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IOC exec John Coates says Tokyo Games may not go ahead, even with vaccine | The Japan Times

IOC exec John Coates says Tokyo Games may not go ahead, even with vaccine | The Japan Times

International Olympic Committee senior official John Coates said the postponed Tokyo Games might not go ahead in July 2021, even if a coronavirus vaccine emerges, Australian media reported Thursday.Coates, who heads the IOC's coordination commission, said October will be a critical period for assessing whether Japan can host the games next year, according to The Australian newspaper.Coates said Olympic organizers were facing "real problems" due to the sheer number of people converging on Tokyo from multiple countries, many of which are still in the depths of a public health crisis brought...

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4d ago
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End of Japan's coronavirus emergency raises hope, but also concern | The Japan Times

End of Japan's coronavirus emergency raises hope, but also concern | The Japan Times

People in Tokyo and four other prefectures cautiously embraced a return to a sense of normalcy Tuesday, a day after the central government lifted the state of emergency, a move that is expected to see the reopening of schools, shopping malls, restaurants and other businesses.But some voiced concern that the end of the state of emergency seven weeks after it was initially declared in early April could trigger another wave of infections, calling for measures to prevent the spread of the virus to remain in place.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday ended the state of emergency for Tokyo,...

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Suicide note written by pro wrestler and ‘Terrace House’ star Hana Kimura discovered | The Japan Times

Suicide note written by pro wrestler and ‘Terrace House’ star Hana Kimura discovered | The Japan Times

An apparent suicide note written by Hana Kimura, the 22-year-old professional wrestler and cast member of the internationally popular Netflix reality show “Terrace House,” was found at her Tokyo home in the wake of her death, investigative sources said Monday.The note expressed her gratitude toward people around her, the sources said.Based on evidence she had been victimized by cyberbullying, police have yet to determine the cause of her death on Saturday.Prompted by the outpouring of messages of condolence and a public outcry against such bullying, leading politicians on Monday spoke of...

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Japan's ANA leads way as masks become new normal in virus-era air travel | The Japan Times

Japan's ANA leads way as masks become new normal in virus-era air travel | The Japan Times

One of Japan’s major airlines plans to make the wearing of face masks compulsory as the industry shifts toward operating in a new coronavirus pandemic normal.From June, All Nippon Airways Co. will require all passengers to wear face masks inside airports and aboard aircraft.Anyone who refuses will be barred from boarding, meaning ANA is going a step further than an aviation industry body guideline that advises a “request” be made that passengers mask up.Cabin crew will wear face masks and ground staff will wear face shields as well, it said. Major airlines, including ANA, have also...

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North Korea's Kim vows to further bolster 'nuclear war deterrence' | The Japan Times

North Korea's Kim vows to further bolster 'nuclear war deterrence' | The Japan Times

North Korea discussed new policies for increasing its “nuclear war deterrence” during a military meeting presided over by leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported Sunday.The meeting was Kim’s first reported public appearance in more than three weeks and came after U.S. media said Friday that the Trump administration had discussed holding the first U.S. nuclear test in decades.Set forth at the meeting of the Central Military Commission were “new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said, without giving...

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Trump officials discussed conducting first U.S. nuclear test since 1992, report says | The Japan Times

Trump officials discussed conducting first U.S. nuclear test since 1992, report says | The Japan Times

White House officials discussed whether to conduct the first nuclear test explosion since 1992, The Washington Post reported Friday.A meeting of people representing the top national security agencies discussed the matter May 15, according to the newspaper, which cited an unidentified senior administration employee and two former officials familiar with the deliberations.The matter surfaced after some administration representatives said Russia and China were conducting low-yield nuclear tests, “an assertion that has not been substantiated by publicly available evidence and that both...

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Japan likely to completely lift coronavirus state of emergency on Monday | The Japan Times

Japan likely to completely lift coronavirus state of emergency on Monday | The Japan Times

The likelihood of the Japanese government lifting a state of emergency in Tokyo and nearby prefectures, as well as Hokkaido, altogether next Monday is growing, as the number of new coronavirus cases continues to decline, officials have said.After observing the situation over the weekend and hearing opinions from health experts, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will formally decide what to do with the emergency for Tokyo and Hokkaido, as well as Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures, the last remaining areas under the measure among the country’s 47 prefectures, officials said Friday.The Tokyo...

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Top Tokyo prosecutor with close ties to Abe resigns after gambling exposé | The Japan Times

Top Tokyo prosecutor with close ties to Abe resigns after gambling exposé | The Japan Times

The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees.Hiromu Kurokawa, 63, bet money while playing the game with two reporters from the right-leaning Sankei newspaper and one former reporter with the left-leaning Asahi newspaper for several hours on May 1 and 13, according to a report in the Shukan Bunshun magazine published...

