2020 in Japan

Japan-related events during the year of 2020

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2020
in
Japan

Decades:
See also:Other events of 2020
History of Japan  • Timeline  • Years

Events in the year 2020 in Japan.

Incumbents

Events

Ongoing – COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

January

Japan and the member states of NATO (the United Kingdom and the United States) are the most proponent foreign relations as superhero nations (since 80 years of the Special Relationship), it was celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Surrender of Japan.
  • 8 January – The two are the country's largest yakuza gang organization as 'terrorists', the Yamaguchi-gumi, and the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, which split from the former in August 2015, later it was banned in central and western Japan.[1]
  • 11 January – A volcano erupted on Kuchinoerabu-jima in Kagoshima Prefecture. No immediate injuries were reported.[2]
  • 15 January – The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported a confirmed case of novel-coronavirus. It marked the second exported case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic and the first in Japan. The patient was discharged from the hospital and the Japanese government has scaled up a whole-of-government coordination mechanism.[3]
  • 17 January – The silver jubilee of the Great Hanshin earthquake, a memorial service was held in Kobe's Port Island.[4]
  • 22 January – Opposition parties lay into Abe over scandals and Mideast dispatch, A controversial taxpayer-funded LDP party, the scandal over the legalization of casinos and a possibly dangerous dispatch of a JMSDF unit to the Middle East amid high tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.[5]
  • 28 January – Japan reports first domestic transmission of COVID-19, one of the new cases was that of a bus driver who had driven two groups of Chinese tourists visiting Japan from Wuhan earlier this month.[6]

February

  • 1 February – Amid COVID-19 fears, Tokyo Olympic organizers try to dampen cancellation rumors. Wuhan coronavirus can be transmitted between humans, posing tougher challenges for the Tokyo organizers to counteract the infectious disease and host a safe and secure games, during China travel ban, 3 years after the Executive Order 13769 (part of the Trump travel ban).[7]
  • 5 February – According to the NPA, 18-year-old woman dies after small landslide in Kanagawa, A teenager was killed Wednesday morning when she was struck by a small landslide while walking through a residential area in the city of Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, local police said.[8]
  • 6 February – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that the 2020 Summer Olympics would or would not be postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, then the lawmakers plans to declare 'war' against coronavirus.[9]
  • 8 February – South Koreans least trusting of Japan among six nations surveyed, The proportion of people who trust Japan is lowest in South Korea among six countries covered by a Japanese think tank survey released on Saturday since the 2019–2020 Japan–South Korea trade dispute.[10]
  • 13 February
    • Noriyuki Makihara was arrested for alleged illegal stimulant possession, as police found 0.083 gram of stimulant at his condominium in Tokyo's Minato Ward in April 2018.[11]
    • Japan announced that a woman in her eighties outside of Tokyo has died in Kanagawa Prefecture. Two taxi drivers also were tested positive.[12]
  • 16 February – Shinzo Abe sees Cabinet approval rating log sharpest fall in two years, The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet has fallen to 41.0%, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, dropping 8.3 points from the previous poll in January and marking the sharpest fall in nearly two years amid ongoing political scandals, after the parliamentary votes.[13]
  • 20 February – Minister of the Environment Shinjirō Koizumi says he regrets skipping COVID-19 meeting, on the coronavirus outbreak in favor of a new year party held by a group of his supporters in his hometown.[14]
  • 23 February – The Emperor's Birthday for the first time in the Reiwa era, but cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.[15]
  • 26 February – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for sports and cultural events to be stopped for two weeks. This comes after Japan confirmed its second local death, amid concerns the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be cancelled. Hokkaido will close schools from February 27 to March 4, while Tokyo allowed schools to start some classes later.[16]
  • 27 February
    • On February 27, Shinzo Abe asked for schools to close across the country to slow the spread of the virus. The duration of the closure he asked schools to adopt were from March 2 until the end of spring vacations, which usually conclude in early April, later postponed to September.[17]
    • IOC President Thomas Bach told Japanese media in a conference call that the IOC "is fully committed to a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo starting July 24" due to a coronavirus outbreak.[18]

March

Japan National Stadium, the main stadium of the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, scheduled to begin on 24 July and 25 August, respectively, were both postponed to 2021 as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
(top row L to R) Tsai Ing-wen, Moon Jae-in, Shinzo Abe and (bottom row L to R) Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Justin Trudeau, and Donald Trump, the East Asian and North American leaders declared 'war' against COVID-19.
  • 1 March
  • 3 March – The 2020 Summer Olympics cancellation, postponement not discussed by the IOC President Thomas Bach until March 24.[21]
  • 4 March – The 2020 Summer Olympics torch relay could be adjusted to prevent the spread of the virus.[22]
  • 5 March
  • 8 March – The government will also financially support parents who have been forced to take time off to look after their children due to Abe's abrupt decision to close all schools from last Monday to the start of the new school year in April.[25]
  • 12 March – Japan's House of Representatives and the opposition parties passed a bill Thursday that would allow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in Japan if needed and supported by USAID.[26]
  • 13 March – Japan enacted a time-limited legal change, enabling PM Shinzo Abe, if he deems it necessary, to declare a state of emergency to cope with the spread of the new coronavirus, after US President Donald Trump's telephone calls about the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Paralympics plans.[27]
  • 14 March – The 9th anniversary of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami was celebrated by the Reconstruction Agency, due to coronavirus pandemic.[28]
  • 15 March – The golden jubilee of the Expo '70, towards Expo 2025 in Osaka after the Expo 2020 will be held in October next year in Dubai.[29]
  • 18 March
  • 20 March – The silver jubilee of the Tokyo subway sarin attack, a memorial service was held at Kasumigaseki Station.[32]
  • 24 March – The 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics has been postponed to 2021 due to the concerns on the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the postponement referendum.[33]
  • 26 March – The IOC and the IPC will set dates for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics in about three weeks. For those reasons, a time frame from July to September 2021 has emerged as a strong candidate.[34]
  • 27 March – Five months after the 2019 Shurijo fire, the Japanese government on Friday decided to restore the gutted Shuri Castle in Okinawa by 2026 after embarking on full-fledged reconstruction in 2022, a new museum has been considered during reconstructions.[35]
  • 30 March
    • Calls grew Monday for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency and a controversial year to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus before it is too late.[36]
    • The 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics announced their new dates, from 23 July to 8 August 2021 and 24 August to 5 September 2021, respectively at the same time.[37]

April

Broadcast message asking people to stay home in Tokyo, during a state of emergency.
  • 3 April
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned to call and declare a state of emergency. Several medical, experts local politicians, and governors raised their voices, directly or indirectly.[38]
    • Abe's right-hand man, Shigeru Ishiba supported the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics and the Paralympics to 2021.[39]
  • 6 April – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will proclaim a state of emergency, initially aimed at cities like Tokyo and Osaka. He is expected to make the declaration on Tuesday, which will take effect on Wednesday. This is the first emergency declaration to be made in Japan, until May 6.[40]
  • 7 April – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proclaimed a one-month state of emergency in Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanto, Kansai, and Kyushu regions (Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka). He also said there will be no lockdown like in other countries, and that public transportation and other services needed to keep the economy and society going will be maintained as much as possible.[41]
  • 10 April – Operation Howard began from postponement and cancellation of summer events and films through fall or winter 2020, during a state of emergency over coronavirus.[42]
  • 13 April – More than 80 percent of the public believe the government should compensate businesses that have complied with a request to suspend operations in response to a surge in coronavirus infections in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, during Operation Howard.[43]
  • 14 April – The Japanese government will submit a supplementary budget for fiscal 2020 from April to the Diet next week to finance an emergency package worth ¥108 trillion ($1 trillion), part of which will fund the mask distribution.[44]
  • 16 April – A month-long state of emergency began to include all 47 prefectures in Japan, to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading further and straining the health care system.[45]
  • 19 April – The Ceremony for Proclamation of Crown Prince Fumihito at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.[46]
  • 21 April – The International Olympic Committee said Monday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed Japan to absorb its share of the additional costs for the postponed Tokyo Olympics that sparked controversy.[47]
  • 24 April – A month after a coronavirus-forced postponement, Japan remains far from staging a "safe and complete" Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, coronavirus fuel to Abe-Koike rivalry.[48]
  • 27 April – Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura slammed for perceived priority for PCR Test and the government submits the budget for coronavirus extra packages.[49]
  • 29 April – New coronavirus recoveries rises over new cases since April 15, during the Golden Week as Stay Home Week to Save Lives.[50]
  • 30 April – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Thursday to extend state of emergency over COVID-19.[51]

