Japan - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Japan


FALSE: Photo of Duterte portrait outside Japan national museum

May 29, 2020 - 7:02 PM

The original photo showed portraits of President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the National Monument in Indonesia

Empty Japan stadiums could soon hear the sound of app-lause

May 28, 2020 - 1:32 PM

Fans can send their cheers – or boos – with a tap of an app button as Japan leagues prepare to start their season behind closed doors

CHEERS. Players of Yokohama F Marinos and supporters celebrate their J-League football championship after beating title rivals FC Tokyo at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama last December. Photo by STR/Jiji Press/AFP

No screams allowed: Japanese amusement parks prepare for virus era

May 28, 2020 - 10:36 AM

Visitors will be asked to wear masks at all times, refrain from high-fiving park mascots, and avoid screaming on the rollercoaster

Japan outlines fresh stimulus package for virus-hit economy

May 27, 2020 - 9:00 PM

'With this world's biggest package equivalent to 40% of our GDP, we'll protect the Japanese economy through this once-in-a-century crisis,' says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

JAPAN TOURISM. A small number of tourists visit the nearly empty Sensoji temple in Tokyo's Asakusa district on March 9, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Man arrested over deadly arson at Japanese animation studio

May 27, 2020 - 11:51 AM

Japanese police formally arrest 42-year-old Shinji Aoba on suspicion of an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio last year that killed 36 people and injured dozens

Uniqlo Japan will be selling AIRism face masks

May 26, 2020 - 11:39 AM

The 'breathable' face masks will be made from Uniqlo's special AIRism fabric

Europe lifts virus shutters as Japan ends emergency

May 26, 2020 - 8:55 AM

In the United States, as the pandemic death toll approaches the horrific milestone of 100,000, stir-crazy Americans also head en masse to beaches and parks for the big Memorial Day weekend

SHINJUKU. People wearing face masks cross a street in Tokyo's Shinjuku area on May 25, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Japan lifts coronavirus emergency but urges caution

May 25, 2020 - 5:23 PM

Compared with hard-hit areas in Europe, the United States, Russia and Brazil, Japan has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with 16,581 infections and 830 deaths

COVID-19 IN JAPAN. People wearing face masks amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus commute on a train in Tokyo on May 25, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Avatar robots at graduation? Japan pioneered them

May 24, 2020 - 9:01 AM

A public school in Taguig is the first in the Philippines to dress robots in toga to represent its graduates. The first in the world to do that was a university in Tokyo.

SUBSTITUTES. ‘newme’ avatar robots representing graduates of the Business BreakThrough University in Tokyo exit the stage after receiving diplomas from president Kenichi Ohmae on March 28, 2020. Photo from the BBT University website

Japan central bank in $279-billion loan boost for small firms

May 22, 2020 - 12:00 PM

The Bank of Japan expands its financial aid program for small and medium-sized firms dealing with the impact of the coronavirus

A general view shows the entertainment area of Kabukicho in Tokyo's Shinjuku on May 21, 2020. - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency in several big cities in western Japan and hinted that the measure would be removed nationwide as early as next week. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan consumer prices log first drop in more than 3 years

May 22, 2020 - 9:30 AM

The Japanese internal affairs ministry says core prices in April 2020, excluding volatile fresh food, slipped 0.2% from a year earlier

JAPAN ECONOMY. People wearing face masks cross the quiet Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, Japan, on April 28, 2020. Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP

Wrong move: Japan prosecutor resigns over mahjong game

May 21, 2020 - 8:06 PM

Hiromu Kurokawa has decided to step down after a magazine revealed he had played mahjong for money recently with 3 journalists – violating both the country's lockdown measures and potentially laws against gambling

Japan newborn gets liver stem cells in world first

May 21, 2020 - 2:36 PM

The newborn is suffering from urea cycle disorder, where the liver is not capable of breaking down toxic ammonia


2 alleged Ghosn accomplices arrested in U.S. – court documents

May 21, 2020 - 12:19 AM

The Taylors and a Lebanese man named George-Antoine Zayek are accused by Japan of helping Carlos Ghosn flee Japan on December 29, 2019

FUGITIVE. Carlos Ghosn addresses journalists on his reasons for dodging trial in Japan, where he is accused of financial misconduct, at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut on January 8, 2020. File photo by Joseph Eid/AFP

DOH allocates P18 million for clinical trials of Japan flu drug

May 19, 2020 - 12:48 AM

(UPDATED) Around 80 to 100 patients are expected to undergo the clinical trials for the use of the Japanese anti-flu drug Avigan

TESTING. Health workers from the municipal government of Cainta, Rizal, take a blood sample from a household that had contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient during a rapid diagnostic mass testing in Brgy Sto Nino on April, 27, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Mount Fuji to be closed in summer due to pandemic

May 18, 2020 - 2:32 PM

'The routes open in summer but this year we will keep them closed from July 10 to September 10,' the only climbing season for Mount Fuji, a Shizuoka prefecture official says

MOUNT FUJI. In this file photo taken on April 26, 2020 from Mount Hirugatake near Sagamihara in Kanagawa prefecture shows Japan's Mount Fuji. (Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Japan slides into recession – with forecasts of worse to come

May 18, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Japan, the world's 3rd largest economy, contracts by 0.9% in the 1st quarter of 2020

JAPAN ECONOMY. People walk along a shopping precinct in Tokyo's Ueno district on March 21, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Perfectly OK to stay home, says One OK Rock

May 17, 2020 - 9:05 AM

As we in mega Manila rush out to the streets and malls, the world-famous Japanese rock band urges fans to remain holed up at home the way they know best: through a music video

Screenshot from One OK Rock's video

Hong Kong history exam questions spark China rebuke

May 15, 2020 - 2:47 PM

(UPDATED) Education is becoming a new target for Beijing after 7 months of huge and often violent democracy protests rocked Hong Kong last year

Japan lifts virus emergency for most regions

May 14, 2020 - 5:29 PM

New infections have come down sharply, enabling the government to end the measure in 39 out of 47 prefectures before it is due to expire on May 31

STATE OF EMERGENCY. In this file photo, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on May 4, 2020. File photo by Eugene Hoshiko/Pool/AFP

Has Japan dodged the coronavirus bullet?

May 14, 2020 - 12:31 PM

Mask-wearing, removing shoes, bowing not shaking hands, low obesity levels, and even consuming certain foods have all been advanced as possible cultural reasons for the puzzlingly slow spread

People walk through a shopping area in Tokyo on May 12, 2020. Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP

Young sumo wrestler dies of coronavirus in Japan

May 13, 2020 - 3:12 PM

After battling the disease for more than a month, a 28-year-old sumo wrestler from a Tokyo stable dies

In this picture taken on August 28, 2019, sumo wrestlers exercise during a training session at a stable in Tokyo. - The quintessentially Japanese sport of sumo stops the whole country during the six big tournaments per year, with millions glued to the live action on national broadcaster NHK. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) / TO GO WITH Sumo-Japan-Georgia-points by Ursula HYZY

2 Chinese vessels chase Japanese fishing boat near disputed islets

May 10, 2020 - 1:28 PM

Japan lodges an official protest with China

DISPUTE. In this file photo, national flags of Japan and China (R) are displayed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Japan approves remdesivir for coronavirus treatment

May 07, 2020 - 9:54 PM

This makes Japan the second country to approve the drug after US regulators authorized it for emergency use against severe cases of COVID-19

REMDESIVIR. One vial of the drug Remdesivir at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany on April 8, 2020. File photo by Ulrich Perrey/AFP

PH to receive free supply of Japan flu drug for coronavirus cure trial

May 05, 2020 - 10:20 PM

(UPDATED) The Department of Health, however, cautions against the use of Avigan on pregnant women as studies have shown it may cause birth defects

TESTING. Health workers from the municipal government of Cainta, Rizal, take a blood sample from a household who had contact to a suspected COVID-19 patient during a rapid diagnostic mass testing in Brgy. Sto. Nino on April, 27, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Japan extends virus state of emergency until May 31

May 04, 2020 - 4:56 PM

'I will extend the period of the state of emergency I declared on April 7 until May 31. The area covered is all prefectures in the nation,' Shinzo Abe says

EXTENDING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on April 17, 2020. File photo by Kiyoshi Ota/AFP

Japan passes $240-billion virus package including cash handouts

Apr 30, 2020 - 7:00 PM

About half of Japan's new emergency budget will go to cash handouts – 100,000 yen ($930) to be given to every adult and child

