Japan to expand, extend virus state of emergency


The Japanese government plans to expand the ongoing COVID-19 state of emergency beyond Tokyo and the Osaka area and extend it to the end of May in a bid to bring down infections and ease the strain on hospitals, senior officials said Thursday. Restrictions in effect since April 25 for… Read


Girl's death in Hokkaido prompts probe into alleged bullying


A Japanese city will reinvestigate alleged bullying that was denied by education officials two years ago after a 14-year-old girl was found dead in a neighborhood park. Saaya Hirose, an eighth grader, disappeared from her home in Asahikawa on the main northern island of Hokkaido in February. Authorities said she… Read


Kyoto families angered by new policy forcing high school students to buy tablets at own expense


Beginning with the 2022 academic year, the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education will require students entering public prefecturally administered high schools to purchase electronic tablets, expected to cost somewhere in the range of 60,000-70,000 yen, and pay for them out of pocket. Because high school is not part of compulsory education in Japan,… Read


Tokyo governor says mutant strains of COVID-19 becoming dominant


Japan's capital will seek to extend until May 31 its state of emergency aimed at curbing coronavirus infections, Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday, a move that could spark more questions about its ability to host the Olympics. As mutant virus strains become dominant, more younger people are falling victim,… Read


Tokyo reports 591 new coronavirus cases; 747 in Osaka


The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 591 new coronavirus cases, down 30 from Wednesday. The average for Tokyo over the past seven days stands at 736. People in their 20s (151 cases) and their 30s (122) accounted for the highest numbers, while 93 cases were aged 60 and over.… Read


Japan bans removal of prized agricultural seeds, seedlings abroad


Japan has recently made illegal the carrying or sending of seeds or seedlings of domestically developed farm products out of the country as it tries to protect local producers from the impacts of unauthorized overseas cultivation. The ban comes in response to concerns seeds and saplings of domestic varieties of… Read


Gov't to decide on extension of state of emergency on Friday


Japan is eyeing an extension to the COVID-19 state of emergency currently in effect in Tokyo and a number of western Japan prefectures beyond its May 11 end date, with a final decision to be made on Friday, government sources said Wednesday, amid a resurgence of the virus. Following a… Read


Ishikawa town builds giant squid with COVID relief funds


A Japanese coastal town in the western part of the country has drawn ire on social media for using some of the coronavirus relief funds it was given by the government to build a statue of a giant squid in the hopes of boosting tourism. The town of Noto in… Read


More young Japanese look to Marx as pandemic, climate crisis magnify economic inequalities


As the global challenge of climate change mounts and the coronavirus pandemic magnifies economic inequalities, Karl Marx, who pointed to the contradictions and limitations of capitalism, is gaining new admirers in Japan, particularly among the young. The boom has been ignited by a 34-year-old associate professor at Osaka City University… Read


Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics


Japan is considering extending a coronavirus spurred state of emergency in the capital, Tokyo, and other major urban areas, sources said on Wednesday, a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics. Officials were leaning toward an extension of the measures in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures… Read

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