PM Abe stops donning his much-touted government-sponsored mask
Kyodo -- Aug 02
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday appeared for the first time in public since April without wearing his much-touted government-sponsored mask, which has been derided as a symbol of his administration's out-of-step policy against the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of donning what became known as the "Abenomask," which was so small that it rode up on his face, Abe seemed more comfortable wearing one similar to commercially available ones, which fully covered the lower half of his face.

Abe's new cloth mask was made in Fukushima Prefecture. He wore it when he attended a government meeting to discuss responses to the pandemic held at his office.

安倍総理大臣が、いわゆる「アベノマスク」をやめて一般的なマスクを着け始めました。  1日午後に安倍総理が着けていたマスクは福島県で作られたもので、復興支援を兼ねて着用したということです。今までのガーゼのマスクに比べて顔を覆う面積が広くなっています。安倍総理は4月に布マスクをすべての世帯に配布する方針を示してから先月31日までアベノマスクを着けてきました。しかし、マスクの1カ月あたりの供給量が10億枚に達する見通しであることや価格が下がって今月中にも転売規制が解除される見込みであることなどから、アベノマスクに限らず他のマスクも使うことを決めたということです。厚生労働省によりますと、アベノマスクの全世帯に向けた配布には約260億円がかかっています。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
Aug 12
The nation entered the dog days of summer Tuesday as temperatures climbed above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas, prompting authorities to issue a heatstroke warning and encourage the removal of face masks in certain situations. (Japan Times)
Aug 12
A Japanese company that operates a cargo ship that ran aground off Mauritius says nearly half of the oil the vessel is believed to have leaked in the Indian Ocean has been collected. (NHK)
Aug 11
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 188 new cases of COVID-19 infection Tuesday, holding below the 200 mark for a second straight day, but worries over the spread of the new coronavirus remained amid a heat wave in the middle of the Bon summer holiday period. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
Ninety-one people at a high school in Shimane Prefecture have tested positive in recent days for the novel coronavirus in a cluster outbreak centered on the boys’ soccer team, according to local authorities. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
The cumulative total of COVD-19 infections in Japan surpassed 50,000 on Monday, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
Narita Airport, one of the main travel hubs for the Tokyo area, has already begun to make changes to keep travelers and workers safe in the coronavirus era. (Nikkei)
Aug 11
Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have held talks with the top disarmament affairs official of the United Nations. (NHK)
Aug 11
The number of people using public transport in Japan is much lower than normal for the time of year due to a surge in coronavirus infections. The Bon holiday period normally sees many visiting their hometown. (NHK)
Aug 10
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says it believes more than 1,000 tons of oil have leaked from a bulk carrier that ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean on July 25. (NHK)
Aug 10
Japan's male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time in 2019, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 percentage points from the previous study in 2016, according to a health ministry survey. (Japan Today)
Aug 09
People in Japan are remembering the victims of a catastrophic event during World War Two. Exactly 75 years ago, an American warplane dropped an atomic bomb on the southwestern city of Nagasaki ... just three days after one leveled Hiroshima. (NHK)
Aug 09
Many Japanese will be taking their summer holiday over the weekend amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNA)
Aug 08
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says 429 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed as of 3 p.m. on Saturday. (NHK)
Aug 08
Ayumi Sato is trying to be careful. But she's had enough. Lockdown fatigue is setting in for Sato, a 34-year-old stock trader who lives in Tokyo, and she's not alone. (CNN)
Aug 08
NHK has learned that Japan's first supply of an experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca may be provided between next January and March. (NHK)
Aug 08
Teachers and education officials are calling for students to pay special heed to the risk of heat exhaustion this summer as schools across Japan shorten their summer holidays and hold more classes than usual to make up for closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Aug 07
The governor of Tokyo has called on residents to refrain from traveling to other prefectures during the summer holiday season, amid the continued rise in numbers of coronavirus infections in the capital. (NHK)
Aug 07
The Cabinet on Friday earmarked ¥1.13 trillion in reserve funds to continue measures to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Aug 07
Researchers in Japan say the death rate of hospitalized coronavirus patients was 7.5 percent in the country. This is about one third of the COVID-19 death rates reported in Britain. (NHK)
Aug 07
Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested an assemblyman for Tokyo’s Minato Ward on suspicion of indecent exposure in Kawasaki City on Thursday, reports NHK (Aug. 6). (tokyoreporter.com)