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COVID-19 Coronavirus: situation in Japan

Lothor

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Anecdotally, it seems to be quite difficult to get tests, but I can't be more specific than that. As far as I understand, private tests (which are widely available) do not get counted in the original statistics. I also imagine that with the stigma attached to sickness and death in Japan (read the stories of how people from Fukushima got treated after 2011) that many people who suspect they have Covid but are not seriously ill keep quiet about it and perhaps don't even have a test because of the fear of being found out.
So far, so anecdotal. It would be worth getting a subscription to Japan Times if you want to search their archives for articles on Covid - occasionally they write quite in-depth articles on how things work in Japan. For more stories on the difficulties sick foreigners have had in getting tests, the Tokyo Expatriate Network page on Facebook has scores of them in posts from last year.
Good luck with your search for information.
 

Lothor

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The weekly updates with all numbers on the rise.


Nationwide infections:

24/03 (Wed)25/03 (Thu)26/03 (Fri)27/03 (Sat)28/03 (Son)29/03 (Mon)30/03 (Tue)
1,918​
1,917​
2,026​
2,073​
1,785​
1,345​
2,087​

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

24/03 (Wed)25/03 (Thu)26/03 (Fri)27/03 (Sat)28/03 (Son)29/03 (Mon)30/03 (Tue)
47 - 328​
30 - 325​
29 - 323​
31 - 331​
32 - 341​
29 - 342​
25 - 368​

Infections in selected prefectures:

24/03 (Wed)25/03 (Thu)26/03 (Fri)27/03 (Sat)28/03 (Son)29/03 (Mon)30/03 (Tue)
Tokyo
420​
394​
376​
430​
313​
234​
364​
Osaka
262​
266​
300​
386​
323​
213​
432​
Hokkaido
81​
67​
69​
62​
74​
46​
56​
Aichi
74​
79​
64​
58​
86​
39​
56​
Kanagawa
128​
121​
117​
102​
64​
93​
96​
Chiba
108​
98​
135​
99​
92​
110​
81​
Saitama
121​
113​
135​
97​
114​
102​
107​
Hyogo
118​
100​
116​
164​
93​
70​
176​
Okinawa
68​
77​
89​
98​
68​
42​
87​



Today, Osaka eclipsed Tokyo (599 vs 414 new cases) which some blame on the fast spread of new virus variants in Western Japan; new clusters reported in Yamagata, Tottori, and Ehime.




Thomas - I think what would improve your statistics would be to put the number a week ago in brackets after each number (you could probably even write a macro to do this automatically when updating your table!) because of Japan's well-established fluctuation in the number of cases during the week (e.g., Monday is always low) - it annoys me when Japan Today makes vacuous comments like "53 more cases than yesterday". This would allow viewers to see the trend more clearly.
 

thomas

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In the early days of the pandemic, you were only entitled to take a PCR test at a public health centre if you had a fever of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher persisting for four days. These criteria were relaxed afterwards.

More info in this JT article (as suggested by @Lothor):

 

thomas

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Thomas - I think what would improve your statistics would be to put the number a week ago in brackets after each number (you could probably even write a macro to do this automatically when updating your table!) because of Japan's well-established fluctuation in the number of cases during the week (e.g., Monday is always low) - it annoys me when Japan Today makes vacuous comments like "53 more cases than yesterday". This would allow viewers to see the trend more clearly.

Thanks, @Lothor that makes perfect sense! I see if I can apply your suggestions to the latest chart.
 

thomas

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Osaka, parts of Hyogo (including Kobe), and Miyagi have been put under a state of "semi-emergency".


