This week’s news article is here to report the latest COVID and Tokyo Olympics news. Plus a new autonomous car from Honda.
Check out Guidable News for weekly news and trends in Japan!
The SOE Is Extend in Tokyo For Two More Weeks
An advisory panel of medical experts approved the government’s decision to extend the state of emergency until March 21.
Nishimura Yasutoshi, the minister in charge of the COVID response, stated several reasons for the extension. First, although the number of COVID cases is decreasing, it is not happening actively enough to lift the emergency. The second reason is that hospitals’ bed occupancy is still quite high.
The minister added that since the extension is just two weeks, it will not have a significant impact on the business and confirmed commitment to the smooth rollout of the vaccine.
Source: NHK World
Japan Is Likely To Extend Border Control Measurements For Foreigners
With the SOE being extended, it is more than likely that the government will keep the strict border measures enact. At the moment, only Japanese nationals returning from abroad, foreigners who have valid residency status and those seeking refugee status are allowed to enter.
The government also imposes stricter regulations for people coming from countries where the new variance of COVID is especially active such as Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, U.K., South Africa, Israel, Ireland, and Brazil’s Amazonas state. Where people coming from countries that are not on the list have to submit proof that he/she is not infected with COVID, plus stay in the house or a hotel for the 14-day quarantine, people from the countries above have to stay at a special faculty designated by the government for 3 days in addition to the 14-day quarantine.
Source: The Japan Times
Olympics Without Foreign Visitors?
As once postponed Tokyo Olympics are approaching, the sentiment that the increase in foreign visitors may be accompanied by a surge in COVID cases is growing among the Japanese public. To keep the public at ease, the Japanese government may be planning a radical step, that is to ban all of the foreign visitors from visiting the Olympics.
Of course, such measures will take a toll on the Olympics’ financial success so will the reduction of stadium attendance to 50% of its capacity. The government and the officials are committed to coming out with the final decision in April or May.
Source: The Japan News
New Honda Car
Have 11 million yen to spend on the car? Good because Honda just introduced the new “Legend” sedan equipped with the “level-3” autonomous technology. The car allows a driver to take a break in certain situations like a congested highway meaning that you can relax by reading a book or watching a TV in a traffic jam while the car drives autonomously. However, if the speed exceeds 50 kph the driver is asked to take control of the car.
Source: The Japan Times