FRONT PAGE NEWS

1 April 2020
Calls are growing for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus before it is too late. (Japan Times)
Japan is planning to place an entry ban on foreign nationals from an additional 49 countries and territories as the coronavirus pandemic expands. (NHK)
A Japanese government panel says Tokyo would become unable to function as the country's capital in about three hours if a large-scale eruption of Mount Fuji were to occur. (NHK)
Japanese transport minister Akaba Kazuyoshi says public transport will continue to operate even if a state of emergency is declared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has announced the new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Games were postponed until next year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)




Apr 01
With the recent passing of Japanese comedy legend Ken Shimura due to complications of a COVID-19 infection, everyone has been looking back on his many accomplishments in music, comedy, and entertainment in general. (soranews24.com)
Apr 01
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a second man over the alleged rape of an intoxicated woman inside a vehicle in Shinjuku Ward two years ago, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 30). (tokyoreporter.com)
Mar 31
Police in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, have arrested a 46-year-old woman on suspicion of arson and attempted murder after she set fire to her house in order to kill her 16-year-old son. (Japan Today)
Mar 31
The death sentence for a Japanese man over the mass murder in 2016 of 19 mentally impaired people at a care home near Tokyo was finalized Tuesday as he withdrew his appeal the previous day. (Kyodo)
Mar 31
Veteran Japanese comedian Shimura Ken passed away on Sunday night at a hospital in Tokyo. The 70-year-old comedy icon was confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus. (NHK)

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Apr 01
The Japan Tourism Agency says the number of overnight stays by foreign guests in February was 40.4 percent lower than in the same month last year. (NHK)
Apr 01
Japan's retail sales in February rose 1.7% from the previous year to 11.2 trillion yen, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday. Drugstore sales surged 18.9%, as consumers scrambled to buy face masks, toilet paper and other health and hygiene products in response to the new coronavirus outbreak. (Nikkei)
Mar 30
Masayoshi Son has been among the most fervent believers in the sharing economy, investing billions in startups that help people split the use of cars, rooms and offices. (Japan Times)
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)

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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…]


Apr 01
Over a career in Japan spanning 21 years, Osaka-based English language teacher Steven Thompson has taken 10 days of paid sick leave across two occasions when he caught the flu. (Japan Times)
Mar 31
Two persons from Sendai City have been confirmed with the novel coronavirus after meeting with two Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) who also tested positive, reports Kahoku Shimpo (Mar. 30). (tokyoreporter.com)
Mar 31
Japan’s approach to halting the coronavirus pandemic might seem to other nations around the world like it is very social, and not so distant. (Japan Times)
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)

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Apr 01
A Japanese government panel says Tokyo would become unable to function as the country's capital in about three hours if a large-scale eruption of Mount Fuji were to occur. (NHK)
Mar 30
A survey by an environmental group has found microplastics in 98 out of 100 locations in Japanese rivers and ports. Small pieces of plastic are a potential threat to ecosystems. (NHK)
Mar 29
Loss of the ability to smell and taste can be an early sign of coronavirus infection, according to a growing number of reports from around the world. (Nikkei)
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)

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Mar 31
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee has announced the new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games. The Games were postponed until next year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. (NHK)
Mar 30
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee will likely support the idea of delaying the Games to July of next year. (NHK)
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)

[more sports news…]


Apr 01
Japan is planning to place an entry ban on foreign nationals from an additional 49 countries and territories as the coronavirus pandemic expands. (NHK)
Mar 31
Japan plans to include in its list of entry denials foreigners arriving from the United States, China and South Korea as well as most parts of Europe and some parts of Southeast Asia as the coronavirus pandemic expands. (NHK)
Mar 30
A low pressure system and a cold air mass brought snow to wide areas of the Kanto and Koshin regions in Japan on Sunday. (NHK)
Mar 30
People mostly avoided cherry blossom-viewing spots in Osaka, western Japan, on Sunday. The Osaka governor has urged people in the prefecture to stay at home this weekend to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (NHK)
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)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Mar 31

I'm not a spiritual person. As someone who grew up in America's “Bible Belt”, I've always been put off by the idea of touring religion. Still, I was genuinely excited to explore the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes and sacred Koyasan (Mount Koya)...

Mar 31
Saving In Japan: How To Get Smart With Your Yen

Picture this: You're living in Japan—maybe even far away from your family and friends back home. You have a wonderful life now, a stable partner, a job with the right income, security, and fulfillment. Not to forget: access to every seasonal Sta...

Mar 31

The flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games arrived in Japan from Greece just in time to be extinguished.

Let's face it, the COVID-19 pandemic is here and it'll take months to get back to our normal lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) knows...

Mar 31
All images © Kushino Terrace Years before the era of Instagram and food bloggers, the self-taught artist Itsuo Kobayashi was memorializing every meal he ate. Using a combination of illustration, collage and text descriptions, Kobayashi has been c...
Mar 30
7 Japanese Superfoods To Boost Your Immune System Matcha

Many of Japan's traditional foods are fortunately both healthy and delicious. Keep your immune system flourishing by adding these Japanese superfoods to your next grocery store haul!


1.Matcha


Matcha was consumed in Japan long before it was a t...

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 ...

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