FRONT PAGE NEWS

29 March 2020
Japan has reported 200 coronavirus infection cases in a day for the first time. (NHK)
A total of 58 people, including 26 people with disabilities, have been infected with the new coronavirus at a welfare facility in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, the local government said Saturday. (Kyodo)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the nation a dire warning Saturday that it could see its hospitals overwhelmed and the death toll skyrocket if the coronavirus gets out of control, but pledged to draw up an economic relief package even bigger than the one used to sustain the economy during the 2008 global financial crisis. (Japan Times)
What’s happening in Japan is written all over our faces — our blank, expressionless, masked faces. Never before, it seems safe to say, have so many people gone about masked. (Japan Times)
A U.S. naval base outside Tokyo has been locked down through the weekend after an aircraft carrier using the base as its home port reported coronavirus infection cases on board, Fox News said Friday, citing U.S. officials. (Japan Today)




Mar 28
Female flight attendants working for Japan Airlines will be allowed to wear pants and abandon high heels next month, the company said on Thursday, after a feminist campaign took off. (Japan Today)
Mar 28
Large queues formed at supermarkets and stores in Tokyo on Friday as residents in the Japanese capital prepared for a weekend at home, after the city's governor called on them to remain indoors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Japan Today)
Mar 28
A man was arrested Friday on suspicion of obstructing business after he allegedly delayed a domestic flight in Japan on Thursday immediately before takeoff by telling cabin crew he was infected with the novel coronavirus. (Japan Today)
Mar 27
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 29-year-old man over the alleged molestation of a girl in Sumida Ward earlier this month, reports TBS News (Mar. 26). (tokyoreporter.com)
Mar 27
Japan's approach to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic might seem to other nations around the world like it is very social, and not so distant. (Kyodo)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Mar 28
The Japanese government will create a special system to provide a one-year grace period for companies to pay tax and social insurance premiums due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Mar 28
Supermarkets and convenience stores decided Thursday to stay open as usual in the coming days, after a request by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s for residents in the capital not to leave home over the weekend. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
Mask prices in Tokyo’s densely populated 23 wards jumped 11.3 percent in March from a year before, reflecting supply shortages stemming from the spread of COVID-19, government data showed Friday. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The parent of Japanese airline All Nippon Airways is looking into a roughly 100 billion yen ($920 million) syndicated loan from seven lenders as the carrier fortifies its balance sheet to cope with the drop-off in air travel demand. (Nikkei)
Mar 26
A day after the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games were postponed by a year, Tokyo's landmark Imperial Hotel began arrangements to release the several hundred rooms it had withheld for organizers of the games during the July-September period. (Nikkei)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Mar 29
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the nation a dire warning Saturday that it could see its hospitals overwhelmed and the death toll skyrocket if the coronavirus gets out of control, but pledged to draw up an economic relief package even bigger than the one used to sustain the economy during the 2008 global financial crisis. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dismissed criticism of his wife attending a gathering to view cherry blossoms at a time when such a meeting is not recommended because of the threat of the coronavirus. (NHK)
Mar 28
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned that Japan's economy would be hard hit if Tokyo is locked down due to the coronavirus. (NHK)
Mar 28
The health ministry said Friday 92 passengers and crew members aboard a flight from Chicago to Narita airport near Tokyo were allowed to enter Japan without being asked to self-isolate for 14 days and refrain from using public transport. (Japan Today)
Mar 27
Germany has decided that saving lives is more important than saving face. In a rather undiplomatic letter to German citizens in Japan posted on the Embassy Of Germany’s web site on March 24, the embassy did not mince words in discussing Japan’s poor handling of coronavirus testing. It warns that we should assume there are a high number of unreported carriers. (japansubculture.com)

[more politics news…]


Mar 29
What’s happening in Japan is written all over our faces — our blank, expressionless, masked faces. Never before, it seems safe to say, have so many people gone about masked. (Japan Times)
Mar 29
Non-Japanese speakers who want advice on the new coronavirus can call hotlines run by the Japan Tourism Agency and some local governments. (NHK)
Mar 29
In Japan, college is seen as not only of higher education, but also high fashion. That’s because your four years at university are pretty much your only respite from the uniforms and haircut regulations of middle/high school and the conservative dress codes of most (though not all) Japanese offices. (soranews24.com)
Mar 24
The education ministry on Tuesday issued guidelines to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection in schools across Japan that are scheduled to reopen in April after monthlong closures, calling for thorough ventilation of classrooms and warning against gathering in clusters. (Kyodo)
Mar 23
Princess Aiko, the daughter of Japan's Emperor and Empress, has attended her graduation ceremony at Gakushuin Girls' Senior High School in Tokyo. (NHK)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Mar 26
About 80 percent of COVID-19 patients from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship showed mild symptoms or none at all, according to a report compiled by the Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital. (Japan Times)
Mar 25
Toyota Motor and Japanese telecom giant NTT are forming a capital tie-up to advance developments toward a so-called "smart city." The project is expected to incorporate the latest artificial intelligence and environmental technologies. (NHK)
Mar 23
Despite Japan's efforts to carry out more testing for the new coronavirus, medical experts have cast doubt on whether the country can provide adequate testing for citizens and promote effective policies to contain the outbreak. (Japan Today)
Mar 19
Japan's relatively restrained approach to testing for the novel coronavirus has engendered public frustration, especially as neighboring South Korea makes a massive push with drive-through tests. (Nikkei)
Mar 18
Japan's Environment Ministry says waste produced by decontamination work following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident could leak at 12 locations in case of torrential rain. (NHK)

