Japan extends emergency amid vaccine, Olympic uncertainty

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Tuesday that he is extending a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and nine other areas through March 7, amid growing uncertainty over the national rollout of vaccines and the hosting of the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Suga said he will speed up vaccination plans and start inoculating a first group of medical workers in mid-February, instead of the earlier target of late February.

Under the state of emergency, the government has issued non-binding requests for people to avoid crowds and eating out in groups, and for restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m.

New cases have declined in Tokyo and nationwide since early January, but experts say hospitals remain flooded with serious cases and that preventive measures should remain in place.

Japan has had about 400,000 coronavirus cases, including 5,800 deaths.

“I seek your cooperation to endure just a

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Only 21% cleaning hands appropriately in Japan amid pandemic: survey





Students wash their hands at their elementary school in Shizuoka, central Japan, on March 16, 2020, amid the spread of the new coronavirus. (Kyodo)


TOKYO (Kyodo) — Just over 21 percent of people in Japan are washing or sanitizing their hands appropriately amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to an online survey by a team drawn from Tokyo Medical University and other institutions.


The survey was conducted in June, after a decline in the daily number of COVID-19 infections and the lifting of the first coronavirus state of emergency in late May. The research was published in the Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases in late December.


Masaki Machida, a research associate in Tokyo Medical University’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, who led the research, said people may have improved their hygiene because alcohol hand sanitizers had been placed at

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The United States and Japan Should Prepare for War with China

Last week, China toughened its language against Taiwan, warning that “independence means war.” A few days prior, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry reported 15 aircraft from the Chinese air force inside its air defense identification zone. This uptick in saber-rattling suggests the military challenge posed by China will likely continue, making it one of the Biden administration’s top priorities. Unlike the Trump administration, with its transactional approach to alliances, the Biden administration may find U.S. interests can be best served through strategic engagement with its allies, on this issue as elsewhere. In particular, part of the military challenge posed by China might be answered by turning to its longtime ally Japan and firming up one of the most intrinsic aspects of the United States-Japan alliance: warfighting.

The U.S.-Japanese relationship has deep roots. Perhaps due to the cultural strength of pacifism in Japan or the legal limits on what Japan’s

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Kayabuki class and winter canoeing: a guide to sustainable travel in Japan | Japan untold

The Roots sustainability programme teaches traditional building methods.




The Roots sustainability programme teaches traditional building methods.
Photograph: Yuri Kobayashi

Learn traditional building methods in the Keihoku mountains, Kyoto
Based in the bucolic, mountainous Keihoku area in north-west Kyoto, the Roots sustainability programme offers multi-day educational tours to groups, with an emphasis on connecting to nature, sustainability, and immersion in local culture.

Each bespoke tour is structured around a central project and interspersed with other (optional) experiences such as hiking, rice planting and craft workshop visits. You might, for instance, learn the art of kayabuki (thatching with pampas grass) from an expert, process typhoon-damaged timber in a cedar forest, and then build a treehouse under the guidance of a local lumberjack, carpenter and treehouse “master”. These crafts have been given a boost by the fact that traditional Japanese kominka architecture belatedly gained Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage status in December 2020.

From £914pp from six nights based on a group

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