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Japan Times
JAPAN / Explainer
Mar 13, 2023
Japan’s mask rules end — with some caveats
The government started leaving the decision on masking largely up to individuals Monday. But that doesn’t mean that everyone can throw out their face coverings in all situations.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Books
Mar 13, 2023
Osamu Dazai gets silly while facing fears in 'The Flowers of Buffoonery'
Translator Sam Bett brings out the fragile personalities in the author's early novella, a predecessor to his modern classic novel “No Longer Human.'
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 10, 2023
Pandemic murder wave has crested. Here’s the postmortem.
Homicides were down in the U.S. in 2022 and continue to fall in the biggest cities. The cause of the spike during COVID-19 is still being determined.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 10, 2023
Diamond Princess returns to Yokohama, three years after mass COVID outbreak
The outbreak of infections on the ship in February 2020 led to thousands being quarantined and left 13 of the over 700 infected crew and passengers dead.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 8, 2023
Horse carriages resume ferrying envoys for emperor visit after COVID stoppages end
The Imperial Household Agency has revived horse-drawn carriage processions in light of the resumption of other imperial events this year, including the New Year's address by the emperor.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 8, 2023
Health ministry panel proposes five basic habits for preventing COVID
The new approach comes as the government prepares to shift toward a post-pandemic normal through measures such as removing unified mask guidance.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Mar 8, 2023
Japan still second last in ranking of women in the workforce among OECD nations
Japan ranked 28th and South Korea 29th, both unchanged since 2016, with The Economist noting that women in the two countries 'must still choose between a family or a career.'
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 7, 2023
'Terrace House' alum Chikako Fukuyama tackles cyberpunk samurai in '47 Ronin' sequel
Though she's best known for her time as a housemate on 'Terrace House: Aloha State,' the actor joins an all-Asian cast in a follow-up to the 2013 Keanu Reeves-led fantasy action flick.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 3, 2023
The model for Asia's 'Quad': The Beatles, says Japan's top diplomat
As Asia's 'Quad' powers search for ways to define the group, Japan's foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, has offered a model — The Beatles.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Mar 2, 2023
Hong Kong removes mask mandate for residents and travelers
After almost three years, the government decided to ease restrictions on facial coverings. But concern over new variants keeps many people wearing masks.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Mar 1, 2023
Airline websites swamped as Hong Kong ticket giveaway takes off
The city government last month launched a campaign to reboot its reputation as 'Asia's world city,' after years of strict pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 1, 2023
First foreign cruise ship arrives in Japan since 2020 following COVID curbs
The Amadea is the first of 212 vessels scheduled to arrive in the country in 2023, with some ships expected to make multiple port calls.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Film
Mar 1, 2023
'On the Way Home': Documentary shines spotlight on death of disabled man during interaction with police
A documentary titled 'On the Way Home' tells the story of Kenta Yasunaga and tries to start a conversation about how the Japanese legal system handles disability.
Japan Times
SOCCER / J. League
Feb 28, 2023
J. League rediscovering fervor upon fans' full-scale return
Total annual attendance topped 11 million in 2019 across all competitions, and the league is trying to once again cross that threshold.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Feb 28, 2023
Hong Kong to scrap COVID mask mandate from March 1
Hong Kong and Macao both followed China's 'zero-COVID' policy for much of the past three years.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Feb 27, 2023
Japan to relax border controls for passengers from China starting Wednesday
Travelers from mainland China will still be asked to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure, but testing upon arrival will change to a random sampling of a flight's passengers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Economy
Feb 27, 2023
Supply chains have healed, yet their mark on inflation will endure
Short-term prices for containers from Europe to the U.S. East Coast are still more than double what they were in late 2019, according to data from Freightos.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Feb 23, 2023
Hong Kong extends mask mandate despite reopening campaigns
The city extended the regulation by two weeks to March 8, according to a government gazette published late Wednesday, meaning the rule will have been place for almost 1,000 days.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 22, 2023
Airlines turn profitable amid travel surge after COVID cutbacks
'Aviation is investible again,” said a portfolio manager in Sydney. 'Asian airlines are going to go through the roof.”
Japan Times
JAPAN / Regional Voices: Okinawa
Feb 13, 2023
As Japan considers easing virus guidance, Okinawan children fear unmasked life
Even among adults, opinions are divided on how society should handle the coronavirus, including on the issue of whether or not to remove masks — which only adds to unease for children.

Longform

Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores