2 prefectures at worst stage over hospital beds
NHK -- Sep 11
A government panel on the coronavirus outbreak says two prefectures, Okinawa and Ishikawa, still remain at the worst of the four stages in hospital bed availability.

The subcommittee on Thursday released the latest data on the severity of the pandemic for each of the nation's 47 prefectures, including strains on the medical system.

The panel uses four stages to assess the situation.

Stage 4, the worst level, means preparations are needed for an explosive rise in infections. The criterion for the hospital bed occupancy rate is 50 percent or more.

The rate for Okinawa was 60.2 percent as of September 1 and that for Ishikawa was 51.6 percent. The rate was down slightly from a week earlier for both prefectures.

The number of prefectures at Stage 3 was down by two to total 10. Stage 3 means there are concerns about major difficulties in the availability of medical care. The bed occupancy rate is 20 percent or more.

The 10 prefectures at Stage 3 were Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Fukui, Nagano, Aichi, Osaka, Tokushima and Fukuoka.

Mie, Shiga, Kyoto and Hyogo were removed from Stage 3 as the situation has improved, while Fukui and Nagano were newly added.

An expert panel of the health ministry says the number of people hospitalized due to the coronavirus is largely on the decline, but remains high in some areas. The panel called for continued efforts to ensure medical care is available.

News source: NHK
Oct 22
Researchers in Japan say they have confirmed that face masks are effective in both retarding the spread of viruses and reducing the intake of them. (NHK)
Oct 22
The Japanese government will soon pledge to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero by 2050, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Oct 21
Under normal circumstances at this time of year, hundreds of companies would bring to life the Makuhari Messe venue in the city of Chiba with cutting-edge products from robots to cars and AI to internet-connected devices, for the annual event known as CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies). (Japan Times)
Oct 21
Wild deer at Nara Park in western Japan, a major tourist attraction, have often suffered from eating plastic bags discarded by visitors, but local companies have now succeeded in developing paper bags that the animals can digest. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
Central Japan Railway Company unveiled the interior of the latest version of its magnetic-levitation train on Monday. (NHK)
Oct 20
Some Japanese research institutions developing coronavirus vaccines have been hit by cyberattacks, apparently from China, in what are believed to be the first cases of their kind in the country, a U.S. information security firm said Monday. ()
Oct 19
The coronavirus remains active on human skin for nine hours, Japanese researchers have found, in a discovery they said showed the need for frequent hand washing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
It's been nearly ten years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster and Japan is still struggling to manage its consequences. (aljazeera.com)
Oct 18
Japan's industry ministry says there are technical difficulties with three proposed options for disposing of treated radioactive wastewater stored at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (NHK)
Oct 17
A Japanese hospital said Thursday it has performed the world's first clinical trial of a transplant of visual cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to treat a patient with pigmentary retinal degeneration. (Japan Today)
Oct 16
The Japanese government plans to release into the sea treated radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011 amid concerns over the environmental impact, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Oct 16
A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Japan, the United States and six other countries have signed an agreement laying out what they say are the guiding principles for space exploration. (NHK)
Oct 14
Covid-related ridership drops and long-term population trends are raising hard questions about the future of the Shinkansen network of high-speed trains in Japan. (Bloomberg)
Oct 14
Japan joined a U.S.-led international agreement Wednesday that outlines the exploration and utilization of resources in space, the government said. (Kyodok)
Oct 14
The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, located in Saitama prefecture of Japan, was built to protect Tokyo from flooding. Constructed in 2016, it measures 30 metres (98ft) in diameter and 70 metres (230ft) in depth. (South China Morning Post)
Oct 10
Japan will consider easing regulations on the sale of emergency contraceptive pills without a prescription, the health minister said Friday, taking a step toward allowing the kind of over-the-counter birth control that is already available in dozens of other countries. (Japan Times)
Oct 09
Three Japanese firms are teaming up to build fully electric tankers with no carbon footprint. (NHK)
Oct 03
Present-day life has had mixed results on delivering on the predictions past generations made about the future. We still don’t have flying cars, for example, but we do have a real-life giant, moving anime robot (and if we had to pick one of the two, personally, that’s the one we’d pick). (soranews24.com)
Oct 01
A survey by a medical research center in Japan shows the fatality rate of people infected with the coronavirus is higher among those with chronic kidney or heart diseases. (NHK)