The measures based on the revised infectious disease law come with teeth:

The new countermeasures — often referred to as manbо̄, the shortened version of its full name in Japanese — allow local leaders to deploy restrictions, albeit less strict than those seen during a state of emergency, in the hopes of preventing the need for stronger measures. The measures are possible following a revision of the country’s infectious disease laws passed by the Diet in February and can be enforced in regions designated by the central government. This is the first time that they will be put into practice. [...] Beginning Monday, the governors of Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi will, among other measures, ask dining establishments to close by 8 p.m. and call on residents to stay indoors at night to prevent large gatherings. Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura has said the prefecture plans to impose restrictions only for the city of Osaka. [...] With the latest measure, officials can ask businesses to reduce operations, with a maximum fine for noncompliance of ¥200,000. Under the state of emergency, businesses that disobey repeat requests to reduce or suspend operations can be referred to the local court, which will then decide if their infraction warrants a fine of up ¥300,000. Small to mid-sized businesses will receive up to ¥100,000 for complying with business reduction requests issued while the measures are in place, Nishimura said, while large firms can receive up to ¥200,000.

 

thomas

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Here are the weekly updates, including the weekly changes. I have also added Ehime and Miyagi's data and might include other Kansai prefectures depending on how the situation evolves.


Nationwide infections:

31/03 (Wed)01/04 (Thu)02/04 (Fri)03/04 (Sat)04/04 (Son)06/04 (Mon)06/04 (Tue)
2,843 (+ 925)
2,606 (+ 689)
2,759 (+ 733)
2,775 (+ 702)
2,471 (+ 686)
1,572 (+ 227)
2,654 2 (+ 567)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

31/03 (Wed)01/04 (Thu)02/04 (Fri)03/04 (Sat)04/04 (Son)06/04 (Mon)06/04 (Tue)
47 (- 22) - 328 (+ 54)
49 (+ 19) - 380 (+ 55)
23 (- 6) - 394 (+ 71)
28 (- 3) - 408 (+ 77)
8 (- 24) - 431 (+ 90)
10 (- 19) - 445 (+ 103)
28 (+ 3) - 451 (+ 83)

Infections in selected prefectures:

31/03 (Wed)01/04 (Thu)02/04 (Fri)03/04 (Sat)04/04 (Son)06/04 (Mon)06/04 (Tue)
Aichi
99 (+ 25)
83 (+ 4)
145 (+ 81)
118 (+ 60)
116 (+ 30)
45 (- 41)
11 (- 28)
Chiba
106 (- 2)
101 (+ 3)
105 (- 30)
90 (- 9)
124 (+ 32)
88 (+ 43)
62 (- 19)
Ehime
35​
29​
27​
34​
29​
32​
43​
Hokkaido
76 (- 5)
57 (- 10)
57 (- 12)
66 (+ 4)
53 (- 21)
71 (+ 25)
63 (+ 7)
Hyogo
211 (+ 93)
199 (+ 99)
174 (+ 58)
206 (+ 42)
211 (+ 118)
87 (+ 17)
276 (+ 100)
Kanagawa
137 (+ 9)
133 (+ 12)
133 (+ 16)
129 (+ 27)
142 (+ 78)
68 (- 25)
100 (+ 4)
Miyagi
200​
133​
116​
136​
80​
55​
103​
Okinawa
111 (+ 43)
93 (+ 16)
103 (+ 14)
117 (+ 19)
96 (+ 28)
50 (+ 8)
98 (+ 11)
Osaka
599 (+ 337)
616 (+ 350)
613 (+ 313)
666 (+ 280)
593 (+ 270)
341 (+ 128)
719 (+ 287)
Saitama
152 (+ 31)
132 (+ 19)
163 (+ 28)
149 (+ 52)
135 (+ 21)
86 (- 16)
116 (+ 9)
Tokyo
420 (- 6)
475 (+ 81)
440 (+ 64)
446 (+ 16)
355 (+ 42)
249 (+ 15)
399 (+ 35)



In other news:

The surge of new cases in the Kansai region seems to be caused by the U.K. variant of the novel coronavirus.

