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Updated: 19 min 15 sec ago

Japan authorities agree to promote rural migration to combat virus

May 28, 2020 - 22:52
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and National Governors’ Association Chairman Kamon Iizumi agreed Thursday to work together in promoting “a new way of living” and migration to rural areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
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Cabinet endorses extra draft budget

May 27, 2020 - 20:44
The Japanese government has compiled a second supplementary budget for the current fiscal year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The planned spending of 31.9 trillion yen, or more than 296 billion dollars, is a record for a supplementary budget. (NHK)
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Japan's local governments struggling with applications for virus cash

May 21, 2020 - 22:36
Many Japanese local municipalities are struggling to distribute the universal ¥100,000 coronavirus cash relief due to a heavy workload resulting from handling online applications. (Japan Times)
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Top Tokyo prosecutor with close ties to Abe resigns after gambling exposé

May 21, 2020 - 22:17
The head of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor's Office, who has been the focus of intense scrutiny over his close relationship with the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, submitted his resignation Thursday following a report that he had participated in a game of mahjong while gambling with newspaper employees. (Japan Times)
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Govt. panel discusses ending emergency declaration

May 21, 2020 - 22:16
The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency in three prefectures in western Japan. (NHK)
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Japan urges Taiwan's participation in WHO assembly

May 19, 2020 - 22:03
Japan on Tuesday urged the World Health Organization to allow Taiwan to join its plenary sessions as an observer to discuss the global response to the new coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Today)
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Abe shelves bill on retirement age of prosecutors after public pressure

May 18, 2020 - 21:40
The government and ruling coalition parties agreed Monday to shelve a plan to enact a law to extend the retirement age of prosecutors during the current Diet session, amid heated criticism from the Japanese public led by celebrities who have taken to Twitter to express their opposition. (Japan Today)
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Japanese politician gets caught watching crocodile video during Diet session

May 17, 2020 - 21:50
During a House of Representatives Cabinet Committee meeting on May 13, Takuya Hirai, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, was photographed watching a video of a crocodile on his tablet. Unsurprisingly, the video was not at all related to the meeting’s topic, which was about the retirement age for prosecutors. (Japan Today)
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China cozies up to Japan and South Korea as ties with U.S. sour over coronavirus

May 17, 2020 - 21:36
While China’s tensions with the United States and Australia have been sharply intensifying over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak, the Asian power has been apparently aiming to bolster ties with its neighbors — Japan and South Korea. (Japan Times)
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In blow to Abe, panel delays showdown over prosecutor retirement bill

May 15, 2020 - 22:45
In an unexpected move, the Lower House Cabinet Committee on Friday postponed a vote on a bill that would extend the retirement age for prosecutors, pushing back a showdown over the controversial plan until next week. (Japan Times)
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Abe: Need to brace for 2nd, 3rd wave of infections

May 15, 2020 - 22:35
Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has renewed his call to keep thorough measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, after lifting the state of emergency in 39 prefectures. (NHK)
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Man paid by ex-justice minister to gain votes for wife in election

May 13, 2020 - 22:06
A man who received money from former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai to support his wife's election campaign told prosecutors he had been tasked with winning votes for her from supporters of an incumbent lawmaker, sources close to the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
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Japan plans to lift coronavirus emergency in 39 prefectures

May 13, 2020 - 21:30
The government plans to lift the state of emergency declared over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in 39 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, officials said Wednesday, a move that could lead to the gradual resumption of restricted social and economic activities. (Japan Times)
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Lower house passes bill allowing delayed pension payout

May 12, 2020 - 22:24
Japan's lower house passed a bill Tuesday revising the pension law, allowing people to start receiving benefits as late as age 75, with the rapidly aging country seeking to let more seniors stay in or join the labor market. (Japan Today)
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Tokyo starts distributing cash to businesses shuttered due to virus

May 11, 2020 - 21:39
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday started compensating small- and medium-sized businesses that had suspended operations through last week amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
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Millions online protest prosecutor law revision

May 11, 2020 - 21:16
Artists and other celebrities in Japan were among millions of people who have been posting protests online against a government bill that could extend the retirement age of public prosecutors. (NHK)
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Celebrities lead protest tweets over Abe's legal change attempt

May 10, 2020 - 21:54
A number of Japanese celebrities took to Twitter this weekend to criticize the government's attempt to extend the retirement age for prosecutors, with one warning the move could "destroy" the country. (Kyodo)
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State of emergency may be lifted in some prefs

May 10, 2020 - 21:48
Japan's government says it may lift the nationwide state of emergency for the coronavirus outbreak before the planned end date of May 31. This would apply to some of the 13 prefectures now under special alert, as well as many other prefectures. (NHK)
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Japan's ruling bloc agrees on rent relief plan for virus-hit firms

May 8, 2020 - 22:54
Japan's ruling parties finalized on Friday a plan to cover part of the monthly rent of small and midsize businesses struggling under the economic impact of the new coronavirus. (Japan Today)
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Emergency may end around May 14 in some areas

May 7, 2020 - 22:53
Japan's government says it may lift the country's state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak in some prefectures around May 14. (NHK)
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