May

Japan and South Korea has 'angrily' response to the George Floyd protests, part of the 2020 United States racial unrest.
  • 1 May
    • Smaller towns and villages began distributing the 100,000 yen stimulus payment to residents. Larger municipalities are expected to follow suit within the next two months.[52]
    • The first anniversary of the 2019 Japanese imperial transition, Emperor Naruhito on Friday marked one year since he ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne, with he and Empress Masako searching for their role in modern times while continuing his parents' efforts to heal the wounds of war and disasters.[53]
  • 4 May – The Japanese government has decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency established in April until the end of May.[54]
  • 6 May – The Japanese government confirmed 120 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, the lowest level since April, as the total number of cases topped 16,000 and the death toll rose by 10 from the previous day to reach 579.[55]
  • 7 May – Schools in the lightly affected prefectures of Aomori and Tottori were reopened after closing following the nationwide emergency declaration.[56]
  • 9 May – Japan is set to approve on Wednesday test kits that can detect novel coronavirus antigens in 15 to 30 minutes as the country seeks to improve its testing regime.[57]
  • 10 May
    • The government is considering lifting the state of emergency declaration in most Japanese prefectures this month over the coronavirus pandemic, when coronavirus recoveries rising.[58]
    • 57.5% of respondents expressed discontent with the government response of the coronavirus pandemic, three major national Japanese newspapers to commemorate May-B Day since 36 years (1984). MAY is a portmanteau of the Mainichi Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, and Yomiuri Shimbun, except Sankei Shimbun and The Nikkei.[59]
  • 11 May – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated some prefectures could be taken off the list of those placed under the state of emergency before its May 31 expiry. Speaking in parliament, he said Japan is on a "steady" path toward ending the coronavirus epidemic, like South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.[60]
  • 13 May
    • The Japanese government approved on Wednesday test kits that can detect novel coronavirus antigens in 15 to 30 minutes, in the hope of improving its testing regime amid growing demand for a simpler and faster method.[61]
    • Hamako Mori was internationally recognized and was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the oldest gaming YouTuber in the world at the age of 90.[62]
  • 14 May – The Japanese government officials and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared that they had decided to lift and suspend the national emergency, like the European countries were affected by COVID-19.[63]
  • 15 May
    • Japan will test around 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies starting from next month, as part of efforts to better understand the deadly infection, health minister Katsunobu Katō said Friday.[64]
    • The metropolitan government set seven numerical targets, including seeing fewer than 20 new daily cases of COVID-19 on average in a week, and a decline in the proportion of unknown transmission routes to under 50 percent, Koike said at a press conference.[65]
  • 18 May – It was officially reported around the global market that Japan's economy officially enters recession with 'Much worse' expected from coronavirus for first time since 2015.[66]
  • 21 May – The state of emergency is lifted in 3 prefectures in Kansai after they had cleared the threshold of having new infections below 0.5 per 100,000 people in the past week, resulting a total of 42 out of the 47 prefectures to be out of the state of emergency.[67]
  • 24 May – Operation Howard ended, Japan plans to fully lift the state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo Area and Hokkaido on Monday, a minister said Sunday, given a decline in the number of new coronavirus cases and improved medical systems.[68]
  • 25 May
    • Japan on Monday released a phased road map for reopening the economy as the government fully lifted the state of emergency the same day, with plans to relax by August restrictions imposed following the novel coronavirus outbreak since its three-month coronavirus recession.[69]
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he's lifting the government's emergency declaration for the five prefectures where it is still in place, including the prefectures in Kanto and Greater Tokyo Area.[70]
  • 27 May – Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike will announce her candidacy around June 10 for this summer's gubernatorial election in the capital, to fix the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.[71]
  • 28 May
    • According to the NPA, three bodies with head wounds were discovered at a residence in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, on Tuesday night in what police suspect is a murder case involving handguns.[72]
    • A 117.1 trillion yen relief package was approved by Abe and his cabinet. The purpose of the package is to provide financial relief for companies and individuals that have been struggling due to the impact of the virus.[73]
  • 31 May
    • According to the JMA, An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 rattled Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Sunday, the weather agency said.[74]
    • The approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet stands at 39.4 percent, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, the lowest level in about two years amid dissatisfaction over the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a string of money, favoritism scandals and a COVID-19 pandemic.[75]

June

The Toranomon Hills Station station opened on 6 June 2020.
  • 1 June
    • The Counter-terrorist Reforms Act was signed by The Pacific Eagles, Europol, and the NATO, a year after the Wave of Terror in Japan (Kawasaki stabbings and Kyoto Animation arson attack) weren't a right-wing terrorist incident, like in Europe and MENA.[76]
    • Japan on Monday further eased restrictions on social and economic activities in urban areas that were imposed to fight the spread of the new coronavirus, paving the way for children to return to school in the Tokyo metropolitan area for the first time in three months with some conditions, after lifting the state of emergency.[77]
  • 2 June
    • The Tokyo Imperial Palace reopened public after two-month closure under the national emergency.[78]
    • Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike issued a warning Tuesday amid signs of a possible resurgence of coronavirus infections, as 34 cases were newly reported in the Japanese capital.[79]
  • 3 June – Two Yomiuri Giants players have tested positive for the new coronavirus, casting a shadow over NPB's plan to start the 2020 season on June 19.[80]
  • 5 June
    • In a response to the George Floyd protests and the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, Japan's prefectural governors on Thursday came up with joint proposals for how to revive the country's economy while preventing a second wave of infections amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.[81]
    • According to the NPA, a 23-year-old university student Hideaki Nozu, who was arrested at the scene in the city of Takarazuka, is believed to have deliberately shot dead his 47-year-old mother Mayumi, younger brother Hideyuki, 22, and 75-year-old grandmother Yoshimi, the police said. He also shot his aunt, who suffered serious injuries.[82]
  • 6 June
    • Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said that he would hold talks with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Sunday to discuss how to curb rising infections in Tokyo's nightlife districts, including Kabukicho.[83]
    • The newly built Toranomon Hills Station in downtown Tokyo opened Saturday, becoming the first new station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line since its full launch in 1964. The station is located among a complex of high-rise buildings, including the 255-meter Toranomon Hills Mori Tower and a fictional 315-meter One GJSA Tower, both opened in 2014, between Kasumigaseki and Kamiyacho stations on the line operated by Tokyo Metro Co.[84]
  • 9 June – According to the NPA, A teenager died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday morning in a house in Hachiōji, western Tokyo. Also, a 4-year-old girl named Mion Ezaki fell to her death from the 18th floor of a high-rise apartment late Monday in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture.[85]
  • 10 June – The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a draft second extra budget for fiscal 2020, totaling 31.91 trillion yen ($296 billion), to provide additional funding to front-line medical workers and support people reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.[86]
  • 12 June
    • The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Thursday lifted the "Tokyo alert" about a possible increase in the number of coronavirus infections in the capital, moving a step closer to a full resumption of economic and social activities in the capital.[87]
    • Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Friday she will run for re-election next month, seeking to continue to oversee the Japanese capital's response to the coronavirus and preparations for the Summer Olympics.[88]
  • 14 June – More than 1,000 people turned out at a rally in central Tokyo on Sunday to protest against racial discrimination following the death of a black man in police custody in the United States that has spurred George Floyd protests there and elsewhere.[89]
  • 15 June
    • Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a national treasure in western Japan, fully reopened Monday after a three-month closure due to the spread of the new coronavirus.[90]
    • On Monday added medical fields to the list of domestic industrial sectors subject to foreign investment restrictions to maintain domestic control over cutting-edge technologies including those related to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.[91]