With Osaka and neighbouring Hyogo Prefecture seeing a large rise in cases involving the far more infectious U.K. strain of the virus, the effectiveness of the measures being taken in both prefectures to prevent its spread is uncertain. On Monday night, under the one-month quasi-emergency measures, some 40 prefectural and city officials began patrols of nearly 40,000 establishments in the north, central and southern parts of Osaka city, where there are large concentrations of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and karaoke establishments. In neighbouring Hyogo Prefecture, similar patrols began in four cities, including Kobe. Patrols in both prefectures will be conducted until May 5. City officials are visiting individual establishments to ensure that they are closing their doors at 8 p.m. as ordered and that employees and customers are wearing masks, only taking them off when eating and drinking. They are also checking that panels separate customers seated at tables and that other social distancing measures are being followed.


Hachioji started to accept appointments for coronavirus vaccinations:

The Hachioji Municipal Government accepted appointments for the first shots via phone and internet. The 1,900 doses were made available to the city's around 160,000 residents aged 65 and older, and slots filled up a little over 90 minutes after the municipal government's appointment hotline and website opened at 9 a.m. That same afternoon, the city's public health center was flooded with inquiries as to when residents unable to make appointments could get vaccinated.


I first thought of a belated April Fools but it seems there is a new virus variant called "Eek":

Around 70% of coronavirus patients tested at a Tokyo hospital last month carried a mutation known for reducing vaccine protection, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday. The E484K mutation, nicknamed “Eek” by some scientists, was found in 10 of 14 people who tested positive for the virus at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Medical Hospital in March, the report said. For the two months through March, 12 of 36 COVID patients carried the mutation, with none of them having recently travelled abroad or reporting contact with people who had, it said.

 

thomas

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Today: Osaka 878, Tokyo 555, nationwide 3,449. A local emergency declared in Osaka. The fourth wave is riding on the new strains.


 

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Yesterday, Japan finally started to vaccinate senior citizens. Also, yesterday, my father called to tell me he'd received his second shot of the Moderna vaccine. Hurry up, Japan!

A total of 1,139 seniors received COVID-19 shots on the first day of the vaccination drive targeting that particular age group, the government said. [...] Local governments in at least 39 of the nation’s 47 prefectures were scheduled to start vaccinating older residents Monday at clinics as well as facilities such as public halls and gymnasiums, according to a Kyodo News tally. Vaccine deliveries to prefectures started last week with 100 boxes, each enough for two shots for 500 people. Each prefecture received two boxes, except for the more populous Tokyo, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures which each received four.


Many Japanese are wondering why the government's vaccine rollout is at a snail's pace...

A total of 60.3% of people in Japan surveyed in a recent poll said they were dissatisfied with the progress of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Kyodo News said Monday. The figure compared with 36.5% who said they were satisfied, in the nationwide telephone poll conducted by the agency between Saturday and Monday. In the poll, 92.6% said they felt anxious about a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, with 56.5% disapproving of the government’s handling of the pandemic and 35.9% expressing approval.

 

thomas

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The latest updates reflecting the weekly changes:


Nationwide infections:

07/04 (Wed)08/04 (Thu)09/04 (Fri)10/04 (Sat)11/04 (Son)12/04 (Mon)13/04 (Tue)
3,451 (+ 608)
3,447 (+ 841)
3,454 (+ 695)
3,697 (+ 922)
2,777 (+ 306)
2,107 (+ 535)
3,452 (+ 798)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

07/04 (Wed)08/04 (Thu)09/04 (Fri)10/04 (Sat)11/04 (Son)12/04 (Mon)13/04 (Tue)
30 (- 17) - 456 (+ 128)
22 (- 27) - 464 (+ 85)
33 (+ 10) - 483 (+ 89)
19 (- 9) - 511 (+ 103)
29 (+ 21) - 520 (+ 89)
18 (+ 8) - 563 (+ 118)
37 (+ 9) - 596 (+ 145)

Infections in selected prefectures:

07/04 (Wed)08/04 (Thu)09/04 (Fri)10/04 (Sat)11/04 (Son)12/04 (Mon)13/04 (Tue)
Aichi
188 (+ 89)
144 (+ 61)
172 (+ 27)
197 (+ 79)
129 (+ 13)
122 (+ 77)
168 (+ 157)
Chiba
76 (- 30)
94 (- 7)
102 (- 3)
94 (+ 4)
98 (- 26)
103 (+ 15)
62 (+- 0)​
Hokkaido
71 (- 5)
79 (+ 22)
83 (+ 26)
116 (+ 50)
69 (+ 16)
58 (- 13)
60 (- 3)
Hyogo
328 (+ 117)
311 (+ 112)
314 (+ 140)
351 (+ 145)
229 (+ 18)
159 (+ 72)
391 (+ 115)
Kanagawa
118 (- 19)
175 (+ 42)
168 (+ 35)
180 (+ 51)
132 (- 10)
94 (+ 26)
114 (+ 14)
Miyagi
118 (- 82)
87 (- 46)
121 (- 15)
109 (+ 75)
72 (- 8)
34 (- 21)
72 (- 31)
Okinawa
155 (+ 44)
140 (+ 47)
131 (+ 28)
146 (+ 29)
93 (- 3)
37 (- 13)
125 (+ 27)
Osaka
878 (+ 279)
905 (+ 289)
883 (+ 270)
918 (+ 252)
760 (+ 167)
603 (+ 262)
1,099 (+ 380)
Saitama
158 (+ 6)
154 (+ 22)
131 (- 32)
142 (- 7)
139 (+ 4)
96 (+ 10)
156 (+ 40)
Tokyo
555 (+ 135)
545 (+ 70)
537 (+ 97)
570 (+ 124)
421 (+ 66)
306 (+ 57)
510 (+ 111)



In other news:

Last Friday, the total number of (reported) infections surpassed 500,000. Hyogo and Osaka, currently experiencing the fourth wave of the novel coronavirus thought to be driven by new variants, imposed a "quasi-state of emergency" on Monday. About 70 per cent of patients in Hyogo and Osaka are estimated to have been infected with new variants, compared with just 10 per cent in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.


New record numbers in Osaka (see the table above):


Other prefectures, namely Aichi, Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba might impose "quasi-SoEs" as well:


Japan has started to vaccinate the elderly but vaccines continue to be in short supply:



Mr Kono, however, is certain that Japan's 36 million elderly will have received both their shots by the end of June:


And another party, involving 21 SDF members, turned into a cluster, this time in Djibouti:

 

Lothor

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And another 591 new cases in Tokyo (out of only 1829 tests!) and 1130 new cases in Osaka today.

I am very pessimistic about this. The increase in cases is undoubtedly due to new more infectious variants. My own country (the UK), whose response to Covid-19 in 2020 was appalling, finally got its act together and tested and vaccinated the hell out of the population in the first few months of 2021 and is now in a good position with fewer new cases than Japan. Even so, it got hit by one of the new strains and the number of new cases rose to over 50,000 a day at the start of the year and that was with a proper lockdown in place. I cannot see any way that Japan can avoid a similar fate.

Thomas - there's an extra figure in 3,447 (+ 6841) that shouldn't be there!

Edit: About the more infectious variants - It was reported on NHK news this evening that in Tokyo about 25% of the new cases are the UK variant (sorry, Japan!), whereas in Osaka it's as high as about 70%. The proportion of the variant is projected to increase to 100% in the next month or two.
 
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thomas

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Thanks, @Lothor. I have corrected the number.

It's quite similar in my country: despite strict lockdowns, the number of infections continues to increase. Strict means that people have to work from home (unless their job is "system-relevant"), all shops except for supermarkets and grocery stores are closed, and schools have switched to online classes. However, just like in the UK, vaccination efforts have been ramped up significantly.

I am afraid that the actual numbers in Japan are a multiple of what's reported every day. The "creative counting" and adjusting of numbers by discouraging people from taking tests and by disregarding test results of private clinics will go on to keep up the illusion of safe Games.

