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In dire warning, Abe urges vigilance to avoid COVID-19 spike and vows extraordinary steps to support Japanese economy

March 28, 2020 - 21:17
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the nation a dire warning Saturday that it could see its hospitals overwhelmed and the death toll skyrocket if the coronavirus gets out of control, but pledged to draw up an economic relief package even bigger than the one used to sustain the economy during the 2008 global financial crisis. (Japan Times)
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92 from Chicago let in at Narita airport without being asked to self-isolate

March 27, 2020 - 20:40
The health ministry said Friday 92 passengers and crew members aboard a flight from Chicago to Narita airport near Tokyo were allowed to enter Japan without being asked to self-isolate for 14 days and refrain from using public transport. (Japan Today)
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Abe says wife's behavior not inappropriate

March 27, 2020 - 20:29
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dismissed criticism of his wife attending a gathering to view cherry blossoms at a time when such a meeting is not recommended because of the threat of the coronavirus. (NHK)
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Abe: Tokyo lockdown would damage Japan economy

March 27, 2020 - 20:17
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned that Japan's economy would be hard hit if Tokyo is locked down due to the coronavirus. (NHK)
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All of Tokyo's neighbors are telling people to stay out of the city this weekend

March 26, 2020 - 21:45
On Wednesday night, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike asked residents of Japan’s capital to remain home as much as possible over the coming weekend in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Now, one day after Tokyoites were told to stay in their homes, people in all four of its neighboring prefectures are being told to stay out of the city. (
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Germany calls Japan's coronavirus bluff. Embassy says, 'Nippon is lying. Expect a surge of coronavirus cases.'

March 26, 2020 - 21:31
Germany has decided that saving lives is more important than saving face. In a rather undiplomatic letter to German citizens in Japan posted on the Embassy Of Germany’s web site on March 24, the embassy did not mince words in discussing Japan’s poor handling of coronavirus testing. It warns that we should assume there are a high number of unreported carriers. (
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Tokyo Governor calls on residents not to go out

March 25, 2020 - 19:38
Tokyo governor is calling on residents in the city to stay home this coming weekend unless they absolutely need to go out. (NHK)
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Japan, IOC agree to postpone Tokyo Olympics for one year

March 24, 2020 - 13:26
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone this summer's Tokyo Olympics for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese leader said. (NHK)
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Tokyo Games head hints at accepting postponement

March 23, 2020 - 18:33
The head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has indicated that it would consider the possibility of postponing the games as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world. (NHK)
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Abe urges event organizers to use caution

March 20, 2020 - 18:12
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants organizers of large-scale events to continue exercising caution by assessing the risk of coronavirus infections. (NHK)
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Japan, U.S. agree to cooperate over border controls amid virus outbreak

March 20, 2020 - 18:08
Japanese and U.S. foreign ministers on Friday agreed to closely cooperate in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, recognizing the need to enact border controls for a certain period of time to address the global health crisis. (Kyodo)
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Swift Olympic cancellation will boost Japan's soft power

March 19, 2020 - 19:29
On March 3, in response to the yearlong #KuToo protest against employers forcing working women to follow impractical dress codes, like mandatory high heels, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that this should not be allowed. (Nikkei)
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Aso calls Tokyo Olympics 'cursed' amid cancellation concern

March 18, 2020 - 19:09
Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday referred to the 2020 Olympics as "cursed" due to mounting speculation that the Games may need to be postponed or canceled over the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)
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Japanese government mulls cash handouts to households to ease virus impact

March 18, 2020 - 19:00
The Japanese government and the ruling coalition are considering providing cash to households in an effort to boost personal spending amid the coronavirus outbreak, sources said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
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Abe vows bold stimulus but avoids declaring emergency

March 14, 2020 - 21:11
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government will inject "necessary and sufficient" funds into the economy and use "unprecedented ideas" to bring back growth. (Nikkei)
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Japan's Diet unites, on surface at least, to pass coronavirus emergency bill

March 13, 2020 - 21:38
After a whirlwind week of coronavirus developments and setbacks that have placed much of the world on edge, the Upper House on Friday approved legislation authorizing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency. (Japan Times)
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Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike

March 12, 2020 - 22:20
Preventing Japanese from gathering to enjoy cherry blossom season because of coronavirus would be like "taking hugs away from Italians," the governor of Tokyo said on Thursday. (Japan Today)
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Japan's lawmakers debate state of emergency

March 11, 2020 - 18:52
Japan's lawmakers are deliberating a bill that would allow the prime minister to declare a state of emergency to tackle the coronavirus. It has passed one stage in the approval process. (NHK)
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Japan's local governments urged to prep for COVID-19 rush on hospitals

March 9, 2020 - 16:46
The health ministry said Monday it has urged local governments to prepare their hospitals for an influx of people infected with the new coronavirus, and has provided metrics that can be used to calculate the numbers expected at the outbreak’s peak. (Japan Times)
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Politician apologizes for auctioning off masks

March 9, 2020 - 16:38
A local politician in Japan has apologized for selling thousands of face masks via online auctions at a time when they are in short supply due to the coronavirus outbreak. (NHK)
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