  • 16 June – Former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, Anri Kawai, left the Liberal Democratic Party among allegations of buying votes to aid Anri Kawai's campaign for the House of Councilors. They were later arrested by public prosecutors on June 19, 2020 on charges for vote-buying and distributing around 25 million yen to 100 prefectural and city assembly members in Hiroshima.[92][93]
  • 17 June
    • Japan received an estimated 1,700 foreign travelers in May, an all-time low for the second consecutive month, amid the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday. The number, down 99.9 percent from a year earlier and compared with 2,900 in April, is the lowest since 1964, when the government began compiling such statistics, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.[94]
    • A clinical test of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus developed by medical startup Anges Inc. will start June 30 in Japan, Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said Wednesday, envisioning to put it into practice next year.[95]
  • 18 June
    • Japan will advance talks to ease its entry ban on Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, as it seeks to gradually step back from travel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.[96]
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday ruled out the possibility of dissolving the lower house for a snap election as his focus is on containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, but said he will not hesitate to do so when the time is right.[97]
    • The 2020 Tokyo gubernatorial election campaign began, campaigning for the Tokyo gubernatorial election officially kicked off Thursday with incumbent Gov. Yuriko Koike facing a record 21 challengers, as they focus on the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the metropolitan government's response to it.[98]
    • A suspected Chinese submarine was detected sailing around Amami Ōshima and the US is in talks with Japan to address its concerns over the US-made Aegis Ashore missile defense system, Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said Thursday, after Tokyo suspended plans to deploy the defense technology earlier this week, according to Defense Minister Tarō Kōno.[99]
  • 19 June – Fast Retailing began selling Friday its washable and fast-drying face masks at its Uniqlo stores in Japan amid concerns about the novel coronavirus, with shoppers forming long queues, since its opening in Ginza yesterday.[100]
  • 20 June
    • Japan plans to complete its nationwide optical fiber networks by March 2022 to meet the urgent need for online education, medical and other services amid the coronavirus pandemic, government officials have said.[101]
    • Six new ambassadors to Japan have not yet handed their credentials to Emperor Naruhito due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, leaving them as ambassadors-in-waiting according to diplomatic protocol. But the ambassadors of Tonga, Rwanda, East Timor, Mali, Tanzania and Azerbaijan have started diplomatic activities after submitting copies of their credentials to the Foreign Ministry.[102]
  • 22 June – Japan's professional baseball and soccer leagues will allow spectators to attend games from July 10, Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Atsushi Saito and J-League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said Monday. The 2020 NPB season started behind closed doors on Friday after a nearly three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The J-League first division is scheduled to resume its postponed season on July 4.[103]
  • 23 June
    • The Japanese government has pledged to fix within a week bugs that have caused its coronavirus contact-tracing smartphone app to be shut down, the health minister said Tuesday. The free app, which was launched Friday and downloaded around 3.71 million times as of Tuesday morning, erroneously accepts ID numbers not issued by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, Katsunobu Kato, the minister responsible for the system, said at a press conference.[104]
    • Fugaku was declared the most powerful supercomputer in the world with a performance of 415.53 PFLOPS.[105] It was co-developed by the RIKEN Research Institute and Fujitsu. Fugaku also ranked first place in computational methods performance for industrial use, artificial intelligence applications, and big data analytics.[106][107]
    • The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa, the annual memorial service was held on a scaled-down basis amid the coronavirus pandemic and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not invited. It also came amid the continued conflict between the Okinawa and central governments over the sizeable presence of the U.S. military in the island prefecture.[108]
    • Tokyo Disneyland and Ueno Zoo reopened after 4-month closure due to COVID-19 pandemic.[109][110]
  • 24 June
    • Two new ambassadors to Japan presented their credentials to Emperor Naruhito on Wednesday as ceremonies marking the arrival of foreign envoys to their post were held for the first time since the end of a three-month coronavirus pandemic suspension.[111]
    • This year's ornamental square watermelon shipments began Wednesday from the western Japan city of Zentsuji, with the approximately 10,000 yen ($94) fruits ripe and ready for buyers across the country. Seven growers in the Kagawa Prefecture city plan to ship about 400 cubic watermelons, with sides about 18 centimeters in length, to wholesalers mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Osaka and its surrounding cities by mid-July.[112]
    • The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Wednesday confirmed 55 new coronavirus infections in the capital, an official said, marking the highest number of daily cases since early May. The latest development has reignited concerns of a fresh wave of infections, with new cases gradually increasing since late May and staying around or above 30 in the past week. Tokyo has seen more cases whose routes of infection are untraceable.[113][114]
  • 25 June
    • Japan has ditched plans to deploy an Aegis Ashore land-based missile interception system as a shield against high-tech projectiles such as those launched by North Korea, Defense Minister Taro Kono said Thursday.The decision followed Kono's abrupt announcement on June 15 that it had halted the process of deploying two U.S.-made batteries of the missile system, citing technical problems and increasing costs amid strong local opposition.[115]
    • Medical startup Anges Inc. said Thursday it will soon start Japan's first clinical test on humans of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus, after gaining formal approval from an Osaka City University Hospital committee. Anges said it will start recruiting participants for the clinical test to be held at the university hospital, aiming to earn the government's authorization to manufacture and sell the DNA vaccine by the spring to fall of next year.[116]
  • 26 June
    • Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's performance over the past four years will be tested when she seeks re-election in the capital's gubernatorial election on July 5, but it is a race she is widely expected to win thanks to her name recognition and knack for sloganeering.[117]
    • The Oze National Park will be fully accessible for the hiking season from next week, but with rescue services limited by the coronavirus pandemic, the park's preservation body said Friday.[118]
  • 28 June
    • Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike is leading comfortably in the Tokyo gubernatorial election to be held July 5 as her rivals struggle to gain wider support, a Kyodo News analysis showed Sunday. Koike leads with support from about 70 percent of those aligned with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and 90 percent of those with Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner. Kyodo made the analysis based on an opinion poll conducted on eligible voters in the capital from Friday through Sunday as well as its newsgathering activities.[119]
    • The Tokyo metropolitan government reported 60 new coronavirus infections in the capital on Sunday, hitting the highest number of daily cases since the Japanese capital's state of emergency was lifted late last month.[120]
  • 30 June
    • The Japanese government's abrupt decision last week to scrap its advisory coronavirus panel drew flak from all sides of politics, but the hastiness of the decision may have given an insight into how keen the administration is to retake control of the narrative. Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan's virus response, said on Wednesday a new entity will be created to replace the panel which has made key proposals in the nation's battle to contain the spread of the virus, including avoiding the "three Cs"—confined and crowded places and close contact with others.[121]
    • Japan rejected on Monday a proposal from South Korea to set up a dispute-resolution panel at the World Trade Organization over Tokyo's tightening of export controls on semiconductor materials, officials involved in the process said. In a meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body, Japan argued that its export controls on South Korea-bound exports of three key materials used to manufacture semiconductors and display panels are allowed under WTO rules due to fears of diversion for military purposes.[122]
    • Deputy Prime Minister Tarō Asō said he thinks it preferable to hold a general election this fall rather than wait until next year when the current lower house term ends in a meeting with an executive of the Komeito party, a source with knowledge of the meeting said Tuesday. Aso met with Tetsuo Saito, secretary general of the junior coalition partner of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, on Monday, the source said, adding Saito did not express support for the idea.[123]