But no worries, we still have another 100 days.

 

mdchachi

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I sure hope they upgrade the vaccines to counter the variants soon.
 

salyavin

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I suspect what will happen is we will have to get an annual covid shot much like influenza. US is coming long got my whole family here with their first shot if they are 16 and older, we'll all have 2nd shot next month. My Japanese family in Japan no shot at all yet.
 

Petaris

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I suspect what will happen is we will have to get an annual covid shot much like influenza.

That is what I have been thinking as well. It will be a recurring vaccine like influenza. Maybe once every two years depending on how long the antibodies remain.
 

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Got to keep that money flowing into their company.

too.jpg
 

thomas

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Here are the weekly updates. A lot of red, but some prefectures, like Miyagi and Okinawa, have apparently managed to turn things around.


Nationwide infections:

14/04 (Wed)15/04 (Thu)16/04 (Fri)17/04 (Sat)18/04 (Son)19/04 (Mon)20/04 (Tue)
4,312 (+ 861)
4,576 (+ 1,129)
4,532 (+ 1,078)
4,802 (+ 1,105)
4,093 (+ 1,316)
2,907 (+ 800)
4,343 (+ 891)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

14/04 (Wed)15/04 (Thu)16/04 (Fri)17/04 (Sat)18/04 (Son)19/04 (Mon)20/04 (Tue)
44 (+ 14) - 608 (+ 152)
31 (+ 9) - 631 (+ 167)
38 (+ 5) - 670 (+ 187)
46 (+ 27) - 702 (+ 191)
38 (+ 9) - 723 (+ 203)
19 (+ 1) - 738 (+ 175)
30 (- 7) - 769 (+ 173)

Infections in selected prefectures:

14/04 (Wed)15/04 (Thu)16/04 (Fri)17/04 (Sat)18/04 (Son)19/04 (Mon)20/04 (Tue)
Aichi
216 (+ 28)
218 (+ 74)
224 (+ 52)
230 (+ 33)
207 (+ 78)
124 (+ 2)
190 (+ 22)
Chiba
97 (+ 21)
144 (+ 50)
155 (+ 53)
156 (+ 62)
145 (+ 47)
106 (+ 3)
106 (+ 44)
Hokkaido
77 (+ 6)
101 (+ 22)
98 (+ 15)
109 (- 7)
98 (+ 29)
78 (+ 20)
106 (+ 46)
Hyogo
507 (+ 179)
493 (+ 182)
510 (+ 196)
541 (+ 190)
406 (+ 177)
293 (+ 134)
427 (+ 36)
Kanagawa
205 (+ 87)
242 (+ 67)
209 (+ 41)
247 (+ 67)
220 (+ 88)
142 (+ 48)
157 (+ 43)
Miyagi
118 (- 22)
53 (- 34)
68 (- 53)
65 (- 44)
28 (- 44)
22 (- 12)
54 (- 18)
Okinawa
137 (- 18)
134 (- 6)
103 (- 28)
167 (+ 21)
92 (- 1)
32 (- 5)
115 (- 10)
Osaka
1,130 (+ 252)
1,208 (+ 303)
1,209 (+ 326)
1,161 (+ 243)
1,220 (+ 460)
719 (+ 116)
1,153 (+ 54)
Saitama
145 (- 13)
188 (+ 34)
163 (+ 32)
207 (+ 65)
166 (+ 27)
118 (+ 22)
207 (+ 51)
Tokyo
591 (+ 36)
729 (+ 184)
667 (+ 130)
759 (+ 189)
543 (+ 122)
405 (+ 99)
711 (+ 201)



In other news:

The N501Y variant of the coronavirus seems to be spreading not only in the Kansai region but also in Tokyo.

