ABOUT CORONA VIRUS IN JAPAN
Key points worth noting (as of May 14):
- On May 14, Japanese government decided to lift a state of emergency for 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures where the coronavirus is currently not spreading widely ahead of the measure’s planned expiry at the end of this month. However, most crowded prefectures such as Tokyo are still kept under state of emergency.
- Due to emergency hospitals still being crowded with patients, government extended the nationwide state of emergency declaration to 31 May 2020. However, at some prefectures are seeing less than 10 new infections per day, many prefectures have started preparations for easing the limitations on movement and are allowing retail operators to begin opening their stores. Some stores in Tokyo have started opening from May 13, and many are planning to open before entering the weekend on Friday May 15.
- On April 16, PM Abe declared a nationwide state of emergency for Japan until May 6. Many view though this period too short and several experts expect that the period will be extended to at least mid- or late May. As the state of emergency also covers one of the biggest national holidays in Japan, the Golden Week, the decline in domestic travel will give a heavy blow to domestic travel and hotel industry, as for many small operators the sales during the Golden Week are crucial in covering the decline in sales during the low season.
- PM Abe declared a state of emergency on Tuesday April 7th for Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama in Kanto, and for Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka in other parts of Japan. After the declaration, citizens will be asked to refrain from nonessential outings, but there is no curfew as there have been in some other countries.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a special page regarding traveling and coronavirus
- Finnair flies their last flight between Finland and Japan for the time being departing Helsinki on March 25 and from Narita on March 26. The next planned Japan flight after this was scheduled for beginning of May to Haneda, but due to Japan not currently issuing visa for several countries (including Finland and most European countries) the restart of the flights has been postponed. (Note that plans can currently change even on very short notice)
- Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, declares a state of emergency in Finland over coronavirus outbreak. Also many other European countries have posed similar restrictions and due to this possibilities to enter Finland and EU are limited.
- Most conferences, trade fairs and bigger events since early March both in Tokyo and other parts of the country have been cancelled for the Spring, also for the most part of the Summer. Many companies are still hesitant to schedule anything for Summer months as several limitation seem to continue.
- in English: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates
- The phone number for the hotline is 03-6233-9266.
- in English: https://www.amdamedicalcenter.com/activities
Latest update: 14.05.2020
Japanese News Agency Kyodo News released daily updates of the major news relating to developments in the situation.
Currently visible consequences to people and business:
- Please note that Japan has stopped issuing visas and landing permissions for travelers coming from certain countries infected with virus. Even if your area would not be listed, you might still be subject to quarantine. Please confirm with the Japanese official for the latest information.
- Major trade fairs, such as FOODEX and Sea Japan either been cancelled or postponed in accordance to Japan government’s request to refrain from holding larger gatherings and events. Currently cancelled events include events for Spring 2020, but increasingly organizers have started cancelling also events scheduled for Summer 2020, some even cancelling events planned for Fall 2020.
- In case you are already in Japan on business and you have scheduled meeting at local companies, do note that some companies might have a company ruling that all meeting with people from outside of the company should be cancelled and meeting over Internet using applications such as Teams, Zoom, Whatsapp, Webex are preferred by many.
- In addition to many Western companies shifting to teleworking, increasingly more and more Japanese companies have also issued company ruling to work from home if possible. However, many Japanese companies are either lacking the technological facilities or know-how on teleworking, which is why might see many people commuting on trains regardless of the request by the government to avoid unnecessary outings.
- Government has adviced schools to consider closing for the coming weeks in order to stop the virus from spreading, and in the most affected areas schools are planning to stay closed at least until the Golden Week. Depending on prefecture, some have decided to close while some have decided to keep the schools open for now. Some universities have announced that they will be conducting all Spring semester courses as e-classes.
If you wish to see the global situation, please click here to visit statistics updated by Johns Hopkins CSSE.