Japan plans to introduce contact-tracing app
NHK -- May 10
The Japanese government plans to make a coronavirus contact-tracing app available by the end of this month.

The app records the data of smartphones that come within a certain distance of each other. People will then be alerted if they have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with the virus.

The government held a meeting on Friday to discuss ways to use information technology for preventing the spread of the virus.

It was decided the app should not keep track of phone numbers and location data, to protect people's privacy.

Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi says the operating systems of smartphone models are being updated to run the app. He says he hopes it will be put into practical use by the end of the month.

新型コロナウイルスの感染者と濃厚接触した人に通知をするスマートフォンのアプリについて、西村経済再生担当大臣は導入に向けて調整を急ぐ考えを強調しました。  西村経済再生担当大臣:「早く感染を確認できることになりますので、調整を急いでいきたい」  このアプリは無線通信の「ブルートゥース」を使って感染者と濃厚接触した人を把握し、通知する仕組みです。政府は今月中の導入を目指していて、アプリの開発は厚生労働省が所管します。個人情報に配慮することで利用者を増やしたい考えで、電話番号や氏名を特定できない匿名型の仕組みにする方針です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jul 10
The number of new daily coronavirus infections in Tokyo hit a single-day record of 224 on Thursday, the metropolitan government said. (Japan Today)
Jul 10
Officials of Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward say they will offer 100,000 yen, or about 930 dollars, to residents infected with the coronavirus. (NHK)
Jul 10
A 24-year-old woman in custody after she caused the death of her 3-year-old daughter by leaving her alone at their residence for more than one week barricaded her inside with furniture, police have revealed, reports Fuji News Network (July 9). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jul 10
Japan will tighten its criteria for supporting exports of coal-fired power plants amid criticism that the practice goes against global efforts to curb global warming. (Japan Times)
Jul 10
The tourism industry in Japan came to a screeching halt earlier this year with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, as pretty much the whole country stayed home for both cherry blossom season and the Golden Week vacation period, two of the spring’s busiest travel periods. (soranews24.com)
Jul 10
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee will issue ticket refunds to people unable to attend the games due to their one-year postponement, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jul 09
Pounding rain that already caused deadly floods in southern Japan was moving northeast Wednesday, battering large areas of Japan's main island, swelling more rivers, triggering mudslides and destroying houses and roads. At least 58 people have died in several days of flooding. (Japan Today)
Jul 09
Struggling businesses and other clients have left Japanese banks with record outstanding loans for a third straight month. (NHK)
Jul 09
Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan Motor Co chairman, wired $862,500 last year to a company managed by one of the two men who later helped him escape from Japan, U.S. prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
In a move that will affect Japanese studying in the U.S., the government there said Monday that international students attending American universities will have to depart the country or transition to another college if their classes are moved entirely online for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)