Suga renews resolve to fight coronavirus
NHK -- Jan 18
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has vowed that he will be on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus to overcome the difficulties.

Suga delivered his policy speech on the first day of the regular Diet session on Monday.

He said he is deeply sorry that the government has to ask people to live under restrictions again. He called for people's cooperation, and said that the government will do all it can to control the virus.

The prime minister said the government aims to revise the special legislation on its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the legislation will include penalties and support for bars and restaurants to make sure that they agree to requests for shorter business hours.

Suga also said vaccines play the central role in controlling the virus, suggesting that the government will try to start a vaccine rollout by late February, after safety and effectiveness screenings.

As for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics that have been postponed until this summer, Suga expressed his resolve to hold the Games to send hope and courage to the rest of the world. He said the Games will be proof of humankind's victory over the virus.

Describing solutions for Japan's longtime issues, Suga stressed that the government will push forward to achieve a zero-carbon society, as well as making progress on the country's digitization by establishing a digital affairs agency.

On the diplomatic front, he said the alliance with the United States is the centerpiece for Japan's diplomacy and national security. He expressed his hope to meet incoming US President Joe Biden soon to make bilateral ties even more solid.

Suga also said that stable Japan-China relations are important for the region and for the international community, adding that Tokyo will say what it should say to Beijing and call for tangible action.

On the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea, Suga said his administration puts the utmost priority on the issue. He reiterated his readiness to meet the country's leader Kim Jong Un without preconditions.

As for South Korea, the prime minister said the bilateral ties between the two countries are now facing difficulties. He added that he will request Seoul take appropriate action to help return the relations to a normal track.


新型コロナウイルス対策が最大の焦点となる通常国会が18日、始まりました。菅総理大臣は就任後、初めての施政方針演説を行います。  (政治部・大石真依子記者)  菅総理は、新型コロナ対策などしっかりと説明をし、国民の理解を得る国会にしたいと決意を述べました。  菅総理大臣:「新型コロナの感染対策や、さらに不妊治療、待機児童問題、35人学級、またグリーン・デジタル、こうした課題を実現するために全力で取り組んできました。しっかり説明をさせて頂いて、国民の皆さんのご理解を頂きたい。そういう国会にしたいと思います」  まず、政府・与党はコロナ対策の柱となる予算案と特措法改正案の成立を急ぎます。  支持率が下げ止まらないなか、政府高官は「政権浮揚はなんといってもコロナを抑えることだ」と話していて、実績を積み上げて批判を払拭したい考えです。  一方、野党側はコロナ対策の遅れや安倍前総理大臣や吉川元農林水産大臣の「政治とカネ」の問題などを徹底追及する構えです。  秋までに実施される衆議院の解散・総選挙を見据え、与野党の論戦がスタートします。

Mar 09
Japan's communications ministry has released an interim report acknowledging that government officials were wined and dined by the president of telecom giant NTT. (NHK)
Mar 08
The UN crime congress has kicked off in the Japanese city of Kyoto with thorough anti-coronavirus measures in place. (NHK)
Mar 07
Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki launched on 3 March 2021 "Mogami", the first-in-class 30FFM, a next generation frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). (Naval News)
Mar 06
The Japanese government has extended a state of emergency imposed to contain the coronavirus for two more weeks in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa. (NHK)
Mar 05
Japan's communications ministry, now at the center of wining-and-dining scandals, says another senior official was treated to expensive meals by telecom giant NTT. (NHK)
Mar 04
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a secretary for the Liberal Democratic Party over the alleged illicit filming of a woman in Osaka City last year, reports NHK (
Mar 03
The Lower House of Japan's Diet has approved a record budget worth more than 106 trillion yen, or about 1 trillion dollars, for next fiscal year starting in April. (NHK)
Mar 02
The Japanese government has asked China not to conduct coronavirus tests using anal swabs on Japanese people visiting the country. (NHK)
Feb 28
Japan is likely to receive an increased supply of coronavirus vaccines in April when the government starts administering shots to older people, Taro Kono, minister in charge of vaccinations, said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Feb 28
In Japan, a state of emergency in some areas is ending on Sunday. The government imposed the measure in January to fight the coronavirus. (NHK)
Feb 27
The government on Friday adopted a bill designed to prevent through law the abuse of GPS monitoring devices for stalking. (Japan Times)
Feb 26
Japan's minister in charge of coronavirus vaccination says vaccines for the elderly will likely be delivered to all municipalities in the country by the end of June. (NHK)
Feb 26
Japan will consider resuming its subsidy program aimed at promoting domestic tourism only in some parts of the country even if the current state of emergency over the novel coronavirus is completely lifted, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Feb 24
Japan's top government spokesperson says measures against the coronavirus will be eased in stages even if the government lifts an emergency declaration earlier than initially planned. (NHK)
Feb 23
An employee of major Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation has been released from prison in China after serving his sentence of three years for harming national security. (NHK)
Feb 23
The governor of Shimane Prefecture in western Japan has urged the central government to resolve a territorial dispute with South Korea over the Takeshima Islands. (NHK)
Feb 22
Japan is considering introducing waiting lists for COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid waste, the minister in charge of inoculation effort has said, as the country prepares to expand the program's scope. (Japan Times)
Feb 22
More communications ministry officials have been found to have been treated to expensive meals by a son of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the ministry said Monday, further widening the scandal that has already brought four senior bureaucrats under scrutiny. (Japan Today)
Feb 20
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has expressed to the Group of Seven industrialized nations his determination to hold the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. (NHK)
Feb 20
The Japanese government has decided to amend the country's juvenile act, in accordance with the revised civil code that lowers the age of adulthood from the current 20 to 18 in April of next year. (NHK)