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Mar 29
About 79 percent of the public approves of Tuesday’s decision to postpone the 2020 Olympics by about a year in light of the coronavirus pandemic, a survey found Saturday. (Japan Times)
Mar 24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone this summer's Tokyo Olympics for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese leader said. (NHK)
Mar 24
The International Olympic Committee is initiating talks with organizers as well as the governments of Tokyo and Japan on how to handle the Tokyo Games, including a possible postponement. (NHK)
Mar 24
Japan is an interesting place if you are looking to place a wager. (newsonjapan.com)
Mar 23
The Tokyo Olympics are going to happen — but almost surely in 2021 rather than in four months as planned. (Japan Today)

[more sports news…]


Mar 29
With the current upheaval caused by COVID-19, Tokyoites have been advised from going outside to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But Tokyo apartments are cramped and constricting, and a solo sojourn in nature can do wonders to alleviate the anxiety the virus is causing. The capital has plenty up its sleeve that means you can bypass popular spots like Ueno Park for a moment of quiet all to yourself. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The number of passengers using Tokaido Shinkansen line services between March 1 and Wednesday tumbled 55 percent from a year earlier, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) has said. (Japan Times)
Mar 28
The Japanese government decided on Friday to invalidate visas issued in 11 countries in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Mar 27
Japan will impose an entry ban on foreign travelers coming from 21 European countries and Iran as part of stronger measures to contain the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Mar 26
The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday raised the nation’s travel alert level, asking that people avoid nonessential overseas trips due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Mar 28
A worker sprays disinfectant on a street during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 28 March 2020 (Photo :Reuters/Lim Huey Teng).

Author: Shiro Armstrong, ANU

To help save the economy in the coronavirus crisis, governments need to target and design financial assistance at different phases of shutdown, lockdown and recovery and they need to do so urgently and responsibly. The...

Mar 27
Koka Ninja Village in Shiga, Japan

Like geisha, samurai, and sumo wrestlers, ninjas are iconic figures universally associated with Japan. However, ninjas have been greatly mythologized over centuries, largely due to the inherent secrecy of their trade. Records of their identities a...

Mar 26
A medical staff member in protective gear uses a swab to take samples from a visitor at 'drive-thru' testing center for the novel coronavirus disease of COVID-19 in Yeungnam University Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, 3 March 2020 (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon).

Author: Kim Sawyer, University of Melbourne

As the coronavirus contagion unfolds, we are seeing patterns that should be emphasised. The novel coronavirus is now affecting 192 countries and there are nearly 425,000 cases. More than 295,000 cases a...

Mar 26

With Japan being such a homogenous country, many visitors don't realize outlying islands Okinawa and Hokkaido have their own indigenous ethnology. The Ainu, indigenous hunter-gatherers of Hokkaido, in particular, have been fighting to maintain the...

Mar 26

Image and text from Open Culture, 3/24/2020.

Since the 1980s, Itsuo Kobayashi has drawn a picture of every single meal he eats. However notable we find this practice now, it would surely have struck us as downright eccentric back then. Kobayashi ...
Mar 26
A departures board is seen at Brazilian International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil, 25 March 2020 (Photo: Reuters/Adriano Machado).

Author: A Chong, Singapore

Much of the public alarm triggered by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is greatly bound up with the management of cross-border security threats. COVID-19 resembles a 21st century medieval plague in terms...

Mar 25
Tokyo Skytree advertises the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which have since been postponed.

After months of speculation, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a joint statement confirming that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed. The announcement comes two days before the Japan se...

Mar 25
#StayAtHome Start Fresh

When we left 2019 behind us to welcome 2020, social media was all about this terrible year we had and how we would all start fresh. Nobody was expecting the current COVID-19 outbreak that is reshaping the world and the way we see it. As stressful ...

Mar 24

My favorite season in Japan is definitely spring. You've got cherry blossoms, fair weather, and the official end of winter. The only problem is that with spring comes hay fever. You know the deal, constant sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes th...

Mar 24
Meet Cooking With Kiara

Kiara, the youngest of three siblings, lives in Yamanashi prefecture with her Japanese father, New Zealand mother and brother Kyle—the biggest brother Asahi is currently away at university in New Zealand. She attends the local Japanese school an...

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