COMING SOON: Vaccine Passport in Japan

Japan is eyeing to organize the implementation of vaccine passports this summer modeling the European Union’s COVID certificate system.    While being behind in the vaccine rollout compared to other first-world nations, Japan has finally stepped up its game and is scheduled to begin its general public inoculation this June 2021.    With a goal
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Hanami Cancelled due to Coronavirus Pandemic

  Did you know that hanami is a Japanese practice or custom of viewing cherry blossoms when they are in full bloom in Japan? These Cherry blossoms are said to symbolize the fragility of life in Japanese culture as Cherry Blossoms’ full blooms last for only about a week before the petals start falling off
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Japan Inbound Travelers Required to Install Location Confirmation App and Skype on Smartphones

A new regulation enacted by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is set out in Japan to comply with the 14 days of self-quarantine upon arriving in Japan before mingling with the general public.   Three apps are required to be installed on your Smartphone upon arrival at either Haneda or Narita Airport. And
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Job Hunting Hurdles Due to Pandemic

With bankruptcies rising due the COVID-19 pandemic, this has imposed more challenges in landing a job after graduation to graduating university students in Japan. It is apparent these days in Japan that recruitment has been drastically changed due to COVID-19.    The ‘worker’s market’ used to be a place where these graduating students gain employment
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Bankruptcies on the Rise in Japan due to Pandemic

Teikoku Databank, a credit research firm, reports that around 1,107 bankruptcies hit Japan as of the end of February due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   The most affected businesses are the bars and restaurants followed by the construction industry and hotels. The notable increase in bankruptcies in urban areas were said to be due to
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Japan Heading to a Cashless Economy Due to COVID-19

Surveys say that more customers are choosing cashless transactions amid the pandemic. Japanese who are known to be avid users of bills and coins are now heading towards a cashless economy to lower COVID-19 infection risks and earn more rewards.    G-Plan Inc. and Biglobe Inc. conducted a survey April of last year showing 29.5%
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Rigged Admissions: Tokyo Medical University Scandal

Tokyo Medical University said Wednesday it will admit some of the applicants who were rejected in 2017 and 2018 due to a rigged admissions process, but its president did not state whether there was gender discrimination in the process.   Of 101 students who were unfairly rejected, up to 63 may be able to attend

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November 9, 2018

Mitsubishi compensates Chinese Forced Labor during WWII

Mitsubishi Materials Corp. is in the final stages of setting up a fund that will be used to pay compensation to thousands of Chinese people forced to labor in Japan during World War II, it was learned Sunday.   The fund represents the final hurdle in a settlement that the Japanese company reached with the

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November 7, 2018

Japan allows more foreign workers. Then again…..

The envisaged creation of a new visa program to accept foreign workers may help ease Japan’s serious labor crunch that looks set to get worse in coming years amid the rapid aging of its society.   For a country known for keeping a firm grip on immigration, however, the challenges are manifold, ranging from social

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November 5, 2018

Labor Saving Machines are Taking over Japan

The machinery sector is striving to develop labor-saving technology with artificial intelligence and connected devices to help firms cope with labor shortages in industries from construction and natural resource development to electronic parts manufacturing.   Major Japanese machinery makers such as Komatsu Ltd. and Fanuc Corp. gathered earlier this month at an electronics show near

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October 31, 2018

Japanese strategy to China isn’t so tough anymore

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-day official trip to China through Saturday put priority on conjuring up images of friendliness, despite persistent differences over security and territorial issues.   Leading up to talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, Abe had been discreetly omitting the word ”strategy” in public speeches when

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October 29, 2018

Japanese Diet: Japan after WWII

Shinzo Abe reiterated his vow to put Japan’s unresolved World War II diplomatic challenges at rest; placing emphasis on ensuring the return of citizens abducted by North Korean agents and the signing of a peace treaty with Russia.   In his speech at Diet, Abe recycled the slogan “summing up Japan’s post war diplomacy” which

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October 26, 2018

Japan and AI: Schools using robots to teach English

Japanese schools are trying to find ways to take advantage of robots equipped with artificial intelligence in the teaching of English as the country plans to make the language must be official at elementary schools from the spring of 2020.   Each elementary classroom, a sixth-grader describes, in great detail and in good English, a

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October 24, 2018

Japan and the Okinawa Military Base

The Japanese government on Wednesday took countermeasures against Okinawa over its recent move to block landfill work for a key U.S. military base transfer within the small southern island prefecture.   The central government requested the land ministry to review and invalidate the Okinawa government’s decision that has suspended work for the controversial relocation of

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October 19, 2018

Japan will raise taxes for 2019 and no one can stop it

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the Japanese government will raise the consumption tax to 10 percent from the current 8 percent in October next year as planned, after postponing the increase twice due to concerns it would dampen consumer spending and hurt the economy.   Confirming that the schedule remains unchanged in an extraordinary

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October 17, 2018

Japan’s Military and Women In Uniform

A growing number of women in Japan’s Self-Defense Forces are entering formerly male-dominated fields, with one recently becoming the country’s first-ever female fighter jet pilot.   Misa Matsushima, 1st Lt. of the Air Self-Defense Force, told reporters in late August that she wants to inspire women to join after a ceremony at a base in

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October 15, 2018