People wearing face masks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus cross the quiet Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on April 28, 2020. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP)

Japan Airlines net profit falls nearly 65% as virus hits travel

Apr 30, 2020 - 5:35 PM

Japan Airlines says its net profit for the fiscal year ending in March 2020 fell 64.6% to 53.4 billion yen ($500 million)

This photo talken on April 28, 2020 shows a Japan Airlines (front) passenger plane on the tarmac at Tokyo's Haneda airport. - Japan Airlines (JAL) are expected to announce earnings results for FY2019 later in the day. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan to extend state of emergency over virus – reports

Apr 30, 2020 - 3:52 PM

The Nikkei newspaper reports that the Japanese government will convene a panel of experts to discuss the virus and the state of emergency

FOR DELIVERY. Japanese Takashi Okuyama, 52, delivery man, poses for a picture with a lunch tray before making a delivery in Tokyo on April 21, 2020 during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Game on: Japan group offers retro consoles to cooped-up kids

Apr 28, 2020 - 3:46 PM

The Japan Retro Game Association is offering 100 Super Famicom consoles, complete with adaptors, cables, controllers and two masterpiece games – Super Donkey Kong and Final Fantasy VI

SUPER FAMICOM. This file photo taken on August 12, 2017 shows a Nintendo Super Famicom running the hit Capcom game Street Fighter II, at a retro gaming expo in Hong Kong. File photo by Tengku Bahar/AFP

Bank of Japan expands easing measures, cuts growth forecast

Apr 27, 2020 - 8:40 PM

Japanese central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda warns that 'the economic prospects are increasingly bleak'

COMMERCIAL DISTRICT. This picture, taken on January 25, 2020, shows a general view of skyscrapers in Tokyo's Shinjuku area. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Japan mayor under fire for 'women dawdle at shops' remark

Apr 24, 2020 - 5:27 PM

Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui tells reporters Thursday that men should be entrusted with grocery runs because women 'take a long time as they browse around and hesitate about this and that,' Kyodo news agency reports

14 more crew have virus on cruise ship docked in Japan

Apr 23, 2020 - 1:49 PM

At least one crew member of the Costa Atlantica is now in a hospital requiring a ventilator

UNDER SIEGE. In this picture taken on April 22, 2020, cruise ship Costa Atlantica is docked at a port in Nagasaki. Photo by STR/Jiji Press/AFP

FALSE: Videos of Japan tsunami in April 2020

Apr 23, 2020 - 12:53 PM

The old footage are from the destructive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan

Japan Airlines cuts profit forecast more than 40% as virus bites

Apr 22, 2020 - 5:00 PM

JAL says net profit for the fiscal year ending in March 2020 would be 53 billion yen ($500 million), against an earlier forecast of 93 billion yen

34 crew have virus on cruise ship docked for repairs in Japan

Apr 22, 2020 - 3:31 PM

The Costa Atlantica is in Nagasaki to undergo repairs, with several hundred crew on board

A Costa Atlantica cruise ship is pictured as it makes its maiden call at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore on May 3, 2013. The 85,700-ton, 2,680-total guest ship is the largest deployed to the region by Costa Cruises, one of the brands under Carnival, which is the world's largest cruise group. AFP PHOTO / ANNABELLE LIANG (Photo by ANNABELLE LIANG / AFP)

ANA slashes profit forecast by 71% because of pandemic

Apr 20, 2020 - 8:05 PM

For the past fiscal year to March 2020, Japanese airline ANA now expects a net profit of 27 billion yen, down from an earlier projection of 94 billion yen

Japan virus expert 'pessimistic' Olympics can be held in 2021

Apr 20, 2020 - 3:17 PM

Kentaro Iwata says that for the Olympics to push through, the coronavirus needs to be contained not just in Japan, but everywhere

POSTPONED. The Tokyo Olympics has been pushed back from 2020 to 2021. File photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP

Japan coronavirus cases surge over 10,000 with hospitals stretched

Apr 20, 2020 - 2:13 PM

Experts have been alarmed by a recent spike in COVID-19 infections, with hundreds detected daily

DAY OUT. People wearing face masks visit Inokashira Park in Tokyo on April 19, 2020. Photo by Philip Fong/AFP

