Japan - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Japan


Japan business confidence worst since 2009 crisis

Jul 01, 2020 - 9:05 PM

The Bank of Japan's Tankan survey in June 2020 shows a reading of -34 among big manufacturers, the lowest since June 2009

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

Walkie, no talkie: Japan city launches pedestrian smartphone ban

Jul 01, 2020 - 7:04 PM

'Using smartphones while walking is banned. Please operate your smartphones after you stop walking,' a recorded female voice cautions travelers to Yamato City

MOBILE PHONE BAN. People walk past banners installed by the city hall to inform pedestrians about the ban on using a mobile phone while walking, at a train station in Yamato, Kanagawa prefecture on July 1, 2020. Photo by Behrouz Mehri/ AFP

Philippines secures P23.5-billion Japan loan vs coronavirus

Jul 01, 2020 - 6:10 PM

The loan is payable in 15 years, inclusive of a 4-year grace period, and has a fixed interest rate of just 0.01% per annum

Japan begins charging for plastic bags

Jul 01, 2020 - 3:11 PM

Japan produces more plastic packaging waste per capita than any nation apart from the United States, according to the UN

PLASTIC OUT. A blue recycle rubbish bin, garbage can overflowing with plastic pet bottle in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. Shutterstock.com

Japan pandemic jobless data mask woe for millions – experts

Jun 30, 2020 - 8:00 PM

Analysts point out Japan's low unemployment rate does not account for millions who gave up their job during the pandemic and are not counted as jobseekers

People wearing facemasks walk along a street at Kabukicho district of Tokyo on June 24, 2020. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Japan jobless rate up, available jobs in worst plunge since 1974

Jun 30, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The unemployment rate in Japan climbs to 2.9% in May 2020, suggesting the country's first recession since 2015 is beginning to have an impact on the labor market

JAPANESE ECONOMY. People walk across Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on June 8, 2020. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Half of Tokyo residents oppose Olympics in 2021 – poll

Jun 29, 2020 - 2:05 PM

The poll finds 51.7% of the respondents hope the Olympics in 2021 is postponed again or canceled

YEAR-LONG. Organizers had to push back the Tokyo Olympics for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Charly Triballeau/AFP

Japan university awards first-ever ninja studies degree

Jun 26, 2020 - 9:07 PM

Since 2018, Mie University has offered a graduate course devoted to the ninja – not to be one, but to learn about them

NeoPhoenix boss in awe of Thirdy: 'He is like an American'

Jun 26, 2020 - 2:57 PM

San-en NeoPhoenix CEO Kenjiro Hongo says Thirdy Ravena is 'the best guy to be a part of our organization'

HISTORY. Thirdy Ravena becomes the first player to sign under the 'Asian Player Quotas' system of the B.League. Photo from fiba.basketball

Japan confirms scrapping U.S. missile defense system

Jun 25, 2020 - 5:48 PM

'The National Security Council discussed this matter and reached a conclusion that the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Akita and Yamaguchi is to be rescinded,' says the Japan defense minister


Don't open the door! Japan haunted house goes drive-in

Jun 25, 2020 - 12:07 PM

No more haunted house walk-throughs – this drive-in haunted house in Japan lets cars drive inside, surrounded by raging zombies

Though headed to Japan, Thirdy Ravena committed to Gilas Pilipinas

Jun 24, 2020 - 10:40 PM

SBP president Al Panlilio says playing in Japan will not only benefit Thirdy Ravena but Gilas Pilipinas as well

OVERSEAS CAREER. Thirdy Ravena becomes the first Asian import to sign with a team in the B.League. Photo from fiba.basketball

Why play in Japan? 'To challenge myself,' says Thirdy Ravena

Jun 24, 2020 - 1:49 PM

Former Ateneo stalwart Thirdy Ravena becomes the first Filipino to play professional basketball in Japan

Thirdy Ravena. Photo from FIBA

Bank of Japan boosts aid for coronavirus-hit firms

Jun 16, 2020 - 6:35 PM

The Bank of Japan expands its zero-interest loan program to firms to 90 trillion yen ($837 billion)

JAPAN BUSINESSES. A general view shows the entertainment area of Kabukicho in Tokyo's Shinjuku on May 21, 2020. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Pandemic pushes Japanese geisha to shift online

Jun 16, 2020 - 6:33 PM

With parties and Japanese nightlife at a pause, these entertainers are now able to offer their traditional arts in the most modern of formats – Zoom calls

Davao, Cebu road projects get P75-billion Japan funding

Jun 16, 2020 - 4:47 PM

The Philippines and Japan sign a new loan deal worth P75.5 billion for the Davao City Bypass and the Cebu-Mactan 4th Bridge and Coastal Road

LOAN DEAL. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japan International Cooperation Agency chief representative Eigo Azukizawa signs the P75.5-billion loan deal for Cebu and Davao road projects on June 16, 2020. Photo from DOF

Japan debt watcher gives Philippines coveted A rating during pandemic

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:25 PM

The Japan Credit Rating Agency upgrades the Philippines' credit rating to A- with stable outlook

Japan's debt mountain: How is it sustainable?

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:15 AM

Japan's debt stands at 1,328,000,000,000,000 yen or around $12.2 trillion as of end-2019

(FILES) This file photo taken on May 22, 2020 shows a man wearing a face mask as he walks past the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. - Already the global leader in accumulating debt, Japan's powerful lower house of parliament approved an emergency budget worth nearly 300 billion USD on June 10, 2020, adding nearly two trillion USD to its mountain 2020 fiscal year with record stimulus packages to cushion the impact of coronavirus. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan's 'Kawasaki disease' doctor dies at 95

Jun 10, 2020 - 9:46 PM

The mysterious illness is in the news again after physicians in various countries reported Kawasaki-like conditions as possible complications rising among young people with the coronavirus

TOMISAKU KAWASAKI. This undated handout photograph provided by the Japan Kawasaki Disease Reasearch Center and received via Jiji Press on June 10, 2020, shows a portrait of Japanese pediatrician Tomisaku Kawasaki at an undisclosed location in Japan. AFP PHOTO/JAPAN KAWASAKI DISEASE RESEARCH CENTER vis JIJI PRESS

Japan economy better than feared but still in recession

Jun 08, 2020 - 8:05 PM

Japan's gross domestic product contraction in the 1st quarter of 2020 is revised from 0.9% to 0.6%

People walk across Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on June 8, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

Japanese April spending sees sharpest drop since 2001

Jun 05, 2020 - 11:55 AM

The April 2020 drop in Japan's household spending is partly attributed to declines in spending on transport and telecommunications, as well as on leisure activities

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

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