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Osaka Prefecture on Tuesday reported a single-day record of 55 deaths linked to COVID-19 and 974 new cases of the virus. Tokyo saw 925 infections, while Aichi logged a new high of 578 cases.

On Monday, reporting deaths outside hospital for the first time, Osaka confirmed that 18 people have died of COVID-19 at home in the prefecture, 17 of them since March 1, as highly infectious strains spread in Kansai.

Meanwhile, a full-page ad that appeared in some national newspapers caused a stir online Tuesday. The ad, comprising an image of the novel coronavirus superimposed on a World War II-era photo of Japanese kids training to fight with sticks, marked a rare corporate rebuke of the country’s pandemic response.

This full-page ad placed by magazine publisher Takarajimasha appeared in three Japanese newspapers Tuesday morning | TAKARAJIMASHA / VIA KYODO
This full-page ad placed by magazine publisher Takarajimasha appeared in three Japanese newspapers Tuesday morning | TAKARAJIMASHA / VIA KYODO

“No vaccine, no medication. Are we supposed to fight with bamboo spears?” read the accompanying text, which also criticized the plan to hold the delayed Tokyo Olympics.

Finally, while Japan has been conspicuous in its absence from the vaccine race, that may be set to change. Domestic drugmaker Shionogi said Monday it plans to release its vaccine within the year — if everything falls its way.

Yesterday’s (and last Tuesday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (100 or over): Osaka 974 (884), Tokyo 925 (609), Aichi 578 (219), Hyogo 377 (337), Fukuoka 404 (239), Hokkaido 421 (233), Kanagawa 277 (214), Saitama 278 (185), Okayama 133 (68), Okinawa 132 (33), Gifu 126 (44), Hiroshima 124 (75), Chiba 119 (124), Kumamoto 117 (29), Kyoto 116 (113). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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