Japan trade surplus dives 99% in March as coronavirus hits exports

Apr 20, 2020 - 12:30 PM

Japan's exports to the United States, European Union, and China tumble in March 2020, leading to an 11.7% drop for the month

Containers are seen at the international cargo terminal at the port of Tokyo on March 18, 2020. - Japan's imports from China almost halved last month from a year earlier to log the steepest fall since 1986 as the new coronavirus outbreak disrupted trade, official data showed March 18. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Voice actor Keiji Fujiwara dies of cancer

Apr 17, 2020 - 7:30 PM

He was best known for his work in anime series such as 'Hunter x Hunter' and 'Fullmetal Alchemist'

KEIJI FUJIWARA. The voice actor dies after a battle with cancer. Screenshot from air-agency.co.jp

Japan offers $930 virus stimulus payment to all residents

Apr 17, 2020 - 7:00 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says they are 'moving quickly to deliver cash to all people'

BUSINESS IN JAPAN. A face mask-clad vendor stands in Tokyo's Tsukiji area on March 13, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Avigan: Antiviral being tested for coronavirus patients

Apr 17, 2020 - 2:44 PM

Here are some questions and answers about the anti-viral medication

This photo illustration taken on October 22, 2014 shows the flu-treatment drug Avigan, produced by Japan's Fujifilm, on display in Tokyo. Japan's Fujifilm said on April 1, 2020 it has begun clinical trials to test the effectiveness of its anti-flu drug Avigan in treating patients with the new COVID-19 coronavirus, after reports of promising results in China. Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP

G7 to coordinate economic reopening plans amid outbreak

Apr 17, 2020 - 9:25 AM

The leaders of the world's most advanced economies are looking for a way to end the economic paralysis

In this handout photograph received by Jiji Press and released by Japan's Cabinet Public Relations Office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) speaks from Tokyo with other G7 leaders during a video conference late on April 16, 2020. (Photo by Handout / JIJI PRESS,JAPAN'S CABINET PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE / AFP) / Japan OUT - XGTY / --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / JAPAN'S CABINET PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ---

Japan expands virus emergency nationwide

Apr 16, 2020 - 7:47 PM

The declaration allows regional governors to urge people to stay indoors, but with no punitive measures or legal force, the measure is far weaker than strict lockdowns seen in other parts of the world

PROTECTION. A staff member (L) works behind transparent sheets as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus at a city hall in Fukaya, Saitama prefecture on April 15, 2020. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

PH ready for trial of Japan flu drug for coronavirus treatment

Apr 15, 2020 - 12:44 PM

Japan pushes for clinical trial of anti-flu drug Avigan

CORONAVIRUS. The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office demonstrates on March 5, 2020 to barangay first responders how to use the protective gear properly in case COVID-19 hit their barangays. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Traditional Japanese seal system hampers telework for some

Apr 13, 2020 - 11:15 AM

In Japan, tiny stamps are used with red ink to sign contracts, approve proposals, and verify who has viewed what

STAMPS. A consumer chooses a hanko or personal seal in Tokyo. Photo by Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

Shinzo Abe joins ‘Dancing on the Inside’ bandwagon

Apr 12, 2020 - 5:10 PM

Musician Gen Hoshino launches a campaign urging Japanese people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, drawing big-name volunteers

'STAY HOME.' Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joins other prominent figures who have appeared on videos to the music of Gen Hoshino, urging people not to go to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Screenshot from Gen Hoshino's Instagram

Virus blow for Japan's sumo as wrestler tests positive

Apr 11, 2020 - 1:16 PM

Daily training continues even after a sumo wrestler in one stable tested positive for the virus

In this picture taken on August 28, 2019, sumo wrestlers exercise during a training session at a stable in Tokyo. - The quintessentially Japanese sport of sumo stops the whole country during the six big tournaments per year, with millions glued to the live action on national broadcaster NHK. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) / TO GO WITH Sumo-Japan-Georgia-points by Ursula HYZY

Japan declares state of emergency over coronavirus

Apr 07, 2020 - 1:11 PM

(UPDATED) The move allows governors in 7 affected regions including Tokyo to ask people to stay indoors and request businesses close

SHINZO ABE. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a press conference at the 8th trilateral leaders' meeting between China, South Korea and Japan in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province on December 24, 2019. File photo by Wange Zhao/AFP