Japan receives 2nd vaccine shipment
NHK -- Feb 22
Japan has received its second shipment of the coronavirus vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The doses arrived at Narita Airport near Tokyo on Sunday from Belgium.

The vaccine doses, in special cartons packed with dry ice, were transported to a warehouse. They were then carried to a storage site outside the airport by truck.

The shipment follows the first delivery on February 12. Government officials say the latest arrival is equivalent to more than 450,000 shots, if the maximum six doses are extracted from each vial.

Combined with the first shipment, Japan has received about 838,000 doses, or shots for nearly 420,000 people.

The government plans to distribute up to 1.17 million doses to prefectures for medical workers over the two weeks starting March 1.

It plans to airlift additional doses once the European Union grants authorization.

The number of healthcare workers who are expected to receive vaccinations is likely to increase by about a million from the initial estimate of roughly 3.7 million.

The timing of vaccinations, including those for the elderly, could be affected if the supply of vaccines to Japan does not go smoothly.


輸入する新型コロナウイルスのワクチン約45万回分を載せた第2便が21日午前に成田空港に到着しました。  ファイザーの主力工場があるベルギーから到着した全日空機には約45万回分のワクチンが載っています。  ファイザーのワクチンはマイナス75度前後に保つ必要があり、この後、超低温の冷凍庫で一時的に保管された後、来月初旬には全国の医療従事者への接種向けに配送される予定です。  政府は今回の分を含めて来月中に最大で117万回分を発送するとしていますが、第3便以降のスケジュールはまだ決まっていません。 - ANNnewsCH

Feb 25
A panel of experts at Japan's health ministry has pointed out that the number of new cases of the coronavirus in the country has been declining at a slower pace since mid-February. (NHK)
Feb 24
NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday began construction of a smart city at the foot of Mount Fuji in central Japan as a testing ground for new technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence. (Japan Times)
Feb 24
Since last year, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) left two broken seismometers unrepaired at the No. 3 reactor within its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, officials said Monday. (Japan Times)
Feb 22
Japan has received its second shipment of the coronavirus vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. (NHK)
Feb 22
Tokyo Electric Power Company has found that the pressure inside one of the reactor containment vessels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has dropped. (NHK)
Feb 19
NHK has learned that a capsule used to bring back asteroid samples to Earth will be on display in March at a museum in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. (NHK)
Feb 19
Japan's health ministry has decided to require patients with serious cases of COVID-19 to remain hospitalized for at least 15 days after they start showing symptoms. (NHK)
Feb 17
Japan has begun vaccinating healthcare workers at medical facilities across the country. (NHK)
Feb 17
Japanese companies are moving to expand the country's still-nascent hydrogen fueling infrastructure, taking advantage of recent deregulation as Tokyo positions the fuel as central to its pivot away from carbon. (Nikkei)
Feb 17
Vaccinations that kicked off Wednesday in Japan are administered through intramuscular injection — the delivery of medication deep into the muscles — which is widespread in Western countries but not so in Japan. (Japan Times)
Feb 16
The number of patients with seasonal flu in Japan was below 100 during the first seven days of February. That's far below the levels seen before. (NHK)
Feb 14
A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck northeastern Japan at around 11:07 p.m. on Saturday, local time. No tsunami warning has been issued. (NHK)
Feb 13
Japanese localities have begun a scramble to secure medical personal to carry out a mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus slated to start next week, with estimates predicting that 11,000 physicians are needed per day nationwide. (Nikkei)
Feb 10
Japan is unlikely to inoculate as many people with Pfizer Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine as planned due to a shortage of special syringes capable of extracting the final dose from vials provided by the drugmaker, health minister Norihisa Tamura said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Feb 09
Japanese precision equipment maker Shimadzu Corp started selling on Monday test kits that can detect coronavirus on inanimate surfaces, including doorknobs, faucets and computers, for the first time in the world. (Japan Today)
Feb 08
Japanese researchers believe that a jawbone fossil discovered in Fukui Prefecture in 2019 might be from the earliest mammal to ever live within its shores. (NHK)
Feb 07
Doctors have warned that many coronavirus patients, especially younger ones, are suffering aftereffects for a long time despite subsequently testing negative for the virus and are calling on the government to take countermeasures. (Kyodo)
Feb 07
The European Union has approved exports of novel coronavirus vaccines to Japan for the first time, EU sources said Friday. (Japan Times)
Feb 06
A Japanese health ministry survey shows that less than one percent of people in Tokyo and four other prefectures are estimated to have had antibodies against the coronavirus last December. (NHK)
Feb 06
The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, takes us over the algal blooms swirling around the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Japan, in this edition of the Earth from Space programme. (European Space Agency, ESA)