Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<March 31, 2023>
- Spending by foreign visitors to Japan in 2022 grew sharply from the year before to 898.7 billion yen ($6.8 billion) as arrivals began increasing from October when border restrictions, initially imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, were eased, a government survey showed Friday.
- The Japanese Embassy in Beijing hosted a tourism promotion event Friday targeted at local industry officials as demand slowly recovers after China ended its strict "zero-COVID" policy and reopened its borders earlier this year.
- Japan's unemployment rate in February rose 0.2 point from the previous month to 2.6 percent, worsening for the first time in five months, as more people sought better working conditions amid an economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the government said Friday.
<March 30, 2023>
- Japan is planning to scrap a negative coronavirus test requirement on visitors from China due to a low rate of positive results during sample testing at airports, a government source said Thursday.
<March 29, 2023>
- Japan's audit board has requested the health ministry provide supporting documentation for contracts with U.S and British coronavirus vaccine manufacturers after finding a weak basis for ordering a total of 882 million doses in fiscal 2020 and 2021.
<March 27, 2023>
- New Chinese ambassador to North Korea Wang Yajun arrived Monday in the country that had shut down its borders to prevent COVID-19 infections, filling the post vacated by his predecessor about 15 months ago, a source familiar with bilateral relations said.
<March 26, 2023>
- More than 10 percent of children in Japan who developed acute brain syndrome after infection with COVID-19 have died, results of a nationwide survey recently announced by a health ministry research team has shown.
- Four years into the COVID-19 pandemic, more city dwellers, who entertained the idea of relocating to the countryside, may be giving it a second thought.
<March 14, 2023>
- The number of women committing suicide in Japan increased for the third straight year in 2022, rising 67 from the previous year to 7,135, government data showed Tuesday, with the upward trend apparently fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan became the third-largest aid provider in 2021 among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to hit developing nations, government data showed Tuesday.
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - March 25~31
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)