This week’s news article is here to report on the latest Tokyo Olympics news, updates on cherry blossom season, plus changes being made to the most popular messaging app in Japan.
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This Week’s News Trends in Japan
Olympics to Prohibit Overseas Fans, Most Volunteers From Attending
After rescheduling the 2020 Olympics to this summer, worries about the coronavirus and its variants have led the Olympics committee to make the decision to bar spectators and volunteers from abroad from attending the games. This comes after much discussion and debate over whether the Tokyo Olympics will carry on in the face of the current pandemic.
An exception will be made for overseas volunteers whose skills are deemed necessary for the Olympics to run smoothly. With most overseas fans canceling their tickets, though, this decision is expected to significantly impact the Japanese economy and the Olympics budget.
Source: Japan Times
Cherry Blossoms Bloom Early Across Japan
Springtime brings cherry blossom (or sakura) season in Japan, and this year saw cherry blossom trees blooming earlier than usual.
In Tokyo, cherry blossoms were in full bloom at the start of the week, 12 days earlier than average. On the same day, the Tokyo area state of emergency was lifted. However, most cherry blossom festivals have been canceled as some restrictions continue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid Data Leak, Line to Transfer Databases
Japan’s most popular and widely used messaging app Line suffered a security breach after user data was leaked last week. The data, currently stored in South Korea, was accessed by a Chinese affiliate without user consent.
Concerns have been raised regarding privacy and national security. In response, Line is planning to transfer databases to Japan to better oversee user data storage.
Source: Kyodo News
Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay Begins
The Olympic torch relay began in Fukushima on Thursday leading up to the opening ceremony to take place on July 23. Despite concerns over the Olympics worsening the spread of the coronavirus in Japan, the Olympics are set for this summer, with the torch relay acting as a symbolic test. So far, adjustments have been made due to COVID-19, such as fans social-distancing while watching the torch relay. The opening ceremony for the relay was also closed to the public.
Source: Japan Today
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