Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<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.
<Nov. 26, 2022>
- Residents in various areas of China have protested against the nation's strict "zero-COVID" policy, according to videos shared on social media, as Beijing on Saturday reported a record number of infections for the third consecutive day.
<Nov. 25, 2022>
- The Japanese government will continue to implement its domestic tourism subsidy program through next year, tourism minister Tetsuo Saito said Friday, although the start date will depend on COVID-19 infection rates.
<Nov. 24, 2022>
- Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co. said Thursday it has applied with the health ministry for approval of its novel coronavirus vaccine.
- China reported Thursday a record of nearly 30,000 daily coronavirus cases in the mainland, as the government continues to implement its stringent "zero-COVID" policy involving lockdowns in some areas.
<Nov. 22, 2022>
- Japan's health ministry on Tuesday granted fast-track approval to Shionogi & Co.'s oral COVID-19 drug, making it the country's first domestically-produced oral medicine against the virus.
<Nov. 21, 2022>
- Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee has tested positive for COVID-19 following his return from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Thailand, the government said Monday.
<Nov. 17, 2022>
- New coronavirus cases among the elderly are increasing while those with severe symptoms and deaths are also on the rise, an advisory panel of experts to the health ministry said Thursday, as Japan braces for its eighth wave of infections.
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)