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New virus wave in Japan is older, more serious, data show

DIFFERENCES between Japan’s most recent coronavirus surge and a wave subdued in the summer are giving lawmakers pause, and forcing experts to adjust their strategies as the country enters winter with a population that’s been counted as the most vulnerable in the world.

Japan, Philippines partner for online video series #WeAreAthletes

LOOKING to cultivate physical fitness, inclusivity and a sense of community during this challenging time with the pandemic, the Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) has partnered with local sports personalities for the online video series #WeAreAthletes.

Japan fights COVID-19 in luxurious style with million-yen masks

TOKYO — Japanese trend-setters can now protect against the coronavirus in luxurious style with opulent masks adorned with diamonds and pearls for a cool million yen ($9,600) each.

Japan’s ramen bars struggle to stay open as COVID hammers small...

TOKYO — Sixty-year-old Yashiro Haga is folding his Tokyo noodle ramen shop after 15 years in December, unable to overcome the prospect of a...

Human beings live longer, can healthcare systems keep up?

Human beings live for an average of 72 years. In 1960, the year the United Nations began keeping global data, this number was 52.5...

Change of tune: Japan music fans moving from CDs to streaming...

TOKYO — Japanese music enthusiasts, loyal to CDs long after the rest of the world went online, have begun reaching for the eject button and switching to streaming services as artists cancel in-store events and fans stay home because of the pandemic.

Biden reassures US allies in calls with leaders of Japan, S....

SEOUL/TOKYO/WILMINGTON, Del. — In their first calls with Joe Biden since the US election, the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia on Thursday reaffirmed plans to form close ties with the president-elect to tackle issues including climate change and regional security.

Japan formally proclaims Crown Prince Akishino heir to throne

TOKYO — Japan formally proclaimed Crown Prince Akishino the first in line as heir to the throne on Sunday, the last of a series of ceremonies after his elder brother, Emperor Naruhito, became monarch last year following their father’s abdication.

As Japan moves to revive countryside, pandemic chases many from cities

TOKYO — When the coronavirus outbreak caused rice and instant noodles to disappear from supermarket shelves in Tokyo this year, Kaoru Okada, 36, decided to leave the capital because he was worried about food security.

Japan approves technical aid for four PHL infrastructure projects

THE Japanese government has approved ¥3.1 billion (P1.44 billion) worth of technical assistance for four infrastructure projects in the Philippines as it reaffirms its commitment to support the administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program.

PHL, Japan to discuss ‘Build, Build, Build’ progress reports in midweek...

PHILIPPINE and Japanese officials will convene today the Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation to discuss the progress of Japan-funded infrastructure projects.

Japan, Vietnam reach broad agreement on transfer of defense gear

HANOI — Japan and Vietnam agreed on Monday to strengthen security and economic ties, including an agreement in principle for Japan to export military gear and technology to the Southeast Asian nation, amid concerns about China’s regional assertiveness.

Japan to sign agreement allowing arms exports to Vietnam

TOKYO — Japan plans to sign an agreement with Vietnam to allow it to export defence equipment and technology to the country, part of a move to strengthen defence capabilities of Indo-Pacific nations to counter Chinese maritime advances, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Asia-Pacific countries ease travel restrictions but hurdles remain

SYDNEY — Asia-Pacific countries including Singapore, Australia and Japan are gradually easing some international travel restrictions as coronavirus cases slow, in hopes of helping to revive their economies.

Giant robot moving in Japan harbor entrances millions on Twitter

TOKYO — Videos showing an 18-meter robot in the Japanese harbor city of Yokohama have entranced the Twitterverse, pulling in more than 6 million...

Japan remains top source of ODA with over $10 billion in...

JAPAN remained the Philippines’ top source of foreign aid in the first half, with $10.03 billion as of June, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Japan’s Suga wins ruling party race to replace Abe as prime...

JAPANESE Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was elected leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) by an overwhelming majority, ushering in the country’s first change of prime minister in almost eight years.

Traditional ‘Bunraku’ puppets for children help Japanese master endure coronavirus shutdown

OSAKA, Japan — Stuck at home for weeks while Japan was under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, renowned Japanese Bunraku puppet master Kanjuro Kiritake, all his performances canceled for months, was stricken with deep anxiety.

Death knell sounds for Japan’s oldest department stores

TOKYO — After more than three centuries in business, the Onuma department store in the northern Japanese city of Yamagata began bankruptcy proceedings this year — one of many distinguished department stores across the country in dire straits.

Shinzo Abe had a lot of time, but not enough

WHEN Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his pending resignation last week for health reasons, he had been in office for nearly eight years, the longest such stint in Japanese history. But even that wasn’t long enough to fulfill the potential of his premiership. His successors would be wise to appreciate why.

Coronavirus crisis threatens to unravel Japanese artist’s kimono ambitions

TOKYO-- Japanese artist Hiroko Takahashi fought through sexism and suspicion from traditional kimono artisans to establish a globally known brand that sold hundreds of her original garments every month -- until the coronavirus devastation hit.

Japan’s Suga to join race to succeed PM Abe — media

TOKYO — Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga will join the race to succeed his boss Shinzo Abe as prime minister, local media said on Sunday, as the competition heats up to succeed Japan’s longest-serving leader.

