New state funds proposed to help hospitals dump excess beds amid soaring medical costs
Japan Times -- Nov 30
The finance and health ministries are thinking of setting up funds in each prefecture to support private hospitals trying to rid themselves of excess beds that are driving up medical costs, it has been learned.

The idea calls for setting up a fund in each of the 47 prefectures to facilitate the realignment and integration of the nation’s hospitals, informed sources said.

Japan has too many hospital beds for its population, and that is believed to be a factor in the nation’s ballooning medical costs, experts said Thursday.

The cost of the funds would be covered by revenue from the Oct. 1 tax hike, which has completed the doubling of the consumption tax to 10 percent from 5 percent. Related expenses, which may reach several tens of billions of yen, would be included in the upcoming draft budget for fiscal 2020.

The funds would be part of the national “community health care vision,” which is aimed at reviewing the scale and function of hospitals across the country.

The funds would help the hospitals offset losses on past investments on condition that the beds to be scrapped continue to be utilized to some extent.

News source: Japan Times
Aug 06
Japan's daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday topped 1,300, remaining at high levels ahead of next week's summer holiday peak, with health authorities calling on people to be cautious when they travel to their hometowns and elsewhere. (Kyodo)
Aug 03
Japanese company ispace has updated the design of its commercial lunar lander while delaying its first flight by a year. (
Aug 03
An NHK survey shows the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa has the nation's highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the preceding seven days. (NHK)
Aug 02
Companies racing to introduce the successor to the batteries that power everything from our smartphones to drones to electric cars are closing in on their goal. But they are not alone. Startups have joined the fray to develop technologies for higher-performance power packs that can relegate today's lithium-ion batteries to an earlier stage along the march of progress. (Nikkei)
Aug 02
After initial success, Japan is facing a reality check on the coronavirus. (Bloomberg)
Jul 31
Leading Japanese universities and corporations have joined hands with IBM to develop practical quantum computing applications in finance, materials development and the broader business scene. (Nikkei)
Jul 30
The Japan Meteorological Agency early Thursday morning issued an early warning for an earthquake that was expected to hit Tokyo and other neighboring areas. (Japan Times)
Jul 30
Experts say the situation of coronavirus infections in Tokyo is serious as the virus has spread to all generations and through diverse routes. (NHK)
Jul 29
A project is under way to breed a protected seahorse species that is widely used in traditional kampo medicine. (NHK)
Jul 29
A Japanese research team has announced the discovery of traces of the largest impact craters in the solar system on a moon of Jupiter. (Japan Times)