July

  • 1 July
    • Japan's top government spokesman, who has been wearing face masks during twice-a-day press briefings since the spread of the novel coronavirus three months ago, ditched them Wednesday despite Tokyo still struggling to contain infections.[124]
    • According to JMA, Mt. Sakurajima in southwestern Japan may erupt on a large scale, given recent data analysis, a weather agency panel said Tuesday. The frequency of eruptions at Minamidake summit crater in Kagoshima Prefecture has been on the decrease while the volume of volcanic ashes remains unchanged, meaning the upcoming eruption could be bigger than usual, the panel on forecast of volcanic activities at the Japan Meteorological Agency said.[125]
    • Japan's latest Shinkansen bullet train model offering improved performance and upgraded cabin features entered service on Wednesday, departing Tokyo for Osaka on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line and traveling on to Hakata in southwestern Japan. Railway fans flocked to JR Tokyo Station to witness the debut of the N700S series, the first fully remodeled Tokaido Shinkansen train in 13 years and described by its operator as the world's first high-speed train capable of functioning on a back-up battery system in the event of an emergency.[126]
  • 2 July
    • The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 107 coronavirus cases, the largest daily increase in two months, raising concerns about a resurgence of infections as the governor of the Japanese capital called for heightened vigilance. The daily count topped 100 for the first time since 154 cases were reported in the middle of a nationwide state of emergency on May 2. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike asked people not to visit nightlife districts hit by rising COVID-19 cases, especially among young people.[127]
    • Japan plans to set up new coronavirus testing centers at three major airports in Tokyo and Osaka, as well as in central parts of the cities, as the country prepares to relax its travel restrictions, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Thursday.[128]
  • 3 July – The South Korean government has renegotiated Japanese government to create a Clockaz-style relations, since Japan rejected on Monday a proposal from South Korea to set up a dispute-resolution panel at the WTO over Tokyo's tightening of export controls on semiconductor materials, officials involved in the process said.[129]
  • 4 July
    • Tokyo reported 131 new daily coronavirus infections on Saturday, bringing the total number of people infected with the virus to over 20,000 in Japan, according to a local government official.[130]
    • 2020 Kyushu floods, at least fifteen dead in flooding in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, since the 2018 Japan floods.[131]
  • 5 July
    • Local residents and bereaved family members of victims held gatherings Monday to mark the second anniversary of massive flooding and mudslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan that claimed 296 lives. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing, the memorial services in Hiroshima and Okayama prefectures commemorating the worst rain disaster in decades were held with limited attendees and social distancing within the venues.[132]
    • The 2020 Tokyo gubernatorial election, will be held during coronavirus pandemic, Yuriko Koike is eligible for re-election. She was re-elected in a landslide, winning 59.7% of the vote, vowing to respond firmly to a second wave of the novel coronavirus and coordinate with the International Olympic Committee over the postponed Olympics and Paralympics now scheduled for 2021.[133][134]
  • 7 July – The death toll from torrential rain in southwestern Japan rose to 56 on Tuesday, as disaster-affected areas widened to the northern Kyushu region, with tens of thousands of defense troops and other rescue workers mobilized to search for those missing and help people evacuate. The Defense Ministry said it will double to 20,000 the number of JSDF members to be deployed in Kumamoto Prefecture and other areas hit hard by the downpour.[135]
  • 8 July
    • According to the NPA, a 25-year-old officer belonging to a riot police squad of the Metropolitan Police Department died in an apparent suicide Wednesday after shooting himself on a street in central Tokyo, the police said. Toshiya Tamura was found unconscious and bleeding from his head in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward at around 3:30 a.m. by a passerby. He was taken to a hospital but died on Wednesday night, the police said.[136]
    • Torrential rain lashed areas across southwestern and central Japan on Wednesday, prompting local governments to urge around 870,000 people to evacuate as a total of 59 rivers in nine prefectures have overflowed and 123 mudslides occurred in 18 prefectures. The rain, which has continued since last weekend, has destroyed, damaged or flooded more than 4,700 buildings in seven prefectures in the Kyushu region, southwestern Japan, and Gifu and Nagano prefectures in central Japan, according to a Kyodo News tally.[137]
  • 9 July
    • The number of new coronavirus infections reported in Tokyo on Thursday hit a single-day record of 224, the metropolitan government said, with the sudden jump in cases stoking fears of a second wave. But the central government denied it would immediately declare a state of emergency again, after lifting the previous one in late May, underscoring that Japan's medical system is well prepared.[138]
    • About 20 vessels gathered in the Port of Tokyo on Thursday to turn their lights on all at once in a bid to create hope and wish for an end to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The water taxis, cruisers and traditional "yakata-bune" boats that took part in the event rely heavily on tourism and have been hit hard since the spread of the virus.[139]
  • 11 July
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday will visit Kumamoto, a southwestern prefecture hit hardest by torrential rain a week ago, as recovery efforts continued after more than 100 rivers in the region and elsewhere overflowed. Abe's first tour to see the devastation will include a meeting with Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima and a visit to the Senjuen nursing home where 14 people died after the Kuma River flooded, the prime minister's office said Sunday.[140]
    • A start-up company is offering a smartphone application to hospitals that allows coronavirus patients to communicate their needs to nurses without physical interaction, potentially helping ward off cluster outbreaks. Hospital patients usually use the nurse call button when they need something, but those admitted with COVID-19 are placed in isolation wards and physical contact with nurses, who must wear protective gear, is kept to a minimum to prevent the spread of the virus among staff.[141]
  • 12 July
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday will visit Kumamoto, a southwestern prefecture hit hardest by torrential rain a week ago, as recovery efforts continued after more than 100 rivers in the region and elsewhere overflowed. Abe's first tour to see the devastation will include a meeting with Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima and a visit to the Senjuen nursing home where 14 people died after the Kuma River flooded, the prime minister's office said Sunday.[142]
    • Film director Naomi Kawase, winner of several Cannes awards, and roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro were among 10 producers named on Monday for the World Exposition in 2025 as Japan began preparing for the event. Kawase will also double as a senior adviser to the event. The expo, to be held for the second time in the western Japan city after one in 1970, will have no general producer in overall charge but instead have 15 senior advisers.[143]
  • 13 July – 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Japan – Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido said Monday it will begin selling hand sanitizers to the general public from early August, responding to popular demand for the product it started making available for medical institutions three months ago. Hand sanitizers for the general consumer will hit the shelves in cosmetics and drugstores in Tokyo first, before being distributed to other areas across Japan.[144]
  • 14 July
    • The Japanese government is considering issuing business suspension requests to host clubs and other nightlife establishments that have not taken sufficient measures to stem the coronavirus spread, a minister in charge of coronavirus response said Tuesday. The move indicated by Yasutoshi Nishimura comes amid a rising number of confirmed cases related to those establishments, particularly in major commercial and entertainment districts in Tokyo, fueling increasing concerns among the public of a resurgence of the pandemic.[145]
    • A panel under the justice minister proposed Tuesday establishing criminal penalties for foreign nationals who do not comply with deportation orders as Japan seeks to curb long-term detention of foreigners at immigration facilities. The Immigration Services Agency of Japan is expected to consider drafting revisions to the immigration law based on the panel's proposals to Justice Minister Masako Mori to include imprisonment or fines for those resisting deportation.[146]
  • 16 July
    • International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Wednesday that his organization does not want to stage an Olympic Games behind closed doors. His comments came after the executive board met to prepare for Friday's 136th IOC session, and heard status reports from the coordination commissions for the Tokyo Games. During an online press conference, Bach was asked whether a behind-closed-doors games was under consideration for the Tokyo Olympics, postponed from their start date of July 24, 2020 to July 23, 2021, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.[147]
    • The government planned to subsidize accommodation and transport fees nationwide under the Go To Travel Campaign to help rejuvenate the virus-stricken economy by sparking tourism. But it has faced increasing calls for a review of the program, due to growing concern that the travel promotion campaign could add to a resurgence of virus infections in Japan.[148]
    • More than 600 new coronavirus infections were reported across Japan on Thursday, the highest in three months, as Tokyo alone marked a single-day record of 286 cases, adding to evidence the country is facing a resurgence of the virus after lifting a state of emergency in May.[149]
  • 18 July
    • More than 660 new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported Saturday across Japan, the highest since April 11 and nearly half of which were confirmed in Tokyo, as a resurgence in infections has become more apparent also in other urban areas. The Tokyo metropolitan government confirmed 290 new cases of the virus causing the COVID-19 respiratory illness. It is the third straight day for Tokyo to see its daily new cases reaching nearly 300, after reporting a single-day record of 293 on Friday and 286 on Thursday.[150]
    • During the first anniversary of the Kyoto Animation arson attack, around 100 bereaved family members and company officials on Saturday mourned the 36 victims of a deadly arson attack on the studio of an animation firm in western Japan, marking the first anniversary of the country's worst crime in decades. During the memorial service held at the site of the Kyoto Animation Co. studio, which has since been demolished, President Hideaki Hatta pledged to rebuild the company, saying, "Being one in heart with our friends, their family members and those who support us, we will go forward step by step, albeit slowly."[151]
    • Plans to build twin towers each about 260 meters tall in the Shinjuku commercial district of Tokyo are being worked out as part of efforts to make the area more connected and accessible to commuters, sources familiar with the plan said Saturday. The new towers, which will rise above the nearby 243-meter-tall Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in the Shinjuku skyline, will be built under a public-private sector initiative to promote large-scale urban development in the area through the 2040s, the sources said.[152]
  • 19 July
    • Japan's prefectural governors on Sunday decided to ask the central government to consider excluding more areas from a travel campaign as necessary to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The governors said they hope the 1.35 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) subsidy initiative aimed at sparking domestic trips will help revive their virus-hit economies.[153]
    • Only 23.9% of people in Japan are in favor of holding next summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled, while more than half of the country's populace are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday. As the world has been engulfed by the pandemic for months, 36.4 percent of respondents to the nationwide opinion poll think that the Summer Games should be postponed again, while 33.7 percent said they should be canceled.[154]
  • 20 July – Japan's death toll from the novel coronavirus topped 1,000 on Monday, with those in their 60s and above making up over 90 percent of the fatalities. The tally includes 13 deaths among infected passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. The first death in Japan was recorded on Feb. 13. The country's death toll has been on a downward trend since hitting a peak in early May, but there is concern the trend will reverse with the current resurgence in infections.[155]
  • 21 July
    • Tokyo Olympic organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori rejected on Tuesday the idea of holding the postponed games next summer behind closed doors, saying spectators are an essential part of sports. Mori said the IOC chief's comments were made "assuming the worst-case scenario." But the former prime minister acknowledged the organizers will have to look at such options should the spread of the virus not be contained.[156]
    • The government said Tuesday it will cover cancellation fees incurred by Tokyoites and those who planned to travel to the Japanese capital after excluding Tokyo at the last minute from a domestic tourism promotion campaign to help coronavirus pandemic-hit regions. The "Go To Travel" campaign kicking off Wednesday was plunged into disarray after the government said last week that trips to and from Tokyo will not be covered by the scheme because of a surge in infections in the capital.[157]
  • 23 July
    • Fireworks lit up the skies across Japan on Friday to mark one year to go until the start of the postponed Tokyo Olympics and lift the country's mood amid the new coronavirus pandemic in Sendai. The fireworks were set off for a minute and a half from 8 p.m. Junior Chamber International Japan said it organized the event in the hope that the fireworks would be a signal for the rebirth of Japan, overcoming the stagnation caused by the virus.[158]
    • Japan marked one year until the postponed Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, but questions remain about whether the games can go ahead after the host city recorded a single-day record of new cases of novel coronavirus infection. Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, held a lantern with the Olympic flame and delivered a speech calling on fellow athletes to unite during a difficult time.[159]
  • 25 July – The 2022 Commonwealth Games' two-year countdown will be held in Hiroshima and Birmingham as joint host cities, since the countdown clock was unveiled during the Commonwealth Day in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Centenary Square on 9 March, 870 days before the Games.[160]
  • 28 July
    • A bodyguard of Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but Kono himself is negative, police and the Defense Ministry said Tuesday. The bodyguard, who belongs to the Metropolitan Police Department, developed a fever earlier Tuesday and was confirmed positive in a polymerase chain reaction test, with infection routes unknown, the police said.[161]
    • Construction of a theme park based on animation films by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki started Tuesday in central Japan, with the first attractions set to open in the fall of 2022. Being built by the Aichi prefectural government in collaboration with Studio Ghibli Inc., Ghibli Park will recreate settings and scenes of Miyazaki films including "My Neighbor Totoro," "Spirited Away" and "Howl's Moving Castle."[162]
  • 30 July
    • The number of fresh cases of novel coronavirus confirmed Wednesday in Japan topped 1,000 for the first time as a resurgence of infections has begun to expand beyond Tokyo. The record single-day tally of 1,260 as of midnight, based on information given by local authorities, came after prefectures other than Tokyo with huge urban populations, including Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka, reported their highest numbers of infections. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike allowed to close nightclubs, except cinemas.[163]
    • Japan's economy expanded for 71 consecutive months through October 2018, a government panel concluded Thursday, meaning that the country fell two months short of a record-long post-war growth period as suggested by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The panel of economists and experts for the Cabinet Office, which retrospectively determines the length of an economic boom, said the expansion began in December 2012, when Abe returned to power, and ended in October 2018, a time when exports were dampened by an escalating U.S.-China tariff war.[164]
  • 31 July – The Japanese government said Friday it will lift a ban on reselling face masks and disinfectant as suppliers have ramped up production enough to resolve a nationwide shortage spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Punishable with a prison sentence of up to one year or a 1 million yen ($9,500) fine, or both, the ban was imposed in a bid to deter scalpers. It is expected to be lifted in August, although the exact timing was not immediately clear.[165]