Pooled testing only works in areas with little incidence of COVID-19:...

The Department of Health (DoH) on Friday said pooled testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is only effective in areas where incidence of...

Gargling solution flies off Japan’s shelves after governor touts anti-virus effect

TOKYO — Japanese drugstores were stripped bare of gargling solution by Wednesday, a day after the governor of the western prefecture of Osaka suggested it could help fight coronavirus, triggering panic buying reminiscent of the early days of mask shortages.

Japan’s renowned artists find inspiration from pandemic

TOKYO — Some of Japan’s best-known artists are finding new avenues of expression in areas such as online communication and the environment, as the novel coronavirus outbreak sparks ideas as radical as renaming the country’s “Reiwa” imperial era.

Japan’s Suga sees difficult balance between virus fight, economy

Japan is trying to both contain a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak and support the economy, especially the tourism sector, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Pandemic forces Japan’s analog businesses to turn to digital solutions

THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic may be a drag on economies across the globe, but in Japan it’s bringing long-overdue change in work habits and tools.

S.Korean statue showing Japan PM Abe bowing to ‘comfort woman’ draws...

SEOUL/TOKYO - The Japanese government reacted angrily on Tuesday to a statue in South Korea that appears to depict Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe kneeling and bowing to a "comfort woman," a euphemism for women forced to work in Japan's wartime brothels.

Japan approves dexamethasone as coronavirus treatment

TOKYO — Japan’s health ministry has approved dexamethasone, a cheap and widely used steroid, as a second treatment of COVID-19 after a trial in Britain showed the drug reduced death rates in hospitalized patients.

Big majority of Japanese reject gov’t tourism campaign amid new coronavirus...

TOKYO — Most people in Japan are against government plans to kickstart domestic tourism with a subsidized campaign, according to newspaper surveys published on Monday, as fears grow over the number of new coronavirus cases, particularly in Tokyo.

Japan domestic tourism campaign under fire as coronavirus cases spike

TOKYO — A Japan government campaign to kick-start domestic tourism after the coronavirus outbreak has come under fire with officials in Tokyo and the countryside saying it’s too soon to boost travel from the capital, hit by a spike in new cases.

Japan to pay nightlife establishments to shut

JAPAN has begun requesting some nightlife establishments to suspend their businesses in return for monetary compensation, signaling the nation is stepping up its fight against coronavirus outbreaks amid growing public outcry.

Japan could reimpose state of emergency in worst-case scenario

TOKYO — Japan is not in a situation now where it needs to declare another state of emergency over the coronavirus but could do so in a worst-case scenario, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Wednesday.

When the virus hit, Japan already had an army of contact...

The virus might have been new, but for Yuko Koizumi the work was still the same.

As Japan, Inc. battles coronavirus, liquidity and bank deposits rise at...

TOKYO — Japan’s money stock, or currency in circulation and bank deposits, rose at the fastest annual pace on record in May as companies hoarded cash to guard against slumping sales from the coronavirus pandemic, central bank data showed on Tuesday.

Amid rising talk of negative rates, Japan, Europe policies get tweaks

TOKYO/FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON — After years of applying plenty of stick to commercial lenders unhappy with negative interest rate policies, central bankers in the euro zone and Japan are experimenting with some carrot, too.

DoH ready to repatriate Pinoys on virus-stricken cruise ship

THE Department of Health (DoH) said on Friday that repatriation measures are ready as they expect at least 460 Filipinos who had been quarantined for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on board cruise ship MV Diamond Princess to come home on Sunday.

Duterte to boost China, Japan ties post-VFA

THE Philippine military will boost defense ties with allies in the region including China, Japan and Australia after President Rodrigo R. Duterte ended a military agreement with the US on the deployment of troops for war games, its new chief said on Wednesday.

Japan offers to help Manila screen coronavirus strain

JAPAN has offered to help the Philippines screen a new strain of coronavirus that has killed more than a hundred in China and sickened thousands more, the Health department said on Wednesday.

Business group seeks faster connectivity between Davao, Japan

DAVAO CITY — Local business leaders are now pushing for triangular flights with Manila or Cebu to establish faster connectivity between Davao and Japan.

Japan wants to go cashless, but elderly still reluctant to make...

TOKYO — Cash is king in Japan, and more so for the country’s fast-ageing population who are still deeply reluctant to give it up.

Japan banks to undergo stress test to prepare for crisis

TOKYO — Japan’s major financial institutions are set to undergo a stress test to prepare for any major shakeout in financial markets in light of worries about a global recession and a protracted Sino-US trade war, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Fear of retirement poverty drives Japanese to private pensions

JAPANESE households are rushing to private retirement products after a government report fueled fears that the national pension system won’t be enough to support them during old age.

An army of Japanese salarymen is rocking global currency markets

POPULAR TALES of “Mrs. Watanabe” — the canny Tokyo housewife who dabbles in currency trading in between school runs and shopping — barely begin to tell the story of Japan’s retail traders in the foreign exchange market.

Samurai, Ninja loans boom as Japan’s regional banks hunt for yield

TOKYO — Japanese regional banks are increasingly lending to foreign companies and other borrowers via samurai and ninja loans as they struggle with interest rates stuck at zero and seek to diversify their customer base.