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Debate over coronavirus law heats up

The power of words is being tested in Japan, where efforts to fight the novel coronavirus — bound by a law tailored to a different disease — remain strictly voluntary. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                <strong>THOUSANDS OF TRIBUTES</strong>: Kengo Onda, left, and Hatsue Onda held strings of thousands of origami cranes Monday that will be offered in tribute to the victims of the1945 atomic bomb.
PHOTO: Thousands of Tributes

Kengo Onda, left, and Hatsue Onda held strings of thousands of origami cranes Monday that will be offered in tribute to the victims of the1945 atomic bomb. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                <strong>SEEKING SPIRITUAL INTERVENTION</strong>: Employees of maid-themed cafes in Akihabara turned out in their uniforms to a prayer meeting for protection from COVID-19 at the Kanda Myojin shrine last weekend in Tokyo. Gov. Yuriko Koike this week asked Tokyo residents to stay home as much as possible during the weekend as cases continue to climb there.
PHOTO: Seeking Spiritual Intervention

Employees of maid-themed cafes in Akihabara turned out in their uniforms to a prayer meeting for protection from COVID-19 at the Kanda Myojin shrine last weekend in Tokyo. Read more

NEW YORK TIMES / 2019
                                Stamping documents with hanko, an official seal — which has the same legal function as a signature — has forced workers in Japan to travel to offices during the pandemic.
Centuries-old hanko heritage at crossroads

Hanko — personal stamps used in Japan for official business — has been the focus of much attention amid the move toward teleworking in response to the coronavirus. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tokyo short on hotel rooms for coronavirus patients

The number of people infected with COVID-19 is rapidly increasing in Tokyo — by Tuesday, there were more than 9,800 confirmed cases — causing a shortage of hotel rooms rented by the metropolitan government to accommodate those who are asymptomatic or have mild cases. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sushi chain to use app for grading fish quality

Kura Sushi Inc., a major conveyor-belt sushi restaurant chain, has introduced an app that remotely grades tuna quality. Because in-person assessment overseas have become difficult with the spread of the novel coronavirus, the restaurant plans to use the app to make tuna purchases abroad. Read more

JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI
                                <strong>SAFETY-FIRST CHEERING</strong>: Yomiuri Giants fans cheer their team at Hotto Motto Field Kobe on June 11, 2020, the first time fans have been allowed this season. Fans had their temperature checked and were asked to use disinfectants for their hands at the entrance. The number of spectators was capped at 5,000 and fans generally sat with the seat empty in front of and behind them, and at least three seats empty on either side. There were no vendors and foul balls hit into the seats were collected by stadium staff. Cheering has changed, with singing, high fives and waving of towels forbidden. Instead, fans clapped and held up towels in front of them like banners to encourage the players.
PHOTO: Safety-first cheering

Yomiuri Giants fans cheer their team at Hotto Motto Field Kobe on June 11, 2020, the first time fans have been allowed this season. Read more

Government to investigate contact-tracing failures

Contact tracing of a number of young people hit with COVID-19 has fallen apart. The infected young adults include nightlife district workers, and the breakdown has prompted meetings in the central and metropolitan governments to come up with solutions to the problem. Read more

JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI
                                Yuki Shimonishi watches over the tiger puffer fish raised in two tanks in an empty classroom in Tenkawa, Japan.
Empty classroom used to raise puffer fish

The government of Tenkawa village in Nara Prefecture is making use of a classroom in a shuttered elementary school to cultivate expensive tiger puffer fish, with plans to ship them out this fall. Read more

WATERY RESCUE: Members of the Japan Self Defense Force transport stranded residents out of a fl ooded street in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture, in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu. As of Wednesday, 58 people have died amid five days of torrential rain that caused major flooding and mudslides.
PHOTO: Watery Rescue

Members of the Japan Self Defense Force transport stranded residents out of a flooded street in Omuta, Fukuoka prefecture, in southern Japan on the island of Kyushu. Read more

JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI
                                SAFETY ON STAGE: The Kyoto Kanze Association resumed performing Sunday at the Kyoto Kanze Noh Theater, after a self-imposed coronavirus hiatus. The eight jiutai performers who sing the verses wore masks, an unusual move in noh, which values tradition and style. After the performance, association President Kurouemon Katayama said: “Opinion was divided on wearing masks, even among those of us in the association. However, the safety of our audience took priority.”
PHOTO: Safety on Stage

The Kyoto Kanze Association resumed performing Sunday at the Kyoto Kanze Noh Theater, after a self-imposed coronavirus hiatus. Read more

Patent pool could increase vaccine availability

An initiative proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to share production methods of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to cope with COVID-19 worldwide, under the framework of a patent pool. Read more

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Karaoke businesses hit sour note with COVID-19

Karaoke establishments have been a persistent source of novel corona­virus clusters in Japan. While businesses in Sapporo have taken infection control seriously, few expect to recover from a drastic drop in customers. Read more


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