Japan provides 110,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Samoa

At the Ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9) which took place on 2 July, Japan has announced its intention to provide Pacific Island countries with a total of approximately 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by around the end of the year including through the COVAX Facility

This provision of COVID-19 vaccines to Samoa is implemented as part of the announcement. Japan will continue to provide various assistance in cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations towards the earliest convergence of COVID-19.

Fiji gets an early scare but wins opening match at Tokyo Olympics

Japan went into half time leading the Rio Olympic gold medalists.

Fiji started well and withing less than a minute, Jiuta Wainiqolo ran straight through two Japanese defenders to score.

Iosefo Masi scored the team’s second try.

However, just before halftime Japan managed to score a team try through Lote Tuqiri as the hosts led 14-12 at the break.

Another Fijian, Kameli Soejima got Japan further in the lead with an unconverted try just after halftime as they led 19-12.

Japan hands over new school building to Safotu village

The building funded by Japan was handed over by Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Genichi Terasawa

Ambassador Terasawa commended the village for their hard work and dedication for completing such a huge project. 

The funding of the new building's construction was provided through the Embassy's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects. 

Japan pledged $278,934.93 to fund the project.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and caretaker Cabinet Ministers were among the honoured guests.  

Olympics opening ceremony director sacked for Holocaust joke

Footage of Kentaro Kobayashi from the 1990s recently emerged in which he appears to make jokes about the Holocaust.

Japan's Olympic chief Seiko Hashimoto said the video ridiculed "painful facts of history".

The dismissal is the latest in a string of scandals to hit the Games.

Since the start of the year, three other organisers have been forced to step down from Tokyo 2020 - and the games have already been postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Blues to lose All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu to Japan sabbatical in 2022

Multiple sources have confirmed to Stuff that Tuipulotu will exercise the sabbatical clause in his New Zealand Rugby contract to take up an offer said to be in the vicinity of $1.4 million to play the 2022 season in the revamped Japan competition. Toyota Verblitz is thought to be his destination.

However it is also set to see him extend his commitment to the Blues and New Zealand rugby beyond his current term through to the 2023 World Cup.

Tokyo bans spectators amid COVID-19 emergency

The move marked a sharp turnaround from as recently as last week, when some officials were still insisting they could organise the Games safely with some fans.

It all but strips the global sporting showpiece, which is due to start on 23 July and run until 8 August, of its last vestiges of pomp and public spectacle.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was essential to prevent Tokyo, where the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming a flashpoint of new infections.

Japan offers 3 million vaccine doses at Pacific Islands Summit

Suga’s announcement came as leaders of Japan and Pacific island nations and territories held an online meeting Friday, with Tokyo aiming to promote its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” in an apparent effort to counter China’s growing influence in the region.

In the virtual meeting, Japan also pledged assistance to help Pacific countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic by strengthening health care and medical systems, providing economic relief, and improving infrastructure facilities among other measures, according to government officials.

Twenty missing as landslide hits Japanese city

Video on social media showed a torrent of black mud plummeting down from a mountain top and on through the city towards the sea. Several houses were destroyed or buried.

Kyodo news agency reports that the bodies of what appear to be two victims have been found in the port district.

A witness told national broadcaster NHK: "I heard a horrible sound and saw a mudslide flowing downwards as rescue workers were urging people to evacuate. So I ran to higher ground."

Auckland-born Bundee Aki to debut for British and Irish Lions

The fixture, the first-ever between the Lions and Japan, has been organised to help Gatland’s team prepare for the upcoming tour of South Africa which will culminate in a three-test series against World Cup champions, the Springboks.

Auckland-born Aki, who attended Manurewa High School, moved to Ireland in 2014 to play for Connacht, and made his debut for his adopted country in 2017 under New Zealand coach Joe Schmidt.

Aki will make his debut for the Lions against the Brave Blossoms, who are coached by Kiwis Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown, at Murrayfield.

Tokyo Olympics: Ugandan tests positive for COVID in Japan

The event was postponed last year, but is now going ahead despite a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases in Japan.

Uganda is also experiencing a surge in cases, which forced the government to tighten lockdown measures on Friday.

The unnamed Ugandan was part of a nine-member squad who had all been fully vaccinated, reports said.

The group - who included boxers, coaches, and officials - had also tested negative before leaving Uganda.