Five more stories about new-normal trends that have emerged in the coronavirus pandemic:
- Micro-tourism, outdoor or adventure tourism, workations, sustainable tourism. Japan’s travel industry has tried new ways to attract visitors amid COVID-19, but which initiatives will stick? Alex K. T. Martin investigates in a Longform bumper read.
- Special flights that whisk passengers over Japan for an hour or so before landing them straight back in South Korea have become a big hit since their launch last fall. But have they no flight shame?
- Unicharm, Japan’s largest face-mask maker, has launched transparent masks created to enable better communication with deaf people during the pandemic, considering typical coverings hinder the ability to read lips and see facial expressions.
- Domestic shipments of home appliances in Japan hit their highest level in 24 years in fiscal 2020, boosted partly by robust demand for air cleaners as people stayed at home more to avoid the novel coronavirus.
- Leading Japanese toilet maker Toto nearly doubled its sales in the U.S. in fiscal 2020, with heightened awareness of hygiene in the pandemic giving the concept of electronic bidet toilets a healthy squirt up the behind.