministry call center
COVID-19: 0120-565-653 (toll free)
COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770 (toll free)
-Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; for Thai 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for Vietnamese 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Health ministry's COVID-19 Vaccine Navigation website
- AMDA Medical Information Center's "Multilingual Consultation Service"
- Available in Simple Japanese and English, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's COVID-19 info
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government hotline
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. (including weekends and holidays)
- Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- Japan National Tourism Organization's "Guide for when you are feeling ill"
- Multilingual clinic/hospital search available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- JNTO's "Japan Visitor Hotline"
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day
+81-50-3816-2787 (from overseas)