Japan to ease entry for Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, NZ – Abe
UNTV News • June 19, 2020 • 356
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (June 18) said his country would ease entry restrictions for people coming from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.
Speaking at a news conference on a day after the parliament session closed, Abe said Japan, which bans entry from more than 100 countries, will start coordinating discussion with the four countries.
Abe emphasised Japan needs a measure to restore people’s livelihoods and the economy hit by the new coronavirus pandemic. “We need a measure which controls the risk of infections with as few restrictions as possible, a measure which focuses more on protecting our jobs and livelihoods,” he said.
Abe also delivered an apology at the beginning of the news conference, over the arrests of former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, upper house lawmaker Anri Kawai, on suspicion of vote-buying. “I’m keenly aware of my responsibility as I once appointed him (Katsuyuki Kawai) Justice Minister,” Abe added.
Support for Abe, who had close ties to the ex-justice minister, has declined over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a furore over efforts to extend top prosecutors’ retirement age, and questions about government programmes to support tourism and smaller companies. (Reuters)
Tokyo Olympics organizers expect to be able to use all the venues as originally planned at next year’s rearranged Games, several Japanese media outlets reported on Thursday (July 9).
Securing venues was a top priority for organisers after the Games were pushed back to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kyodo and NHK, citing unnamed sources, said they were now confident they would be tied down for Olympics use again.
However, at his regular weekly news conference, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said the reports were “optimistic” and that nothing had been announced.
Last month, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said 80% of all venues needed had been secured, with the Athlete’s Village and Tokyo Big Sight, the planned media centre, among those yet to be fully secured.
Thursday’s reports also said the competition schedule would remain largely unchanged and that all tickets holders would be eligible for refunds, and that organisers would seek approval of these decisions from the IOC’s General Assembly on July 17.
Asked to confirm those details, Takaya said nothing had been decided and Tokyo 2020 did not expect to seek approval from the IOC next week. (Reuters)
People in southwestern Japan were busy cleaning up on Wednesday (July 8) following the aftermath of torrential rain that has pounded the area since the weekend killing dozens of people in floods and landslides.
In Hitoyoshi, a severe flood of the Kumagawa River destroyed houses along the riverbanks. Ruined home appliances and furniture lined local streets, while residents shovelled mud and bagged garbage. An excavator worked to clear debris.
As of Wednesday, 59 people have been confirmed dead, including 18 in Hitoyoshi. Seventeen people remain missing.
Meanwhile, the heavy rain moved into central Japan’s Nagano and Gifu prefectures. The country’s meteorological agency issued a heavy rain emergency in the two prefectures early Wednesday but downgraded the alert to a warning later in the day.
Water levels of rivers in the region were seen rising and officials are telling residents to stay vigilant. (Reuters)
Japan warned of more heavy rain on the southwestern island of Kyushu on Tuesday (July 7) as the death toll in flood-hit areas reached at least 50, with more than a dozen people reported missing.
“The ground formation has weakened from the rain. We fear there may be landslides even if it rains slightly. I ask residents to please be on alert for information released by local offices and watch out for rivers flooding,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a regular news briefing, urging people to take the necessary precautions to ensure their safety.
Japan on Monday (July 6) issued a heavy rain emergency warning in three prefectures on Kyushu, including Nagasaki, Saga and Fukuoka but officials have downgraded the emergency warning to a warning on Tuesday. Police, Self Defense Force and Coast Guard units are conducting search and rescue effort, Suga said. (Reuters)
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