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Five more examples of how the coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape Japanese life from cradle to grave, or thereabouts:

  • ANA is offering couples the chance to tie the knot on an aircraft it has been forced to ground as COVID-19 continues to limit air travel. The symbolism of marrying on a plane going nowhere may not appeal to everyone, but at least there’s zero turbulence.
  • All that extra time at home isn’t helping Japan’s birth rate. Municipalities recorded 872,227 pregnancies last year, down 4.8% from 2019 to a new low, suggesting that the number of babies born in 2021 could fall below the 800,000 line for the first time.
A worker gives out meals in bento boxes for free to a junior high school student at a children's cafeteria in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture. | THE OKINAWA TIMES
A worker gives out meals in bento boxes for free to a junior high school student at a children’s cafeteria in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture. | THE OKINAWA TIMES
  • “Children’s cafes” that help out low-income households with free meals and a place for kids to hang out have become crucial as the pandemic hits family finances, The Okinawa Times reports. Yet many kids’ cafes have been forced to close their doors.
  • As COVID-19 wreaks economic havoc, so-called nonregular workers are bearing the brunt of the pain, the Nishinippon Shimbun reports. The government stresses “self-reliance,” but some of those who can barely make ends meet risk being left behind.
  • Farmers are having to to grapple with smart tech to grow and sell their products as they face the double whammy of depressed sales to restaurants due to the pandemic and the graying of their ranks, as youngsters shun agricultural work.

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