Busy weekend sets stage for final preparations ahead of Japan's Rugby World Cup
Japan Times -- Jul 27
Preparations for the Rugby World Cup step up a level this week with 10 of the participating sides playing test matches, as players look to impress coaches ahead of the announcement of the final tournament squads at the end of August.

Among the nations playing are the four semifinalists from 2015 as the Rugby Championship enters its second week.

New Zealand (winner of the Webb Ellis Trophy on three occasions and two-time defending champion) plays host to South Africa (RWC winner in 1995 and 2007) in a dress rehearsal for their Pool B game on Sept. 21 in Yokohama, perhaps the most anticipated of all the pool matches, while Australia takes on Argentina.

The All Blacks and Springboks opened their Rugby Championship campaign in winning style last week, with the Kiwis edging out Argentina 20-16 and the South Africans downing Australia 35-17.

And with both sides looking to get a psychological advantage, the game in Wellington is set to be a physical one.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies and Pumas will be looking to build confidence particularly in light of the tough draws the two teams have been given at the World Cup.

Argentina is in Pool C alongside England, the only Northern Hemisphere country to have won the World Cup, and France, runner-up on three occasions, while Australia is in Pool D along with Wales and Fiji.

On Saturday, the Flying Fijians take on Japan in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, in the Pacific Nations Cup. And they do so having split a two-game series with the Maori All Blacks.

News source: Japan Times
Mar 28
The governor of Tokyo has again urged people to refrain from non-essential outings, warning that the capital is at a critical juncture in preventing an explosive spread of the coronavirus. (NHK)
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
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 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 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 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 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 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)
Mar 27
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s call for residents to stay indoors this weekend has sent people rushing to supermarkets to stockpile food and other essentials. (Japan Times)
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)