After weeks of being stranded in Japan due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, a total of 160 Filipinos are finally sent home on Monday (June 1).
The 160 Filipino tourists, workers, and students departed from Narita International Airport via a chartered flight mounted by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo.
On the department’s Facebook post, Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, Atty. Sarah Lou Y. Arriola, said that “the repatriation of distressed Filipinos abroad is firm commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte which is dutifully being implemented by the Department of Foreign Affairs.”
Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Jose C. Laurel V assured the repatriates that the Philippine government will continue to provide assistance to Filipinos abroad.
According to the DFA, the said repatriated Filipinos will undergo COVID testing and hotel quarantine to wait out the results of their test. –AAC
People in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday (May 26) woke up to their first day with loosened social distancing curbs, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the state of emergency for all areas in the country on Monday (May 25).
Tokyo and the three surrounding prefectures, as well as Hokkaido were the last remaining areas under emergency.
Many residents welcomed the government’s decision to end the emergency, though most said they are still alert for the virus since more people are out on the streets.
“I’m still a bit worried. There may be a second wave of an epidemic so we still need to be alert,” said 45-year-old Naoto Furuki who said the trains were a lot more crowded with commuters this morning.
With the emergency order lifted, Tokyo will move into “stage one” of loosening restrictions, allowing libraries and museums to reopen, and restaurants to stay open until later in the evening. Subsequent stages would see theatres, cinemas and fairgrounds reopen.
Company employee Daisuke Tominaga is happy that the emergency state is over, saying that the Japanese economy will collapse if businesses and people have to continue to live under restrictions.
“I want to go out drinking and attend concerts,” he said enthusiastically.
Many shops and restaurants have restarted operations since the government began lifting the emergency in rural and suburban areas earlier this month, but some stores remain closed. (Reuters)
(Production: Kim Kyung-Hoon, Akiko Okamoto, Travis Teo)
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday (May 4) he has decided to extend the country’s national state of emergency to the end of the month.
Abe will consider lifting the nationwide state of emergency without waiting for its May 31 expiration if expert advisors decide that is possible based on detailed analysis of regional infection trends, he said at a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force.
He said his advisors said that Japan had not seen the explosive surge in infections seen in some countries overseas, but the number of new infection cases had not fallen enough and there were regions where the medical system was facing strains.
For the 13 prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka that have been hardest hit, a target of reducing person-to-person contacts by 80% would remain in place, Abe said. Japan will move gradually to a framework that will combine prevention of the spread of infections with maintaining social and economic activities, he added. (Reuters)
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