Govt. panel discusses ending emergency declaration
NHK -- May 22
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan.

The panel met on Thursday morning. Infectious disease experts are among its members.

The government lifted the nationwide emergency declaration in 39 of Japan's 47 prefectures last week.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi spoke about the eight remaining prefectures. He said the number of new infections over the past seven days has dropped below 0.5 per 100,000 people in Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo.

He added that sufficient medical care and monitoring systems are in place in the region, so the government can lift the emergency declaration.

Tokyo, three prefectures that neighbor it, and Hokkaido will remain under a state of emergency.

Nishimura asked for the panel's views on when and how to administer PCR and antigen tests. He also requested input on whether more virus checks should be provided for medical personnel and those who've had close contact with infected individuals.

Nishimura explained that infection prevention guidelines have been drawn up for 101 industries. He added that officials are working to establish other independent plans for 19 more businesses.

The steering committees of both chambers of the Diet will be briefed later in the day about the plan to end the state of emergency in the three prefectures.

The plan will be finalized by the government's coronavirus task force in the evening.

News source: NHK
Jun 04
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says he maintains the goal of raising the country's minimum wage, while taking into account the situations of small- and medium-sized companies reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
May 29
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and National Governors’ Association Chairman Kamon Iizumi agreed Thursday to work together in promoting “a new way of living” and migration to rural areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
May 28
The Japanese government has compiled a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The planned spending of 31.9 trillion yen, or more than 296 billion dollars, is a record for a supplementary budget. (NHK)
May 22
Many Japanese local municipalities are struggling to distribute the universal ¥100,000 coronavirus cash relief due to a heavy workload resulting from handling online applications. (Japan Times)
May 22
The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees. (Japan Times)
May 22
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan. (NHK)
May 20
Japan on Tuesday urged the World Health Organization to allow Taiwan to join its plenary sessions as an observer to discuss the global response to the new coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Today)
May 19
The government and ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to shelve a plan to enact a law to extend the retirement age of prosecutors during the current Diet session, amid heated criticism from the Japanese public led by celebrities who have taken to Twitter to express their opposition. (Japan Today)
May 18
During a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting on May 13, Takuya Hirai, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was photographed watching a video of a crocodile on his tablet. Unsurprisingly, the video was not at all related to the meeting’s topic, which was about the retirement age for prosecutors. (Japan Today)
May 18
While China’s tensions with the United States and Australia have been sharply intensifying over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak, the Asian power has been apparently aiming to bolster ties with its neighbors — Japan and South Korea. (Japan Times)