The proportion of confirmed N501Y cases identified in the screening was only around 3.1% in the week between March 22 and 28, but by April 5 to 11, this had risen to some 28.4% -- a nine-fold rise in just two weeks. N501Y has spread in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, both in western Japan's Kansai region, and appears to be behind the infection spike across the whole area. The metropolitan government calls people to refrain from travel between major urban areas where mutant strain infections are spreading. A senior metro government official said, "Osaka is proof that a rise in variant infection cases leads to steep rises in overall infections. We have to stop this soon."


It was reported that Japan managed to secure enough additional Pfizer vaccines to inoculate all residents over 15 years of age by the end of September.

Kono did not specify the number of extra doses sought from Pfizer but said Japan would secure enough supply by the end of September to inoculate all people over 16 years old. Suga made the request during telephone talks with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Saturday, the last day of his three-day visit to Washington, where he met with U.S. President Joe Biden. Kono said Pfizer is expected to file a request to expand its vaccine to adolescents aged 12 to 15 and has submitted a similar request in the United States. The government will take this into account in rolling out vaccinations, he said.


You might get your jab from your local dentist! 😳



The government has decided to declare another state of emergency in Osaka as the occupancy rate of hospital beds has risen rapidly. Tokyo governor Koike requested the national government to declare another state of emergency over Tokyo.



This website has updates on the bed occupancy rates nationwide and per prefecture.


Note: Two minor edits by Lothor (red colour added to one figure and 10660 changed to 106 for Hokkaido 20/04).
 
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thomas

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As expected, PM Suga declared the third SoE yesterday in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, starting tomorrow, 25 April, and lasting until 11 May. Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa are not included this time.

The third state of emergency attempts to strike a greater balance between virus containment and economic recovery. Effective Sunday, department stores, shopping centers, movie theaters and other large commercial facilities will be asked to close in the four prefectures until May 11. Dining establishments will be asked to close by 8 p.m., and those that serve alcohol or provide karaoke requested to suspend operations completely.​



The Japanese government has been severely criticised for its slow vaccine rollout. Interestingly, that delay does not seem to be related to a shortage of vaccines: Japan has received 17m doses, but only 1.5m have been administered so far! That's a little more than 1% of the population. Past vaccine controversies and a shortage of manpower seem to be the reason, and - unbelievable - concerns of equality:

It has received more than 17 million doses from Europe so far -- but only around 1.5 million people have had the first shot, with just over 827,000 fully vaccinated. "In Japan, people consider equality important," said Koji Wada, a professor at Japan's International University of Health and Welfare. "So if there are only 9,000 items for 10,000 people in need during a disaster, for example, some municipalities wouldn't provide them," he told AFP. Japan says it will have enough vaccines for everyone over 16 by September, but when those doses will be administered is less clear.

 

thomas

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Japan's Covid-19-related death toll yesterday exceeded 10,000.


Over twenty cases of a new Indian variant of the coronavirus have been found in Japan: one was found inside Japan and twenty others were discovered through airport quarantine. The 21 cases include five that had already been confirmed in the country.


Despite Japan's third SoE, the numbers of daily commuters do not seem to decline. I had to take two trains in Tokyo yesterday evening and confirm that occupancy was close to pre-pandemic levels.

 

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Nationwide infections:

21/04 (Wed)22/04 (Thu)23/04 (Fri)24/04 (Sat)25/04 (Son)26/04 (Mon)27/04 (Tue)
5,291 (+ 979)
5,499 (+ 923)
5,113 (+ 581)
5,606 (+ 804)
4,607 (+ 514)
3,320 (+ 413)
4,950 (+ 607)

Nationwide deaths - Seriously Ill:

21/04 (Wed)22/04 (Thu)23/04 (Fri)24/04 (Sat)25/04 (Son)26/04 (Mon)27/04 (Tue)
39 (- 5) - 791 (+ 183)
54 (+ 23) - 805 (+ 174)
36 (- 2) - 816 (+ 146)
54 (+ 8) - 837 (+ 135)
59 (+ 21) - 864 (+ 141)
59 (+ 40) - 898 (+ 160)
55 (+ 25) - 916 (+ 147)

