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Abe's abrupt call to close schools triggers confusion

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's abrupt request on Thursday for all of Japan's schools to be closed from next week through early April amid concern over the spread of the new coronavirus has triggered confusion in the country, with bureaucrats expressing anger. The instruction, which comes as Abe has been under… Read

National

Japan defends cautious approach on coronavirus testing as 7th death reported

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Japan's health ministry on Wednesday defended its cautious approach to coronavirus testing as domestic cases increased. Japan had 175 domestic cases of infection from the virus as of Wednesday evening, separate from 705 from a cruise liner quarantined near Tokyo early this month and 14 from returnees on charter flights… Read

Politics

'Where's Abe?' critics ask, as coronavirus spreads in Japan

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As Japan struggles to stem the spread of a coronavirus within its borders, critics are asking,"Where's Abe?" Shinzo Abe, 65, Japan's longest serving prime minister, has failed to take the helm as the public face of the response to the virus, critics say, leaving the task largely to his health… Read

National

Japan to close all schools until early April to control spread of virus

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked all elementary, middle and high schools nationwide on Thursday to close until the end of the spring holidays which begin in late March. Nursery schools and daycare facilities will be allowed to stay open, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. The… Read

World

Trump urges calm even as U.S. reports new virus case from unknown origin

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U.S. President Donald Trump declared Wednesday that a widespread U.S. outbreak of the new respiratory virus sweeping the globe isn't inevitable even as top health authorities at his side warned Americans that more infections are coming. Shortly after Trump spoke, the government announced a worrisome development: Another person in the… Read

National

Store shelves stripped of toilet paper amid coronavirus fears

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Supermarkets and drugstores in Japan have experienced shortages of toilet paper on jitters the product will follow face masks in selling out amid the spread of coronavirus in the country. The "panic buying" on Friday came despite an industry body's request for people to stay calm. "As we have sufficient… Read

National

Gov't panel, responding to criticism, says cruise ship not designed to be hospital

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Japanese health officials and experts on a government panel acknowledged Monday that the quarantine of the virus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess was not perfect, but defended Japan's decision to release about 1,000 passengers after 14 days. The officials said Japanese health authorities faced tough challenges in dealing with a foreign-operated… Read

National

Hokkaido declares state of emergency over virus

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Hokkaido declared a state of emergency on Friday over the rapid spread of the new virus there. Hokkaido Gov Naomichi Suzuki said the emergency will continue until mid-March. Suzuki, wearing a face mask, urged all residents to stay home this weekend, which he said is a critical time to keep… Read

World

Biden, Sanders blast Trump amid coronavirus fears

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U.S. Democratic presidential contenders blasted the Republican Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus outbreak on the eve of South Carolina's fourth-in-the-nation nominating contest on Saturday. Former Vice President Joe Biden is banking on the southern state to breathe new life into his struggling campaign and make him the top moderate… Read

National

Woman confirmed as coronavirus case for 2nd time, weeks after initial recovery

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A woman working as a tour bus guide in Japan tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osaka's prefectural government said Thursday, the first person in the country to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infection. The second positive test comes as the number… Read

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