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Satoshi Sugiyama
5d ago
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Over 230 cats rescued from one house in Sapporo | The Japan Times

Over 230 cats rescued from one house in Sapporo | The Japan Times

Authorities in Sapporo in Hokkaido found 238 cats living in one house in late March, with the residents apparently unable to care for the animals due to their increasing numbers, local officials and other sources said Wednesday.The Environment Ministry said it was very rare for more than 200 cats to be retrieved from one location. The issue came to light after the owner of the house made a visit over unpaid rent.According to city officials, a married couple in their 50s and their son in his 30s lived in the two-story house in Kita Ward, Sapporo.When members of the city’s animal control...

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Japan to lift state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo this week | The Japan Times

Japan to lift state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo this week | The Japan Times

Japan is set to lift a state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo later this week as the number of new coronavirus infections in each of the three prefectures has remained low, while the emergency declaration will be kept intact for the Tokyo area and Hokkaido, government officials said Wednesday.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a final decision on Thursday after hearing from health experts, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.The government has assessed that the three Kansai prefectures have also secured enough hospital beds and testing capacity.Tokyo, Kanagawa,...

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6d ago
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U.S. military faces down two challenges in western Pacific: COVID-19 and China | The Japan Times

U.S. military faces down two challenges in western Pacific: COVID-19 and China | The Japan Times

As the U.S. Navy’s top officer went into quarantine earlier this month after a family member tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Ronald Reagan was preparing for a return to patrolling the waters of the western Pacific after dealing with its own COVID-19 outbreak.The scenes were a microcosm of the U.S. military’s recent ups and downs in grappling with the virus as it has battled to maintain its formidable presence in the western Pacific, while both reassuring allies and preventing China from capitalizing on any perceived opening.While U.S....

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Jesse Johnson
6d ago
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Summer Koshien baseball tournament canceled due to coronavirus pandemic | The Japan Times

Summer Koshien baseball tournament canceled due to coronavirus pandemic | The Japan Times

Japan’s annual Summer National High School Tournament at Koshien has been canceled amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said Wednesday.The decision not to hold the summer tourney is the first time since the World War II that it will not be held. The spring version also was canceled in March.Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on as well as practical information about . Please consider so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.Click to enlarge, , ,Sponsored contents planned and...

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WHO to review virus response as Trump renews attack, calling it a 'puppet of China' | The Japan Times

WHO to review virus response as Trump renews attack, calling it a 'puppet of China' | The Japan Times

The World Health Organization said it would launch an independent review of its response to the coronavirus pandemic but President Donald Trump renewed his attack on the global body, branding it a "puppet of China" and threatening a permanent freeze on U.S. funding.Washington is locked in an increasingly bitter spat with Beijing over the new coronavirus pandemic and has also taken aim at the WHO, which on Monday kicked off its first-ever virtual assembly.A resolution tabled by the European Union called for an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the international...

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May 19
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Millions of newly jobless in China pose a looming threat to Xi | The Japan Times

Millions of newly jobless in China pose a looming threat to Xi | The Japan Times

The Pearl River Delta industrial belt has served as one of China’s most important growth engines since the Communist Party opened the economy four decades ago, propelling its rise to become one of the world’s leading powers.But now in Guangdong, a southern coastal province that alone would stand as one of Asia’s top five economies, the situation is getting dire in some labor-intensive sectors that are more China’s past than future. In the dank back-alleys of Dongguan, a metropolis with about as many people as New York City, small textile makers are struggling to survive. Thousands of...

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Foreign residents stranded abroad by Japan's coronavirus controls | The Japan Times

Foreign residents stranded abroad by Japan's coronavirus controls | The Japan Times

David Kvien, a 29-year-old Danish 3D artist from Tokyo, left Japan for Copenhagen on March 20 to attend to funeral arrangements for his father, who had passed away from a heart attack just a day before.The flight he planned to take back to Japan coincided with the March 27 rollout of Japan’s ban on travelers from 18 European countries, including Denmark, in response to the rise of coronavirus infections mainly in Europe and the United States.The coronavirus pandemic has prompted authorities worldwide to introduce entry restrictions on border traffic. But regulations in Japan have sparked a...

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Magdalena Osumi
May 19
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Doctors on Japan's COVID-19 front lines lack fresh masks and hazard pay, union survey finds | The Japan Times

Doctors on Japan's COVID-19 front lines lack fresh masks and hazard pay, union survey finds | The Japan Times

Japanese hospital doctors on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic face tough working conditions, with many reusing masks and few getting hazard pay, a survey by a labor union has shown.The survey of about 170 doctors, conducted online from late April through May 6, found three-quarters said they were ordered to work on the coronavirus front lines, while four-fifths said they receive no hazard allowance for the work.In the global scramble for protective gear and medical equipment, some Japanese doctors and other experts say there has been a failure by the national and some local...

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May 17
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U.S. considers rewards for firms that pull supply chains from China | The Japan Times

U.S. considers rewards for firms that pull supply chains from China | The Japan Times

U.S. lawmakers and officials are crafting proposals to push American companies to move operations or key suppliers out of China that include tax breaks, new rules and carefully structured subsidies.Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials, industry executives and members of Congress show widespread discussions underway — including the idea of a “reshoring fund” originally stocked with $25 billion — to encourage U.S. companies to drastically revamp their relationship with China.President Donald Trump has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas, but the...

