Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<Jan. 2, 2023>
- Emperor Naruhito offered greetings Monday in his first New Year's address in three years following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
<Jan. 1, 2023>
- A record 7,688 people in Japan died from COVID-19 in December, exceeding the previous monthly high of 7,329 logged in August during the previous wave, a tally has shown.
<Dec. 31, 2022>
- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday urged the country's people to pull through as Beijing has "entered a new phase of COVID response," with infections rapidly spreading across the nation following a major easing of the strict antivirus measures earlier this month.
<Dec. 29, 2022>
- Japan's transport ministry said Thursday the country will conditionally accept direct flights from Hong Kong to airports in Fukuoka, Naha and one near Sapporo after it had initially planned to ban them.
- Travelers on New Year's holidays flooded planes and trains on Thursday even though the coronavirus pandemic continues, with the exodus peaking in many modes of public transportation in the country.
- The United States will require all air travelers from China to test negative for COVID-19 in advance from next week, the government said Wednesday, as cases surge in the Asian country after it eased measures to curb the novel coronavirus.
<Dec. 27, 2022>
- Japan posted a record 438 daily COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday in the midst of the eighth wave of infections.
- Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday Japan will strengthen border control steps against travelers from China as the number of new coronavirus cases has rapidly increased in the country.
- China said Monday it will reopen borders and abandon quarantine measures that have been in place to stem the spread of coronavirus infections on Jan. 8, in a full departure from its strict "zero-COVID" policy that involved lockdowns and isolation measures at designated facilities.
<Dec. 26, 2022>
- China will reopen borders and abandon quarantine measures meant to stem the spread of coronavirus infections on Jan. 8, removing the last major restrictions under its strict "zero-COVID" policy, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.
- Marking a fourth straight month of increases in its global output, Toyota Motor Corp. said the supply-chain crunch for automobile parts caused by COVID-19 has now eased.
<Dec. 25, 2022>
- Daily new COVID-19 infections in China are believed to have reached several hundred million based on figures released by regional authorities, amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus since the government significantly relaxed its strict antivirus measures earlier this month.
- In reference to the major easing of China's "zero-COVID" policy earlier this month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi aid it had "ushered in a new stage in the pandemic response" and indicated the country will relax its strict border controls. "We consider it necessary to further facilitate the flow of personnel between China and other countries," he said.
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - Dec. 24~30
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)