August

Former LDP President and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation during a press conference in Tokyo on 28 August, due to his second ulcerative colitis since 2007.
  • 1 August – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday appeared for the first time in public since April without wearing his much-touted government-sponsored mask, which has been derided as a symbol of his administration's out-of-step policy against the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of donning what became known as the "Abenomask," which was so small that it rode up on his face, Abe seemed more comfortable wearing one similar to commercially available ones, which fully covered the lower half of his face.[166]
  • 4 August
    • The top Japanese government spokesman denied Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been in poor health following a report in a weekly magazine that said the premier had vomited blood at his office in July. The latest edition of the weekly magazine Flash, which hit newsstands Tuesday, said speculation is rife that Abe vomited blood on July 6, pointing out that the premier's schedule showed no activity for about five hours that afternoon.[167]
    • The imperial garden party planned for the fall has been canceled to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus amid growing concern over a resurgence of infections, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday. The biannual event was also canceled in the spring due to the virus outbreak, putting off the first such party to be hosted by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.[168]
  • 5 August
    • Japan's daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday topped 1,300, remaining at high levels ahead of next week's summer holiday peak, with health authorities calling on people to be cautious when they travel to their hometowns and elsewhere. Tokyo reported 263 new cases of the novel coronavirus, amid the continued resurgence of infections in August. Average daily new infections over the week through Wednesday stood at 346.3, according to the metropolitan government.[169]
  • 6 August
    • Osaka Prefecture confirmed a record 225 new cases of novel coronavirus infection Thursday, with other urban areas also reporting record daily figures as the virus continues to spread in parts of the country.[170]
    • Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the 75th anniversary of its atomic bombing by the United States on Thursday, with its mayor urging the world to unite against grave threats to humanity—be they nuclear weapons or the novel coronavirus pandemic—by spurning nationalistic and isolationist policies.[171]
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday reiterated there is no immediate need to declare another state of emergency in Japan despite a recent resurgence in novel coronavirus infections. Speaking at a press conference in Hiroshima, Abe said there had been far fewer serious and fatal cases recently compared to when the previous state of emergency was declared in April, and that hospitals across the country were better equipped to treat patients.[172]
  • 8 August
    • Japanese prefectural governors on Saturday asked the central government to increase the amount of extraordinary grants for local governments to fund various measures against the coronavirus pandemic. With the number of infections resurging in Japan, the National Governors' Association filed the request to increase the grants, which now total 3 trillion yen ($28 billion), in an urgent proposal it adopted at an online meeting on the coronavirus response.[173]
    • Japan's summer holiday season started quietly on Saturday, with no congestion at stations and airports after local governments asked residents to avoid travelling to help keep the coronavirus spread from worsening. Some shinkensen bullet trains saw only 5 percent of their nonreserved seats filled in the morning with the highest rate limited to 70 percent, compared to well above the 100 percent usually seen on the first day of Japan's Bon Festival holiday period.[174]
  • 9 August – The mayor of Nagasaki on Sunday pushed the Japanese government to take the initiative amid an absence of global leadership to create a world free of nuclear weapons, during a memorial marking the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city. Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue appealed to the government, asking it to sign and ratify a U.N. treaty banning nuclear arsenals which was adopted in 2017 but has yet to come into force.[175]
  • 10 August
    • Japan's total coronavirus cases topped 50,000 Monday with 836 new cases reported, increasing by 10,000 in just one week, as urban centers including Tokyo and Osaka continue to see high levels of infections since the central government fully lifted the nationwide state of emergency in late May.[176]
    • More than 60% of volunteers registered for next summer's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are worried about how anti-coronavirus measures will be implemented and the format of the events, according to a recent survey by the games' organizers. In a multiple-answer question to volunteers at the venues and athletes' village on what concerns them about their upcoming role, those who were worried about the anti-virus steps and how the games will be held accounted for the largest number at 66.8 percent.[177]
  • 12 August – Relatives on Wednesday commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Japan Airlines Flight 123 that killed 520 passengers and crew in the world's deadliest single-aircraft accident. Members of bereaved families climbed the steep mountain trail to the Boeing 747's crash site on Osutaka Ridge in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, to mourn their loved ones. The annual trek was spread over a few days this year, with participation restricted mostly to kin to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.[178]
  • 13 August
    • The government has appealed a court ruling awarding state health care benefits to people exposed to radioactive "black rain" that fell immediately after the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima outside of a currently designated zone, welfare minister Katsunobu Kato said Wednesday. The health, labor and welfare minister said the Hiroshima District Court ruling last month was "not based on sufficient scientific evidence," but added the government would consider expanding the area covered by its health care program.[179]
  • 14 August – The planned marriage between Princess Mako, a niece of Emperor Naruhito, and her boyfriend Kei Komuro remains up in the air amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, two years after Komuro began studying at a New York Law School. The wedding was originally scheduled to take place in 2018, but was postponed for two years following a string of reports that Komuro's mother was having a dispute with her former fiancé over money, including her son's educational expenses, which the man was shouldering.[180]
  • 15 August
    • The 2020 Japanese Surrender Memorial Day to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the surrender of Japan amid COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Japan is planning to keep limiting the maximum number of spectators at concerts, professional sports and other events to 5,000 as the spread of the novel coronavirus continues in various parts of the country, government officials said Friday. The government had initially planned to impose the restriction until the end of August, after the number of people allowed to gather at venues for big events was increased to a maximum 5,000 on July 10 from the previous 1,000.[181]
  • 17 August
    • Japan's economy in the April–June period shrank an annualized real 27.8 percent from the previous quarter, the sharpest contraction on record, as economic activity was restricted under a state of emergency during the novel coronavirus outbreak, government data showed Monday. The preliminary data on gross domestic product, the total value of goods and services produced in the country, correspond to a 7.8 percent decrease on a seasonally-adjusted quarterly basis, marking negative growth for the third consecutive quarter, according to the Cabinet Office.[182]
    • Japan confirmed 15 deaths from the novel coronavirus Monday, the highest in a day since the nationwide state of emergency was lifted in late May, as urban areas continue to battle with high numbers of new cases. Osaka Prefecture accounted for the most deaths at five, followed by two in Chiba Prefecture. Eight other prefectures, including Tokyo, saw one death each. Daily deaths had mostly remained in the single digits since the state of emergency was lifted on May 25, but numbers have risen again in recent weeks.[183]
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left a hospital in Tokyo on Monday evening having undergone what an aide called "a one-day regular health checkup" amid speculation about his condition. Abe's visit to Keio University Hospital, his first in two months, lasted around seven and a half hours and came amid concerns about his health after a weekly magazine reported earlier this month that he had vomited blood at his office in July.[184]
  • 19 August
    • The company that owns a 94-year-old Toshimaen amusement park in Tokyo closing at the end of August said Tuesday it has clinched a contract for part of the site to be turned into a new theme park based on the Harry Potter films, slated to open in the first half of 2023.[185]
    • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to work on Wednesday after a three-day summer break that included a hospital visit, leading to speculation he is suffering ill health. "I underwent a checkup the day before yesterday to take full care of my health. I am returning to work now and I hope to work hard," Abe said as he entered the prime minister's office in the afternoon.[186]
    • A company that has been building a number of skyscrapers around Tokyo's Shibuya Station over the past several years has completed a huge underground facility, tasked with safeguarding the major transit hub against flooding in times of torrential rain. The water storage facility, built by Tokyu Corp. in a 10-year project, can hold some 4,000 tons of rainwater, or enough to fill nine 25-meter swimming pools, according to the major railway and real estate business group.[187]
  • 20 August
    • More than half of nearly 13,000 Japanese companies surveyed are opposed to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics being held in the summer of 2021 following a one-year postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, a research firm said Thursday. In the online survey by Tokyo Shoko Research covering 12,857 companies, 27.8 percent said they want the Tokyo Games to be canceled while 25.8 percent said the sporting event should be postponed again.[188]
    • Japan on Thursday passed 60,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as a resurgence in Tokyo and other urban areas shows no signs of slowing. Over 1,100 additional cases were reported across the country, with Tokyo accounting for 339, topping the 300 mark for the first time since Saturday, the metropolitan government said.[189]
  • 21 August – Japan received an estimated 3,800 foreign travelers in July, posting a year-on-year plunge of 99.9 percent for the fourth consecutive month amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Friday. As the country continues to implement strict border controls to prevent the spread of the virus, banning in principle the entry of foreign nationals from 146 countries and regions, it is set to be some time before tourists can return.[190]
  • 23 August
    • The approval rate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet stands at 36.0 percent, the second lowest since he returned to power in late 2012, at a time when he is facing public criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday. The result, down from 38.8 percent a month ago, was released a day before Abe is set to become Japan's longest-serving prime minister in terms of consecutive days in office.[191]
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe brought up his 2,798th consecutive day in office on Sunday, tying him with his great uncle Eisaku Sato, who served between 1964 and 1972, for staying in the top government post for the longest uninterrupted term. When combined with his short 2006-2007 stint, Abe, who returned to power in late 2012, has spent more than 3,000 days in office, eclipsing Taro Katsura, who led the country for 2,886 days in the early 1900s.[192]
  • 24 August – Japan decided Monday to keep limiting the maximum number of spectators at professional sports, concerts and other events to 5,000 until the end of September, although the spread of the novel coronavirus has shown some signs of abating, government officials said Monday. The government endorsed the policy at a meeting with a panel of health experts, citing the risk of a resurgence and the continued strain on the country's medical facilities.[193]
  • 26 August – The now-postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been shrouded by uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, should be held next year by whatever means because the games themselves sprang from the very idea of overcoming wars and epidemics in ancient times. Today's cutting-edge technology will allow organizers to hold an unprecedented event that can set an example for the "epidemic-proof" Olympics of tomorrow.[194]
  • 28 August – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday announced his intention to resign at a meeting of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, saying he made the decision to minimize the impact of his deteriorating health on the party. Abe will not name an acting prime minister but serve until the next leader is chosen, according to sources familiar with the matter.[195][196]
  • 30 August – Former defense chief Shigeru Ishiba and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is the most popular choice to be Japan's next brown-haired prime minister, both the brown mixed black-haired candidates, according to a Kyodo News survey released Sunday.[197]
  • 31 August:
    • The date of the 2020 LDP leadership election announced will be held on September 14, 2020. Seven years ago on Wall Street, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged investors to "buy my Abenomics," as he promised to chart a growth path for deflation-mired Japan. Fast forward to 2020, Abe, the longest-serving Japanese prime minister, is quitting due to ill health, leaving an economy that is smaller—badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic—and with more debt than when he returned to power in 2012.[198]
    • A family-friendly amusement park in Tokyo ceased operations Monday 94 years after it first opened, with part of the site slated to be turned into a new Harry Potter theme park in 2023. Toshimaen, which opened in September 1926, was one of the largest amusement parks in the capital with over 30 rides and attractions including a wooden carousel that was made in Germany in 1907 and brought to the park in 1971. It was also equipped with a 350-meter, donut-shaped pool introduced in 1965 which was said to be the world's first lazy river pool.[199]