Infections in selected prefectures:

21/04 (Wed)22/04 (Thu)23/04 (Fri)24/04 (Sat)25/04 (Son)26/04 (Mon)27/04 (Tue)
Aichi
312 (+ 96)
294 (+ 76)
284 (+ 60)
339 (+ 109)
225 (+ 18)
161 (+ 37)
281 (+ 91)
Chiba
112 (+ 15)
141 (- 3)
139 (- 16)
147 (- 9)
146 (+ 1)
90 (- 16)
129 (+ 23)
Hokkaido
124 (+ 47)
153 (+ 52)
158 (+ 60)
160 (+ 51)
110 (+ 12)
139 (+ 61)
121 (+ 15)
Hyogo
563 (+ 56)
547 (+ 54)
567 (+ 57)
635 (+ 94)
473 (+ 67)
310 (+ 17)
505 (+ 78)
Kanagawa
252 (+ 47)
318 (+ 76)
226 (+ 17)
216 (- 31)
221 (+ 1)
160 (+ 18)
212 (+ 55)
Miyagi
74 (- 44)
78 (+ 25)
25 (- 43)
36 (- 29)
31 (+ 3)
13 (- 9)
36 (- 18)
Okinawa
95 (- 42)
120 (- 14)
85 (- 18)
117 (- 50)
66 (- 26)
44 (+ 12)
86 (- 29)
Osaka
1,242 (+ 112)
1,167 (- 41)
1,162 (- 47)
1,097 (- 64)
1,050 (- 170)
924 (+ 205)
1,230 (+ 77)
Saitama
227 (+ 82)
233 (+ 45)
207 (+ 44)
229 (+ 22)
211 (+ 45)
109 (- 9)
183 (- 24)
Tokyo
843 (+ 252)
861 (+ 132)
759 (+ 92)
876 (+ 117)
635 (+ 92)
425 (+ 20)
828 (+ 117)



In other news:

This should have been planned and executed months ago: the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will set up a vaccination centre in central Tokyo by 24 May. By 20 May, the government will decide on whether to approve the Moderna vaccine or not. According to the U.S. State Department, Japan will remain a country "people should reconsider travelling to". Sixty-five per cent of Japan's 10,000 Coronavirus deaths occurred since January 2021, with the fourth wave mainly driven by new variants.

Last but not least: Unicharm has released a transparent mask that allows for better communication, particularly for the deaf.

unicharm-transparent-mask.jpg
 

Michael2

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Can anyone clarify the situation regarding spouses visiting Japan? I'm in the UK at the moment so can't visit as a tourist but would I be able to enter if I got a spouse visa as my wife is Japanese? From what I gather, I could, so long as I got a negative covid test 3 days prior to departure, but one or two sites seem to indicate differently.
 

Michael2

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Thanks Thomas.
That was one of the sites that differed. Although it's the embassy, they and other immigration related sites contain conflicting information, and "exceptional circumstances" is typically vague, and you would have thought they would be very specific in terms of who could enter.
I can actually understand why they might not know as in a way its none of their concern. They might issue a visa but immigration can still refuse entry for whatever reason, and the embassy has no responsibility to the traveller.
Finnair still thinks spouses can enter, and they would actually be closer to the action than the embassy would.


Did the J-government not backtrack after they initially refused to let any foreigners in last year, including PRs and spouses etc?
Thought I'd read something about that.
 

thomas

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I agree that official Japanese websites are - probably not unintentionally - quite cryptic; however, I would not bet my money on Finnair either. According to this website, spouses of Japanese nationals can apply for temporary or long-term visas "in urgent cases". What has changed is that foreign nationals with residence status and those who have left Japan with a valid re-entry permit are now allowed to re-enter Japan.
 

Michael2

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Cheers. I'll ring the embassy when I can and see what they say. I'm just curious really. Hopefully everyone in Japan gets vaccinated as soon at possible.
 
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