News On Japan

Japanese airline association to make onboard mask-wearing optional

TOKYO, Feb 07 (Japan Times) - A group of airlines in Japan, including Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, plans to make passenger mask-wearing a “personal choice” in May in line with the government’s planned downgrading of COVID-19, which involves a revision of mask guidelines.

The move comes with many airline operators in Western countries having already lifted their mask-requirements last year, making them optional.

Under the present guidelines of the Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan, which brings together 19 airlines, passengers other than infants are asked to wear masks and refrain from talking to each other as much as possible while on the plane.

If passengers have illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks, they are asked to consult with airlines beforehand. If a passenger refuses to wear a mask without a justifiable reason, airlines can deny boarding. ...continue reading

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The activity of the weather front is expected to intensify due to Typhoon No. 1, leading to widespread rainfall from May 27th, with heavy rain warnings from Kyushu to Kanto by May 28th.

Princess Kako, the second daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, arrived in Greece on May 26th, marking her third official overseas engagement. This visit commemorates the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Greece.

In December 2023, the body of a man was discovered inside a suitcase along the banks of the Tamagawa River in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Police have arrested five individuals, including the man's ex-girlfriend and her family, on suspicion of abandoning the body.

In an incident that has shocked the local community, a mother and her three children were found dead on May 23 in their home in Shinagawa, Tokyo. The father, who was also found at the scene with neck injuries, had finalized a divorce from the mother just three days prior.

The historic "Soma Nomaoi" event, which boasts over a thousand years of tradition and features armored horsemen parading in a scene reminiscent of the Sengoku period, commenced on May 25 in Fukushima's coastal region. Traditionally held in July, the event was rescheduled to May this year to avoid the severe summer heat after a horse died from heatstroke last year.

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With Japan facing a declining birthrate and aging population, inbound tourism is expected to be one of the few growth engines. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan welcomed around 32 million tourists. However, globally, France attracts about 89.3 million inbound tourists with a population of around 68 million, indicating significant potential for Japan.

A spectacular festival took place in the hot spring town of Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture, where participants poured hot water over a mikoshi (portable shrine) as they paraded through the streets.

The historic "Soma Nomaoi" event, which boasts over a thousand years of tradition and features armored horsemen parading in a scene reminiscent of the Sengoku period, commenced on May 25 in Fukushima's coastal region. Traditionally held in July, the event was rescheduled to May this year to avoid the severe summer heat after a horse died from heatstroke last year.

Located in Kasukabe City, Saitama Prefecture, the 'Disaster Prevention Underground Temple' is a key feature of the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, one of the largest in the world. This facility, situated 50 meters underground, can store approximately 670,000 tons of water, playing a crucial role in preventing floods caused by heavy rain.

Machida City has compiled the best moments from their live 4K stream of the kingfisher, also known as the 'blue jewel' and the 'bird of clear streams.' These highlights showcase the stunning bird in its natural habitat at Yakushiike Park in Machida, Tokyo.

The Garden Lounge at a hotel in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward, featuring a grand chandelier and a high ceiling, is offering a unique experience as part of the furusato tax program.

Two Japan Airlines (JAL) planes made contact at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Tuesday morning. One of the flights had 328 passengers and crew on board, although there were no injuries reported.

The renowned Kanshinji Temple in Kawachinagano, Osaka, is the only temple in the city where both the main hall and the principal image are designated National Treasures. Besides its deep connection to Kusunoki Masashige and the Southern Court, it is also a treasure trove of Heian period Buddhist statues. We thoroughly investigate the charm of Kanshinji Temple.