September

Yoshihide Suga became LDP president and prime minister during a press conference in Tokyo on 16 September, but he had strongly supported to the United States as a political 'superhero' policies, he endorsed Joe Biden for the 2020 United States presidential election.
  • 1 September:
    • The famed golden pavilion at the Kinkaku-ji Temple in Kyoto began Tuesday a three-month renovation of its shingled roof amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has drastically reduced the number of visitors. The pavilion with its gold leaf gilded facade is part of a World Heritage Site in the ancient Japanese capital. Visitors will be unable to fully view the temple in three weeks as scaffolding will completely shroud the pavilion until the work is completed sometime in December.[200]
    • Capital spending by Japanese companies fell 11.3 percent in the April–June quarter from a year earlier, the largest drop in a decade, as the coronavirus pandemic clouded the business outlook, government data showed Tuesday. Investment by all nonfinancial sectors for purposes such as building factories and adding equipment totaled 9.64 trillion yen ($91 billion), according to the Finance Ministry.[201]
  • 2 September:
    • Japan reported on Wednesday 594 new coronavirus cases, the third-lowest daily tally in a month following the recent moderate infection increase. Nonetheless, a government panel on virus prevention said the same day it is too early to say if the resurgence since the end of a state of emergency in late May is over, citing a continued spike seen in some areas such as Osaka and Fukuoka prefectures.[202]
    • Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday he would continue with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies known as "Abenomics" as he formally announced his candidacy in the election to succeed him as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. During a press conference, Suga said he would do all he could to resolve the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, including meeting with its leader Kim Jong Un without setting conditions, while working on other issues including amending the country's pacifist Constitution.[203]
  • 5 September:
    • Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, favored to become the next Japanese premier, said Saturday he will not aim for an "interim" government to fill in for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will depart in the middle of his current term citing ill health. In an interview with Kyodo News, Suga, the right-hand man of Abe, said the coronavirus response will be the top priority for the next administration.[204]
    • With the number of spectators at stadiums capped in keeping with government guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, companies sponsoring J.League teams are changing their marketing strategies to attract the interest of as many soccer fans as possible. The companies are promoting new collaborations with local teams to spread their image, as they now have fewer opportunities to draw attention with their advertisements and cannot set up booths in stadiums to sell products and services directly to spectators.[205]
  • 6 September: The LDP is to hold its presidential election on Sept. 14 to pick Abe's successor who will then be chosen as the country's prime minister at an extraordinary Diet session on Sept. 16, given the party's dominance in the House of Representatives. Japan's lower house may be dissolved for a general election as soon as a replacement for incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is picked later this month, a leading Liberal Democratic Party figure said Sunday.[206]
  • 8 September:
    • Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said Tuesday she believes the postponed Tokyo Games should be held next year "at any cost" in consideration of the preparations being made by athletes and others involved with the tournament. "All the people involved with the games are working together to prepare, and the athletes are also making considerable efforts toward next year under the circumstances they've been handed," Hashimoto said during a press conference.[207]
    • Official campaigning for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election began Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's right-hand man seen on course to succeed the outgoing premier in the race against two former ministers. Top candidate Yoshihide Suga, 71, who has served as chief Cabinet secretary for nearly eight years under the Abe administration, is vying with Shigeru Ishiba, a 63-year-old former defense minister and vocal critic of Abe, and Fumio Kishida, 63, a former foreign minister and currently the LDP's policy chief.[208]
    • Japan's domestic travel subsidy program, launched in July to help revive tourism within the country hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will cover half of travelers' costs from October, up from the current 35 percent, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Tuesday. Under the "Go To Travel" campaign, travelers in Japan now enjoy a 35 percent discount to their expenses centering on accommodation fees, but can save more from Oct. 1 as they will receive coupons worth 15 percent of the total costs that can be used for food, shopping and other activities offered at destinations.[209]
  • 10 September:
    • Yukio Edano, a 56-year-old veteran Japanese lawmaker who was the government's top spokesman at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, was named Thursday as the leader of a new merged Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan to be formed in the hope of mounting a united front against the ruling coalition.[210]
    • About 18 million yen ($170,000) has been stolen from bank accounts linked to NTT Docomo Inc.'s e-money service since August, an executive of Japan's biggest mobile carrier said Thursday, prompting police to begin an investigation into a suspected scam. As of Thursday, 66 cases of unauthorized withdrawals from accounts at 11 banks connected to the e-money service had been confirmed, according to NTT Docomo.[211]
    • The International Olympic Committee is set to hold "important discussions" on coronavirus countermeasures in the coming weeks, but it is still too early to say what steps will be taken at the postponed Tokyo Games, IOC President Thomas Bach said Wednesday. In a teleconference following an online meeting of the IOC executive board, Bach said the Tokyo Olympics organizers had to "prepare for different scenarios" without knowing the exact situation surrounding the games next summer.[212]
  • 11 September:
    • Japan decided Friday to relax a rule limiting the size of crowds at professional sports, concerts and other events from Sept. 19 to expand social and economic activities amid signs nationwide coronavirus cases are moderating in recent days. The government will lift the 5,000-person cap on large events, allowing them to hold up to 50 percent of their capacity, officials said following a meeting of a panel of experts. Under the current rule, venues for such events are allowed to hold up to 50 percent of their capacity or up to a total of 5,000 people.[213]
    • With it very likely the world will still be battling the novel coronavirus next summer, one expert is concerned about how protective masks might exacerbate the impact of extreme heat expected during the Tokyo Olympics. Before the pandemic's arrival, the heat and humidity of Tokyo's summers represented the biggest health concerns for organizers. But the need for protective masks during the games means previous plans to keep staff and spectators cool may be inadequate.[214]
  • 12 September:
    • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a Tokyo hospital Saturday, the first time he has returned since his surprise announcement last month that he will step down due to his battle with a chronic disease. According to the prime minister's office, Abe spent about four hours at Keio University Hospital receiving treatment for ulcerative colitis, the intestinal disease he suffers from. It was his third visit to the hospital in recent weeks.[215]
    • The race to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe entered the home stretch on Saturday as the front-runner, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, vowed to guard the economy from the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. In a televised debate with his rivals, former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Suga said he would use "any means" including an additional economic package to keep businesses going and protect jobs.[216]
  • 14 September:
    • Yoshihide Suga, the chief Cabinet secretary of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was elected Monday by ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and representatives as the party's new president, setting him on course to become Japan's next leader later this week. A majority of the LDP's factions gave the top government spokesman their backing after Abe said last month he would step down for health reasons, resulting in Suga receiving 377 votes, Kishida 89, and Ishiba 68.[217]
    • The leader of Japan's main opposition party Yukio Edano on Monday called for the immediate convening of an extraordinary parliamentary session to debate measures on the novel coronavirus pandemic, following the election of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga as new president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.[218]
  • 16 September:
    • Yoshihide Suga took office as Japan's first new prime minister in nearly eight years on Wednesday, forming a Cabinet of familiar faces to stay the course set by his predecessor Shinzo Abe. The former chief Cabinet secretary comes to the top job at a time when the country is grappling with an economy battered by the novel coronavirus, while longer-term challenges include the country's falling birth rate and simmering tensions with Asian neighbors. He will remained until the 2021 Liberal Democrats of Japan leadership election and the next Japanese general election.[219]
    • Health minister Katsunobu Katō said Tuesday he has been asked by incoming Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to be his chief Cabinet secretary, while sources familiar with the matter said those in key ministerial posts will be retained. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Finance Minister Tarō Asō are among those who will keep their jobs when Suga forms a Cabinet on Wednesday to carry out policies focusing on fighting the coronavirus pandemic while shoring up the economy, the sources said, while Defense Minister Tarō Kōno will trade his portfolio for that of minister in charge of administrative reform.[220]
    • The U.S. government said Tuesday it is paying attention to Japan's process of selecting a successor to outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and that it is eager to continue to cooperate on various regional and global issues. While reiterating U.S. appreciation for Abe's years of effort in championing the bilateral alliance, a State Department spokesperson said in a statement, "We are watching the process of selecting a new prime minister with great interest."[221]
  • 17 September:
    • Japan's tallest skyscraper around 390 meters high, which is scheduled to be built in front of Tokyo Station in fiscal 2027, will be named "Torch Tower," its developer Mitsubishi Estate Co. said Thursday. The new landmark with 63 stories above ground and four underground will be a complex of offices, commercial facilities and a hall accommodating around 2,000 people. A luxury hotel and an observation deck, where visitors can view Mt. Fuji, Japan's tallest mountain, will be located in the upper floors. The current tallest building in the country is the 300-meter Abeno Harukas in the western Japanese city of Osaka, and the fictional 315-meter One GJSA Tower located in downtown areas of central Tokyo. Under a skyscraper project by Mori Building Co., a 330-meter-tall building is scheduled to be completed in the same location in 2023.[222]
    • The approval rating for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet stands at 66.4% while the disapproval rate is at 16.2%, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday, confirming solid public support for Japan's first new leader in nearly eight years. While a direct comparison cannot be made due to differing polling methods, the figure compares with 62.0 percent for his predecessor Shinzo Abe's Cabinet upon his return to power in December 2012.[223]
  • 19 September:
    • Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a Twitter post Saturday he visited the war-linked Yasukuni shrine days after stepping down from the post, his first visit in nearly seven years. The visit to the Shinto shrine in Tokyo, viewed by Japan's neighbors, including China, as a symbol of its past militarism because it honors convicted war criminals along with millions of war dead, prompted a negative reaction from South Korea.[224]
    • Japanese woman Kane Tanaka, who is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest living person, set an all-time Japanese age record Saturday at 117 years and 261 days. The previous record was held by compatriot woman Nabi Tajima, a resident of Kikai Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, who died in April 2018, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.[225]
  • 21 September:
    • A museum that archives and exhibits items related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster opened Sunday in the Futaba, Fukushima that hosts the stricken power plant, helping to preserve memories and pass on lessons to future generations. The opening of the prefecture-run museum had been planned for this summer but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. About 1,050 people visited on opening day to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the disaster.[226]
    • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and US President Donald Trump agreed to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. security alliance and work together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday night in their first phone call since Suga took office. Suga, elected by parliament on Wednesday as Japan's first new leader in nearly eight years, told reporters after the conversation that he told Trump the alliance is the "cornerstone of peace and stability in the region."[227]
  • 23 September:
    • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed Wednesday to work together to make next year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics a success, the Foreign Ministry said. The IOC and the Tokyo Games organizing committee have agreed to simplify the games to slash the costs of the postponement. They aim to reach an accord this month on the specific items subject to cuts, including the number of people involved, related events and ceremonies.[228]
    • Japan will allow the entry of foreign athletes for next summer's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics if they meet a set of requirements, such as presenting negative test results for the novel coronavirus upon their arrival, a government-led panel said Wednesday. The agreed-upon criteria also include not using public transportation in principle and consent to movement restrictions within Japan.[229]
    • Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his British counterpart Boris Johnson agreed Wednesday to bolster bilateral cooperation, including promoting post-Brexit free trade. In their first talks since Suga took office last week, Japan also welcomed Britain's interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade pact, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. Japan and Britain are aiming to implement their trade pact, which largely replicates the existing Japan-EU agreement, in January next year to ensure continuity in their trade and investment relationship.[230]
  • 24 September:
    • The 2020 Tokyo Game Show will be held originally at Makuhari Messe, included the approval of MHDU's Chuni-Style Project, for the post-global coronavirus pandemic rules by the federal Japanese and US governments towards 2020 United States presidential election on November 3, and the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. But on May 8, the organizer of the Tokyo Game Show said Friday it will consider holding this year's event online due to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus.[231][232][233]
    • Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told South Korean President Moon Jae In in a phone call on Thursday that relations between the neighboring countries -- which have been strained by a diplomatic feud over wartime labor -- need to be improved. Speaking to reporters following his first conversation with Moon since taking office last week, Suga said Japan and South Korea are "extremely important neighbors" but that bilateral ties are in a "very difficult situation" and need mending.[234]
    • Tokyo confirmed Wednesday an additional 59 coronavirus infections, marking the lowest daily figure in nearly three months, as the government has in recent days eased restrictions on social and business activities. The number was down from 88 reported on Tuesday and 98 on Monday, and the lowest since June 30 when 54 cases were reported. The daily counts, which reflect the most recent totals reported by health authorities and medical institutions, tend to be lower during weekends and holidays when less testing is conducted. Japan had a four-day weekend through Tuesday.[235]
  • 25 September
    • Tokyo Disneyland unveiled Friday to the media a new area of attractions based on the "Beauty and the Beast" movie that has taken nearly three years to construct. The area, which will officially open to visitors from Monday, also houses a facility based on the animated superhero film "Big Hero 6," making the park the first Disney theme park to feature the 2014 blockbuster. Guests are greeted by a new 30-meter-high castle that houses an approximately eight-minute ride in which users ride a "magical teacup." There is also a recreation of the village bookstore and fountain that "Beauty and the Beast" heroine Belle visits in the film.[236]
    • Cyclists' traffic violations hit a record high of over 20,000 last year in Japan and the rising trend appears to be continuing this year as more people turn to bikes amid the coronavirus pandemic, police data showed Friday. Violations hit 22,859 in 2019 and have already reached 12,839 in the first half of this year, the National Police Agency said.[237]
  • 27 September
    • A senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker has urged her party to squarely face the lack of female presence in Japanese politics, saying the country's democracy will remain biased without a significantly higher number of women involved in decision-making at both the parliament and local assembly levels. Former Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, who has made no secret about her aim of becoming prime minister, asserted that women are hardly represented in the Diet even though they make up half of the population and 40 percent of the LDP membership.[238]
    • Japan will make available an online version of a health questionnaire that travelers are required to fill out before entering the country to streamline the immigration control process, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday. The online questionnaire meant to flag travelers who are possibly at higher risk of arriving while infected with the coronavirus will be available soon on a trial basis for some international flights arriving at Narita Airport near Tokyo, they said.[239]
  • 28 September
    • Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee, said Monday that the games would go on next year "no matter what happens." The former prime minister was speaking at a party held by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Hosoda faction. He explained that measures now being worked out will make the games safe in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic that forced their postponement until next July. Last week, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach expressed optimism about the games' prospects, while admitting the situation around the world is still uncertain.[240]
    • SoftBank Group Corp.'s robot making unit on Monday unveiled its new food service robot in a move designed to reduce the risk of coronavirus infections between staff and customers at restaurants and other eateries. SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. said it will start renting the "Servi" robot, which can automatically deliver meals and drinks from the kitchen to tables at eateries, next January.[241]
    • Princess Yuriko, the oldest member of the imperial family and great-aunt of Emperor Naruhito, has been diagnosed with heart failure, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday. The 97-year-old princess, the widow of Prince Mikasa, is in stable condition and able to converse and eat. She will be medicated and stay at a Tokyo hospital for two to three weeks, according to the Imperial Household Agency.[242]
  • 29 September
    • Nippon Telegraph and Telephone said Tuesday it has decided to make its NTT Docomo subsidiary a fully owned unit through a 4.25 trillion yen ($40 billion) tender offer, the largest-ever in Japan. With Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pushing for significant cuts in smartphone service fees and telecom companies vying to adopt high-speed 5G networks, NTT aims through the move to build a more effective management team to guide the mobile carrier group.[243]
    • Japan plans to start easing a travel advisory currently in place for 159 countries and regions in October, starting with those where the pace of new coronavirus infections is slow including Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam, sources close to the matter said Monday. The Foreign Ministry's travel advisory for the 159 countries and regions currently stands at Level 3, warning against all travel. If it lowers the advisory for some countries to Level 2, it means that non-essential travel should be avoided.[244]
    • The Japanese government is considering holding ceremonies to celebrate Crown Prince Fumihito's ascent to first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne possibly in mid-November, an official said Monday. The "Rikkoshi no rei" ceremonies, originally scheduled for April, have been postponed due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The ceremonies are intended to proclaim the 54-year-old crown prince's new status, which he acquired after his brother, Emperor Naruhito, ascended the throne in May last year.[245]
  • 30 September – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is planning to visit Vietnam and Indonesia around mid-October in his first official overseas trip since taking office earlier this month, government sources said Wednesday. If the trip goes ahead, the premier is expected to hold talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, except Phillippines Presdient Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines.[246]

