Businesses reopen in parts of Japan
NHK -- May 17
Businesses began reopening across parts of Japan on Saturday, as dozens of prefectures entered their first weekend since being released from a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced on Thursday that it was lifting the measure in 39 of the nation's 47 prefectures.

In the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi, department store Sendai Mitsukoshi reopened on Saturday after closing all sections apart from its food floor for about a month.

Employees are wearing masks throughout the store, which has special cameras installed at the entrance to monitor body temperatures. Disinfectant is also freely available to customers.

A woman in her 70s said she's relieved that her favorite shop is open again.

In Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, major shopping complex Aeon Mall Takasaki has also reopened its doors. The store is limiting the number of shoppers who can be inside at any time, and plans to close about two hours earlier than usual.

The western prefecture of Osaka is still subject to the state of emergency, but the prefectural government is no longer asking some businesses to remain closed.

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street in Kita Ward is drawing more people than it has on recent weekends.

The owner of a restaurant in the area said he's grateful that he can now open until 10 p.m. He said he'll comply with physical distancing rules by setting tables sufficiently far apart.

News source: NHK
May 25
Among the types of businesses that were requested to shut their doors due to the high risk of cluster infections of the coronavirus were pachinko parlors. At a press conference on May 13, however, the Tokyo Medical Association backtracked on its earlier opinions, posting a retraction and apology. (Japan Today)
May 25
The coronavirus pandemic is yanking corporate Japan into the 21st century, forcing businesses to embrace digital signatures and boosting the shares of Bengo4.com Inc., one of the few local providers of the service. (Japan Times)
May 24
Major department stores ramped up operations Saturday following a six-week suspension for the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
May 23
Core consumer prices fell from a year earlier in April, recording the first decline in 40 months, government data showed Friday. (Japan Times)
May 23
Japan has a little bit of a mixed history with gambling. (newsonjapan.com)
May 22
U.S. authorities on Wednesday arrested a former U.S. Army Special Forces soldier and another man in Massachusetts wanted by Japan on charges that they enabled the escape of former Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn out of the country. (Japan Times)
May 21
Up to 3.01 million jobs in Japan could be lost due to the new coronavirus pandemic in the year through next March, an impact more serious than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, a research institute said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
May 20
Most Starbucks stores in Japan reopened Tuesday as the number of new coronavirus infections has fallen in recent weeks, with outlets in Tokyo, Osaka and some other urban areas still offering takeout services only. (Japan Today)
May 19
Panasonic and Tesla have revived talks on investment to boost output of electric-vehicle batteries at the Gigafactory in the U.S. state of Nevada, the Japanese company said Monday. (Nikkei)
May 19
SoftBank Group said Monday it would raise $11.5 billion using its holdings of Alibaba Group stock, part of plans to generate 4.5 trillion yen ($42 billion) in cash to shore up its balance sheet. (Nikkei)