- Prefectural governments have moved to impose new restrictions as Covid-19 cases have continued to rise across the country.
- While the Abe government’s medical advisory panel has warned that without action a significant spike that threatens the medical system is possible, the administration is still reluctant to close parts of the economy again.
- Nine prefectures reported record-high numbers of new cases on Wednesday, 29 July, as the number of new daily cases nationwide exceeded 1,000 for the first time.
- Neither prefectural governments nor the national government wants to suspend business and social activities again; the national government is exploring new ways of encouraging social distancing and economic activity.
The Abe administration’s “Go To Travel” domestic tourism campaign will begin as planned on Wednesday, 22 July amid widespread controversy over whether the government should be promoting tourism when Japan’s largest cities are coping with sharp increases in new Covid-19 cases.… Read the rest
- The Abe government and the Tokyo metropolitan government have clashed over how to respond to the growing number of Covid-19 confirmed cases, centered mainly in Tokyo.
- The national government may be willing to consider some restrictions on high-risk facilities, but is determined not to modify its program for reopening the economy this summer.
- The Abe government has unveiled drafts for key documents that will guide its efforts to adapt to the “new normal.”
- The main ideas – digital transformation, innovation, and greater labor and social flexibility – are not new; the government is hoping the crisis will accelerate changes that had been stalled.
The Abe government’s revamped Covid-19 advisory panel, which now includes business and labor representatives as well as the governor of Tottori prefecture, held its first meeting on Monday, 6 July. Now a subcommittee of a ministerial-level committee, the panel’s deliberations highlighted the administration’s determination to balance public health and economic considerations even as the number of new cases – particularly in Tokyo – continues to rise again.… Read the rest
The Abe administration’s point man on managing the Covid-19 pandemic, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, was forced to apologize to ruling party lawmakers on Wednesday, 1 July after he announced abruptly last week that the government would dissolve the medical advisory panel that had guided the government’s response since February.… Read the rest
- The ordinary session of the Diet closed on Wednesday, 17 June, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approval ratings at some of their lowest levels since he returned to power in 2012.
- China’s actions in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a pause in the Abe government’s pursuit of closer ties with Beijing, and prompted calls for a reconsideration of Japan’s relationship with China.
- The Abe cabinet approved a second round of stimulus on Wednesday, 27 May that equals last month’s historically large JPY 117.1tn (USD 1tn) price tag.
- The largest portion of the stimulus package is intended to provide interest-free financing for businesses and its ultimate economic impact is difficult to anticipate.