October

  • 1 October
    • The Tokyo Stock Exchange halted trading of all listed shares for the entire Thursday session due to a system glitch, making it the first full-day suspension since the world's third-largest bourse introduced a fully computerized system in May 1999. The TSE said it will resume trading Friday, but the breakdown dealt a blow to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who pledges to make digitalization a top policy priority and Tokyo's efforts to attract more foreign financial institutions and talent in a bid to become a global financial hub.[247]
    • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is unlikely to dissolve the House of Representatives for an election within this year, opting to keep his immediate focus on tackling the COVID-19 crisis, senior officials of his administration said Thursday. Media polls conducted immediately after Suga took office in mid-September showed high support ratings for his Cabinet, fanning speculation that the prime minister could seek to win a strong mandate from voters.[248]
  • 3 October
    • China opened a digital museum on Saturday aimed at demonstrating the country's claims to the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, according to Chinese media. By displaying "legal and historical proof" that the islets belong to China, the website says it "helps viewers further understand the indisputable fact that Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory," according to the official Xinhua News Agency.[249]
    • Japan's science council which makes policy recommendations to the government sent a letter to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday asking him to explain his recent refusal to appoint some of the body's nominees as new members. Since 2004, prime ministers have been naming members of the Science Council of Japan, an organization under the jurisdiction of the premier but operated independently from the state, as recommended by the council which replaces half of its members every three years.[250]
  • 5 October
    • Japan and South Korea plan to agree as early as this week on the resumption of business trips between the two countries, a measure the two governments halted in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to Japanese government sources. The entry of expatriates and other long-term residents as well as travelers on short-term business trips will be allowed in both countries, provided they have tested negative for the coronavirus test and turn in itineraries, the sources said.[251]
    • Fujitsu Ltd. President Takahito Tokita apologized Monday for the system glitch last week that caused an all-day trading suspension on the Tokyo bourse, as the developer vowed to fully investigate the cause of the malfunction. The bourse uses the "arrowhead" trading system developed by Fujitsu. Thursday's outage, the worst for the exchange since it fully computerized trading in 1999, followed a defect in the system's hardware, with its automatic backup failing to work. The Japanese firm updated the system in November last year.[252]
  • 6 October
    • The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States, Australia and India affirmed Tuesday they will step up coordination to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, taking aim at what Washington called China's "exploitation, corruption and coercion" of smaller states in the region. The four major Indo-Pacific democracies, known as the Quad, called on other countries to join the initiative, Japan's Toshimitsu Motegi said after a meeting in Tokyo with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.[253]
    • Japan and South Korea will resume business travel between the countries starting Thursday following a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a move that may help to improve relations which have sunk to a historic low over wartime labor. Under the bilateral agreement, travelers on short-term business trips will not be required to observe 14-day self-isolation periods if they test negative for the novel coronavirus and submit travel itineraries, among other preventive measures.[254]
  • 7 October
    • A Nintendo-themed area at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka featuring its popular characters such as Mario will open to the public from spring 2021, the park's operator said Wednesday. "Super Nintendo World," the world's first attraction based on the firm's games, was initially slated to open in tandem with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games this summer, but was postponed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to Comcast's NBCUniversal.[255]
    • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga instructed his government on Wednesday to draw up plans to stop using "hanko" seals on administrative documents, a tradition that has been criticized as outdated and necessitating face-to-face interaction that risks spreading the coronavirus. The move, part of Suga's push to improve bureaucratic efficiency, is expected to lead to more government services becoming available online. "I want all ministries to compile a comprehensive review of their administrative procedures in the near future," Suga told a meeting of the Council for Promotion of Regulatory Reform, an advisory panel of members from the private sector and academics.[256]
  • 8 October
    • Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that Japan will contribute more than $130 million to an international framework to ensure that developing countries have fair access to coronavirus vaccines. The disbursement to the COVAX Facility is part of roughly $300 million in financial support Japan offered in June to the global vaccine alliance Gavi, which co-leads the facility, for five years from 2021.[257]
    • Japan will hold ceremonies on Nov. 8 to celebrate Crown Prince Fumihito's ascent to first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne that were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday. The Crown Prince Proclamation Ceremony are intended to formally proclaim the 54-year-old's new status after his elder brother Emperor Naruhito was enthroned in May last year.[258]
  • 11 October
    • Japan's cumulative total of confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus topped 90,000 on Sunday, according to a tally based on data released by authorities. Some 437 newly reported cases brought the total number to 90,099, including about 700 cases from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo in February. The death toll climbed to 1,643. In Tokyo, which has the largest number of infections among the country's 47 prefectures, 146 new cases were confirmed Sunday. Its cumulative total stands at 27,715, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government.[259]
    • Japan plans to set up a new bureau next year in an effort to significantly increase the country's exports of agricultural products, according to farm minister Kotaro Nogami. With the launch of what is tentatively called the Export and International Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan aims to boost farm exports to 5 trillion yen ($47 billion) by 2030 from 912.1 billion yen in 2019, according to ministry officials.[260]
  • 12 October
    • Campaigning began Monday for a Nov. 1 referendum on whether Osaka should become a metropolis akin to Tokyo in 2025. Some 2.24 million voters in the western Japan city are eligible to take part in what will be a second plebiscite on the Osaka metropolis plan. A similar plan was voted down in 2015 by a slim margin. Proponents say such a measure will lead to cost-effective governance by eliminating duplication of work between the Osaka prefectural and city governments. Opponents, however, argue the coronavirus crisis should be prioritized over the referendum.[261]
    • Japan is seeking to propose the establishment of international rules in response to infection-hit cruise ships, after its dealing with the U.S.-operated, British-flagged ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February shed light on new legal issues, officials said Monday. Japan took care of the around 3,700 passengers and crew aboard the ship Diamond Princess, including conducting coronavirus testing and treating them, although there were no uniform international laws on what roles each related country should assume when nationalities of the ship and the operator as well as the country where the ship stopped at, differ, they said.[262]
    • Nearly 8,000 people were still caught up in evacuee life as Japan marked the first anniversary Monday of Typhoon Hagibis' landfall that killed at least 113 and left three missing in the country's east, according to a Kyodo News tally. A similar service was held in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with bereaved families mourning and offering flowers for the deceased. With the reconstruction of affected houses and infrastructure continuing, 7,895 people in 11 prefectures were staying in temporary housing as of Oct. 1, including those affected by the two other typhoons that hit the country just before and after Hagibis, government data show.[263]
  • 13 October
    • A trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea and China most likely will not be held this year as Tokyo has given notice that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not attend without concessions from Seoul in a feud over compensation for wartime labor, diplomatic sources said Monday. South Korea was slated to host the trilateral summit, which has been held roughly once a year since 2008 as a forum to discuss economic cooperation as well as regional issues including North Korea.[264]
    • Japan is considering an additional economic stimulus package focusing on boosting consumption dampened by the novel coronavirus pandemic, government sources said Tuesday. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to instruct officials to draw up the specifics next month at the earliest, with the draft of the government's third supplementary budget for fiscal 2020 to be compiled by the end of the year to finance the policy measures, the sources said.[265]
  • 14 October
    • A decades-long series of essays by award-winning Japanese author Mariko Hayashi have been recognized by Guinness World Records as the most essays published in the same magazine by an individual, the magazine's publisher said Wednesday. Essays in the series, now carried under the title "Late Night Jump Rope", had appeared in Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine a total of 1,655 times as of July 2 since the series began in 1983, according to Bungeishunjū.[266]
    • Ministers from 15 Asia-Pacific countries negotiating a sprawling free trade agreement urged India on Wednesday to return to the talks as they are aiming to sign a deal by the end of the year, a Japanese official said. India, seeking safeguards amid concerns that opening up its market would raise its trade deficit with China, has skipped all negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership framework this year.[267]

Scheduled events

  • 6 November – Tokorozawa Sakura Town will be opened, a new joint-venture between PKDN Holdings and the Tokorozawa city government as a cultural complex.[268]

Deaths

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

See also

References

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External links

Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - 2020 in Japan