COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.


Rural migration driven by coronavirus


Some people like crowds. Whether you do or not, in Japan, you learn to live with them. You have no choice. Mountains confine the habitable regions of a country narrow enough even without them. Modern urbanization depopulated the countryside, swelling Tokyo in particular. Economically, politically, culturally, Tokyo is the place… Read


Covid-19 lockdowns stimulate condom demand


Worldwide annual production of condoms is said to be approximately 25 billion. The world's largest manufacturer is Karex Berhad, which was founded in Malaysia in 1988. The condoms it produces are marketed under a variety of brand names in dozens of countries. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Karex temporarily halted… Read


For shame: Why were people so hard on pachinko businesses that stayed open?


Among the types of businesses that were requested to shut their doors due to the high risk of cluster infections of the coronavirus were pachinko parlors. At a press conference on May 13, however, the Tokyo Medical Association backtracked on its earlier opinions, posting a retraction and apology.  "At this… Read


'Corona fatigue' taking its toll in many ways


You don’t have to be infected to be affected by COVID-19. It affects everybody. It is dislocating, disorienting, destabilizing, derailing. If it doesn’t kill you or sicken you, it upends you economically; if not that, emotionally; and though Japan has relaxed its state of emergency and may be edging its… Read


What will we eat in the year 2050?


Is it premature to start thinking about what lunch will look like 30 years from now? The Nikkei Marketing Journal (May 11) doesn't think so. Worrisome signs are already here: climate change, and with it, shortages of fresh water. Warming ocean temperatures. And failing crops that point to the prospect… Read


Elderly people could carry a card saying, 'If I fall ill and am taken to hospital, treat young people first.'


How many life-and-death decisions does the average doctor make in a day? Many, we may presume, even without statistical evidence. They begin even before treatment. Who gets treated? On whom would treatment be wasted? That, too, must be decided, and it’s an agonizing decision, the more so now, with medical… Read


Pandemic sees thriving demand at suburban love hotels


While the hot sheet establishments in central Tokyo were pressured to close from early April, such as not been the case for love hotels located in prefectures on Tokyo's periphery. J-Cast News (May 9) reports that one establishment has seen a considerable upswing in demand from younger Japanese. "Our staff… Read


How the Spanish flu of 1918-20 ravaged Japan


In November 1918, Japan was to emerge victorious in World War I, and as part of the spoils stripped Germany of its possessions in Shandong, China and various territories in the Pacific, including the islands of Saipan and Tinian. It was a time when the country enjoyed unprecedented political freedoms… Read


'Corona poverty' spreading and getting worse


People’s lives are going up in smoke, and there’s no end in sight.  It’s 2 o’clock on a recent Saturday afternoon. On a street near Shinjuku Station, 100-odd people are lined up, waiting their turn. The NPO Shinjuku Gohan Plus is distributing free meals. They’ve been doing it since well… Read


Coronavirus infections spread rapidly among Japan's police


March 26 marked the date for the first policeman to expire of Covid-19 in France. At least 51 have been known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. In Spain, the figure of infections among the police has exceeded 700. The United States has been grappling with an equally severe… Read

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