The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives across the world, changing the way people work and connect with one another in unprecedented ways. In late March, the International Olympic Committee postponed the Summer Olympics, originally scheduled to begin in Tokyo in July. As of May 26, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the state of emergency declaration for all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, prompting various businesses to reopen with some restrictions.

While feelings of uncertainty and fear are understandable reactions to the current climate, it’s important for people to not panic. Staying informed and taking necessary precautions, like wearing masks and washing your hands, are essential to protecting yourself and others.

Important Updates

May 26, 2020 – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the state of emergency declaration for Tokyo, as well as Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Hokkaido, on Monday, May 25. The state of emergency is now lifted for all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

In the capital, cultural attractions like museums and art galleries may reopen with some restrictions, and events may be held for up to 50 people. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is requesting residents to reduce contact activities by 50 percent. A re-imposition of the emergency state is possible if infections spike, Abe warned in his speech on Monday.

April 2020 – On April 16, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the state of emergency to apply to all 47 prefectures to prevent further outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Previously, the declaration only applied to Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo, Fukuoka and Saitama.

The nationwide emergency state, recently extended until May 31, leaves essential services and businesses (like supermarkets, hospitals and transportation systems) open to the public.

To help curb the country’s financial crisis, Japan adopted a landmark emergency economic package worth ¥108 trillion. A former plan to provide a ¥300,000 handout to households financially affected by COVID-19 has been replaced with a ¥100,000 cash handout scheme for all citizens and foreign residents.

Apply for the ¥100,000 handout by filling out the application form that will be mailed to you by your local municipal government office. Those with a My Number card may apply online through a government portal, which has yet to be released. Check here for more details about the new plan and other financial support programs.

Japan Statistics

Confirmed Cases: 16,628
Recovered: 13,612
Deaths: 851

Updated May 26, 2020. Check here for the latest updates on COVID-19 in Tokyo.

I might have COVID-19. What do I do?

Call 03-5320-4592 (24-hours, Japanese only) if you’ve had the following symptoms for four days or more (two days for senior citizens, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women).

For support in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Thai, call the Tokyo Health Care Information Center (Himawari) at 03-5285-8181 (9am–8pm, daily).

  • Common cold-like symptoms

  • Fever of above 37.5℃ or higher

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Difficulty breathing

Call the Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 0120-5656-53 (9am–9pm, Japanese only) if you are showing symptoms and the following conditions apply to you.

  • Have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19
  • Have traveled to or resided in areas where COVID-19 is prevalent or have been in close contact with such a person

For more information, check this page.

How to protect yourself and others

As there is no vaccination for the coronavirus yet, it’s advised that individuals take preventative actions against the new virus:

  • Respiratory hygiene: Cover your mouth when you sneeze or use a tissue and throw it away. If you’re wearing a mask, make sure you’re putting it on correctly. If it’s disposable, throw it away safely and replace it at least daily.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, particularly after touching public surfaces and before and after you eat.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel as much as possible.
  • Work remotely from home if possible rather than going into the office.
  • Wipe down and clean your mobile phone regularly.
  • Check your airline news regularly as some flights to certain destinations might be canceled.

What if I’m traveling to Japan?

If you are planning on traveling to Japan and you’re worried about the coronavirus, here are some steps you can take to help keep you healthy and safe:

  • If possible, bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and face masks from your home country, as it can be difficult to find these products in Japan.
  • Avoid traveling at rush hour when possible.
  • If traveling to other tourist attractions, check websites for closures before purchasing tickets and keep up to date with the local news.
  • If you’re worried while traveling through Japan, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Support is available in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.From Japan 050-3816-2787
    From Overseas +81-50-3816-2787

Support for victims of domestic violence

Due to a rise in domestic violence cases during the coronavirus outbreak, DV Soudan+ is offering a hotline service (available in 10 languages from May 1) as well as other forms of support such as professional counseling, financial assistance and help finding shelter.

Children, spouses and partners who feel unsafe, afraid or helpless in their current environment can reach out by phone, mail or through a chatroom. For more information about the signs and effects of domestic violence, as well as other important resources, visit TELL Japan’s Domestic Violence page.

Read our article on domestic violence in Japan for more information and important resources that can help provide assistance.

Guide to coronavirus for cancer patients

Older adults with cancer and chronic illness have the highest risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19. This English guide provides important information about protecting cancer patients during this time, advice for caregivers, cancer treatment and additional resources.

 

Check our COVID-19 page for all our articles related to coronavirus in Japan.

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