Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<Dec. 9, 2022>
- Concerns of a sharp rise in virus infections have spread in China just days after the country significantly eased its stringent "zero-COVID" policy amid public frustration, with many casting doubt on the accuracy of official counts as frequent testing is no longer required.
<Dec. 8, 2022>
- A significant easing of China's stringent "zero-COVID" policy announced Wednesday amid the continued spread of the coronavirus has triggered confusion and anxiety among the public, with cold medicines flying off the shelves and health authorities no longer tracing positive cases.
- Japan's economy shrank an annualized real 0.8 percent in July-September, compared with the 1.2 percent previously reported, as domestic demand was slightly stronger, although its recovery from the COVID-19 fallout lacked vigor, government data showed Thursday.
<Dec. 7, 2022>
- China announced Wednesday additional measures to relax its strict "zero-COVID" policy, including allowing those with no or mild symptoms of the disease to be quarantined at home instead of designated facilities after rare nationwide protests against the restrictions erupted in late November.
<Dec. 6, 2022>
- Japan's household spending in October increased a real 1.2 percent from a year earlier, rising for the fifth consecutive month, as people spent more on trips after the government lifted coronavirus restrictions and introduced a subsidy program to revive domestic tourism, government data showed Tuesday.
<Dec. 5, 2022>
- Police searched the head office of a group claiming to be the Japanese arm of U.S. conspiracy cult QAnon in Shizuoka Prefecture on Monday after its members were arrested last week for forcing their way into a local mass coronavirus vaccination site earlier this year.
<Dec. 3, 2022>
- Shanghai police were on high alert Saturday, a week after a major protest against China's strict "zero-COVID" policy involving lockdowns erupted in the city, deploying many officers and vehicles to prevent a recurrence of the rally.
- Despite an unprecedented show of civil disobedience in mainland China over its stringent "zero-COVID" measures, people in Hong Kong have so far demonstrated a notable lack of sympathy and support toward the situation across the border.
<Dec. 2, 2022>
- China has signaled its readiness to ease its radical "zero-COVID" policy following recent, rare nationwide protests against lockdowns and other strict anti-virus measures, with authorities highlighting weak virulence of the Omicron variant and calling for optimized measures.
<Nov. 29, 2022>
- China on Tuesday renewed its commitment to the radical "zero-COVID" policy despite rare nationwide protests against lockdowns and other strict anti-virus measures over the weekend as it sought to prevent any further display of public anger with massive police deployment.
- Major Japanese automakers' combined global output grew 14.4 percent to 2.11 million units in October from a year earlier as parts shortages prompted by the coronavirus pandemic receded, their data showed Tuesday.
<Nov. 28, 2022>
- About 1,000 people marched in central Beijing through the early hours of Monday in protest against the nation's radical "zero-COVID" policy involving lockdowns, with some openly calling for an end to "dictatorship" in criticism of President Xi Jinping.
<Nov. 27, 2022>
- Protests against China's strict "zero-COVID" policy involving lockdowns further spread over the weekend amid a spike in infections, with demonstrators in Shanghai making a rare demand for President Xi Jinping to step down, according to witnesses and videos shared on social media.
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)