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May 18
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Trump unveils Space Force flag and ‘super-duper missile’ plan | The Japan Times

Trump unveils Space Force flag and ‘super-duper missile’ plan | The Japan Times

U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the official flag for his Space Force at the White House on Friday, touting American military might, including the development of what he called “the super-duper missile.”Trump said the U.S. is “building right now incredible military equipment,” including a missile that would travel faster than any other in the world “by a factor of almost three.”Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed his country has already developed and fielded a hypersonic nuclear missile ahead of the U.S. The Pentagon has been working on the technology.Later Friday, Jonathan...

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May 16
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Japan joins calls for probe into WHO's coronavirus response | The Japan Times

Japan joins calls for probe into WHO's coronavirus response | The Japan Times

Japan will call for an investigation into the World Health Organization’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said.“With the European Union, (Japan) will propose that a fair, independent and comprehensive verification be conducted,” Abe said on an internet program Friday.He said the proposal will be made at the WHO’s general assembly to begin Monday.Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi also said Friday that Japan is joining a chorus of calls for such an investigation, which should be conducted by an independent body.“This disease has had a devastating...

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May 15
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China to conduct major military drill simulating seizure of Taiwan-held island | The Japan Times

China to conduct major military drill simulating seizure of Taiwan-held island | The Japan Times

The Chinese military is planning to conduct a large-scale landing drill off Hainan Island in the South China Sea in August to simulate the possible seizure of the Taiwanese-held Pratas Island in the future, Chinese sources familiar with the matter have said.The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is becoming increasingly concerned about the growing U.S. military presence in the South China Sea, and such a drill could escalate tensions. The U.S. Navy said on Thursday it had sailed a guided-missile destroyer through the sensitive Taiwan Strait.Pratas Island, located in the middle of the route...

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May 14
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Many Japanese lenders refuse to invest in companies linked to nuclear arms | The Japan Times

Many Japanese lenders refuse to invest in companies linked to nuclear arms | The Japan Times

Sixteen Japanese financial institutions say they refrain from investing in and extending loans to companies involved in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday.The survey found the lenders set guidelines for such issues in an effort to avert international criticism against conducting business with nuclear-related companies amid growing public perceptions about the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.The 16 lenders include three megabanks — MUFG Bank under Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group...

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May 3
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Japan Defense Ministry to draft UFO protocols in response to U.S. footage | The Japan Times

Japan Defense Ministry to draft UFO protocols in response to U.S. footage | The Japan Times

The Defense Ministry plans to draw up protocols for UFO encounters in light of the U.S. Defense Department’s recent decision to release videos of the mysterious objects.The ministry will consider procedures for responding to, recording and reporting on UFO encounters as their unknown nature might cause confusion among Self-Defense Forces pilots.The videos released Monday by the U.S. Defense Department were taken in 2004 and 2015. Some show an elliptical flying object with unprecedented speed and maneuverability.Defense Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday that SDF pilots have never encountered...

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May 2
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Universities in Japan try to soften blow from pandemic with internet subsidies, scholarships and tuition cuts | The Japan Times

Universities in Japan try to soften blow from pandemic with internet subsidies, scholarships and tuition cuts | The Japan Times

Universities are set to subsidize online classes amid the nationwide state of emergency called over the novel coronavirus pandemic.Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo said it will disburse ¥50,000 to each of its 12,000 students to help them purchase adequate internet connections and computer gear as the school gears up for a switch to distance learning for the spring semester, which began on Monday.Kanagawa University in Yokohama said it is providing the same stipend to its 18,000 students in preparation for conducting online classes from May 11.Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo and...

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Apr 25
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Facebook agreed to censor posts after Vietnam slowed traffic, sources say | The Japan Times

Facebook agreed to censor posts after Vietnam slowed traffic, sources say | The Japan Times

Facebook’s local servers in Vietnam were taken offline early this year, slowing local traffic to a crawl until it agreed to significantly increase the censorship of “anti-state” posts for local users, two sources at the company said Tuesday.The restrictions, which the sources said were carried out by state-owned telecommunications companies, knocked the servers offline for around seven weeks, meaning the website became unusable at times.“We believe the action was taken to place significant pressure on us to increase our compliance with legal takedown orders when it comes to content that our...

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Apr 22
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Japan to seize high-priced masks from unscrupulous sellers | The Japan Times

Japan to seize high-priced masks from unscrupulous sellers | The Japan Times

The government is poised to expropriate unreasonably high-priced face masks for domestic distribution to ease shortages amid the coronavirus outbreak, Jiji Press learned Saturday.The compulsory measure is expected to be taken as the government enhances crackdowns on unscrupulous mask sellers making so-called “unjust profits” through resale at increased prices, sources said.A recently revised law allows the government to carry out expropriations where a state of emergency is in place. The government declared such an emergency for Tokyo and various other areas in response to the COVID-19...

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Apr 26
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