A grab bag of stories about Japan’s battle against the novel coronavirus and the fallout from the pandemic:

Dance video: 'Wash Your Hands' English subtitled version | ARASHI
Dance video: ‘Wash Your Hands’ English subtitled version | ARASHI
  • The imperial family aren’t doing much these days. A public birthday event for Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. The emperor and empress are also considering meeting with survivors of the 3/11 disasters online rather than traveling to Tohoku for the 10th anniversary of the quake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
  • An aquarium in Yamagata Prefecture has started a crowdfunding drive to raise funds to feed its world-record collection of jellyfish. A sharp decline in visitors due to the pandemic has left the aquarium tight on funds to purchase brine shrimp, a type of plankton, to feed its collection of some 60 species of jellyfish.
  • Desperate to get people flying again, Japan Airlines is offering a service to cover the expenses of its international passengers for their tests, treatment and quarantine if they have become infected with COVID-19 while overseas. Travelers with tickets until June 30 are eligible to receive the free service.

Thursday’s (and last Thursday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (40 or over): Tokyo 434 (734), Kanagawa 178 (224), Saitama 172 (241), Osaka 141 (207), Chiba 127 (202), Fukuoka 110 (120), Hokkaido 92 (120), Aichi 80 (101), Hyogo 53 (111), Ibaraki 47 (64). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker