Although Japan is catching up to Western nations in the vaccine rollout, the more contagious delta variant and increased foot traffic is being blamed for driving up the number of new cases.
For Satoshi Sugiyama's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Tokyo had been lukewarm on a visit, as it did not expect the South Korean president to propose solutions to festering grievances over historical, political and economic issues.
Plans to hold the first in-person summit between the leaders of Japan and South Korea had hit a snag over a disparaging comment by a Japanese diplomat about the South Korean president.
The government had calculated that the political fallout from not declaring it would outweigh the merits of keeping the status quo.
Many Tokyoites are voters without party affiliation, and their vote is often a reflection of broader public sentiment.
The fight is manifesting itself in a number of recently formed Diet groups, with the two sides vying to install as many of their faction members as possible to LDP executive posts.
The documents will include the holder's date of inoculation and the manufacturer of the shot they received and will be available both in English and Japanese.
Without the pandemic, the prime minister would have enough achievements under his belt to be untroubled by a forthcoming LDP leadership contest and general election.
The motion was submitted after the ruling coalition rejected opposition calls for the current regular Diet session to be extended.
The prime minister’s remark comes as inoculations have picked up speed across the country, after his administration faced criticism for an initially slow rollout.