Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief not considering changing plans for Games

UNTV News   •   March 11, 2020   •   461

Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori said on Wednesday (March 11) his team was not considering changing plans for the Games and that the board member who had suggested a delay because of the coronavirus had apologised.

Earlier, a member of the organizing committee’s executive board told Reuters that a delay of one or two years would be the “most feasible” option if the Olympics could not be held this summer.

“At the moment, we are not thinking about changing plans or postponing the Games,” Mori told reporters at a hastily arranged media briefing.

He also added that some venues wouldn’t necessarily be available for use if the Olympics were delayed, as per Haruyuki Takahashi’s, one of more than two dozen members of the Tokyo 2020 executive board, earlier suggestion.

Mori added that he left hospital on Wednesday to make the announcement but the 82-year-old former Japanese Prime Minister did not say why he had been hospitalised.

Organisers have been pushing a consistent message that the Games would not be cancelled or postponed but sponsors who have pumped in billions of dollars have grown increasingly nervous about how the coronavirus outbreak will impact the event.

Experts say a one-year postponement to the same time next year would pose major logistical problems but was doable for broadcasters because it fits into their generally open summer schedule.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 116,000 people and killed more than 4,000 around the world since it surfaced in China late last year. (Reuters)

(Production: Jack Tarrant, Shiori Ozawa)

Japan PM officially declares state of emergency

UNTV News   •   April 7, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe | Image courtesy of Reuters Connect

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday (April 7) declared a state of emergency to fight new coronavirus infections in major population centres and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.

The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last through May 6 and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population.

“The most important thing is to change people’s actions,” Abe said in televised comments made at a meeting of a government task force.

Abe will speak at a news conference later tonight to explain to the citizens what the emergency declaration means for the people to get consent from the public. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

Coronavirus turns Japan business mood negative for first time in 7 years

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Japanese manufacturers turned pessimistic for the first time in seven years in the three months to March, the central bank’s “tankan” survey showed on Wednesday (April 1), as the coronavirus pandemic pushed the economy closer to recession.

Non-manufacturers’ sentiment also worsened to levels not seen in seven years as travel bans, event cancellations and social distancing policies hurt consumption, clouding an already darkening outlook for the economy. The data underscores the challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces in stopping the pandemic wiping out the benefits his “Abenomics” stimulus policies have brought to the economy.

The headline index measuring big manufacturers’ sentiment worsened to minus 8 in March from zero in December, the survey showed, compared with a median market forecast of minus 10. It was the first time in seven years the big manufacturers’ index turned negative.

The pandemic has hit an economy that had already suffered the fastest contraction in 5-1/2 years in the December quarter due to last year’s sales tax hike and the U.S.-China trade war. (Reuters)

(Production: Kohei Miyazaki, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

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