Japan

Japan faces longer state of emergency, casting doubt on Olympics

Officials were leaning toward an extension of the measures in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures beyond 11 May as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Wednesday.

Extending the measures, which were imposed on 25 April, would likely fan persistent concerns about whether the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on 23 July, can be held as planned.

The games have already been delayed once from last year due to the pandemic.

Japan town builds giant squid statue with Covid-19 relief money

The 13 metre-long sea creature lies in the port of Noto, where flying squid is the town's delicacy.

It reportedly used 25 million yen (NZ$320,300) of the emergency funding to build the statue.

Noto officials have told local media it is part of a long term plan to lure tourists back after the pandemic.

Japan is battling another surge in coronavirus cases, and Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency - the third for the country since the pandemic began.

Japan town builds giant squid statue with relief money

The 13m-long (43ft) sea creature lies in the port of Noto, where flying squid is the town's delicacy.

It reportedly used 25m yen ($228,500; £164,700) of the emergency funding to build the statue.

Noto officials have told local media it is part of a long term plan to lure tourists back after the pandemic.

Japan is battling another surge in coronavirus cases, and Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency - the third for the country since the pandemic began.

Samoa's pandemic response gets a boost

Japan said its support would strengthen Samoa's vaccine cold chain.

Japanese ambassador to Samoa, Genichi Terasawa, said Tokyo was committed to assisting Apia's preparatory and response efforts to the pandemic.

Terasawa said with UNICEF Pacific's support on the ground, Japan could also provide transportation to ensure the vaccination rollout gets underway smoothly in Samoa.

     

Japan and UNICEF partnerships support cold chain in Samoa for Covid-19 vaccines deployment

With the assistance, Samoa will be able to procure medical equipment including ultra-low temperature freezers.

“Japan is very much committed to assist the Government of Samoa’s preparatory and response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a part of the international concerted efforts, we are glad to have this opportunity to support the Government of Samoa through UNICEF to provide transportation as ‘last one-mile support’ to ensure vaccination in Samoa,” said Genichi Terasawa, Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa.

Japan supports building projects in two Samoa schools

Palauli Sisifo College School Committee received a grant of up to USD 209,903 (approx SAT 526,000) to construct a new hall building for gatherings and assembling activities.

Falefa Primary School Committee received a grant of up to USD 135,525 (approx SAT 342,000) for urgently needed renovation work for the existing school building.

The building accommodates nine rooms as well as the existing toilet blocks.

The 17-year-old building is deteriorating due to exposure to several cyclones and adverse weather conditions.

US and allies promise one billion jabs for South East Asia

The joint commitment was made following the first leaders' meeting of the so-called Quad - a group formed in 2007.

The vaccines - expected to be the single-dose Johnson & Johnson product - are set to be manufactured in India.

The US said the "massive joint commitment" would initially focus on delivering doses to South East Asia.

Powerful earthquake rocks Japan weeks from disaster anniversary

The 7.3-magnitude quake was felt strongly in Tokyo, but a tsunami warning has not been issued.

There are reports of about 50 people injured, officials say, and almost one million homes are without power.

The quake struck near the epicentre of a 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and killed over 18,000 people.

That tsunami caused a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant - the world's most severe nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

IOC meets to discuss the future of Tokyo Olympics

With less than six months to go until the troubled Games are due to start, the board will instead tackle questions over the vaccination of athletes, international visitors and the attendance of spectators, and safety regulations among other matters.

The Olympic body, which will meet remotely, nevertheless finds itself in a similar situation to March last year, when it was forced to postpone the Games by 12 months as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down sport worldwide.

Fiji boss sends warning to overseas XVs stars hopping on Olympic bandwagon

A set of criteria have been established in conjunction with coach Gareth Baber to try and sidestep the kind of pandemic problems that restricted the Fijian 15s team to just one game during the recent Autumn Nations Cup in Europe which saw numerous players and staff return positive tests. Bristol’s Semi Radradra has made it clear he wants to be part of the gold medal defence and Baber would like to include other European based players if they can be released for pre-Games camps and matches.