1.    COVID-19 Updates In Japan


l      Although the peak of the 6th wave of the Covid-19 infection is clearly behind us, the pace of declination of new cases and that of deaths is slow. Unlike the past waves, small children this time are spreading the virus much more widely. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor decided to allow children of 5 years old up to 11 years old to take the Pfizer’s vaccination for kids from the last month. 

l     PM Kishida held a media conference yesterday and announced that among the 31 prefectures that are under the semi state of emergency, the administration would extend the expiration of the semi state of emergency for 18 prefectures including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba from March 6 to March 21.   

l        He also announced that effective on March 14, the present limit of the number of foreign visitors’ entry to Japan is increased from 5,000 a day to 7,000 a day.  Besides, a maximum of 1,000 foreign students are allowed to make an entry to Japan every day. 

l    Shionogi, one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies, applied to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor last month for approval of its oral drug that is intended to cure the Covid-19 infection induced symptoms in its early stage. On February 28, PM Kishida said to the media that the administration is intensively reviewing the application from the safety and effectiveness points of view for a conclusion as soon as possible.  Once approved, the government would purchase substantial amount of the drug for distributions throughout Japan, Kishida said.


<As of 10 pm of March 3rd> 

The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 5,222,144 and 24,415 respectively.  The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 70,349 and 256.  80.3% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 79.2% have done for the 2ndand 22.2% for the 3rd. 


2. Sanctions Against Russia, Belarus, Donetsk And Luhansk


PM Kishida announced on February 27 that the government of Japan would implement the following sanctions against Russia and others as follows:


<against Russia>

l  Freeze President Putin’s assets in Japan  

l  Freeze assets of five other members of the Putin’s Cabinet in Japan including Foreign Minister Lavrov 

l  Freeze assets in Japan of the Russian Central Bank, VEB(Russian state development corporation) and Bank Russia Freeze assets in Japan of some Russian oligarchs

l  Prohibit Russian government related organizations to issue bonds or trade Russian bonds in Japan

l  Participate in the U.S.-EU led sanction to eliminate Russian banks from the SWIFT international money transfer system  

l  Ban exports of semiconductors and other technology sensitive products to Russia  

l  Ban exports to 49 military related organizations

l  Stop issuing stay permit to Russian government officials       


The Kishida administration also announced similar sanctions against Belarus including Belarus individuals including President Alexander Lukashenko.


<against Donetsk and Luhansk related individuals>  

Freeze assets in Japan of 24 individuals who are related to Donetsk and Luhansk  

Ban exports to or imports from Donetsk and Luhansk


Kishida also announced that his administration would provide Ukraine with an emergent humanitarian aid in the amount of US$100 million besides an ODA loan for another US$100 million.  

Furthermore, he announced that the Japanese government would receive refugees from Ukraine.


3. Trend Of Declining Population Continues On


The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Telecommunication had already announced Japanese demographic statistics as of September 1, 2021 as follows:


Total population including foreign residents              125,559,000     628,000 (0.5%) minus from September 1, 2020    

Japanese only population                                          122,834,000     603,000(0.49%) minus  from September 1, 2020 


Then, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor announced on February 25 preliminary figures of the Japanese demographic data for entire calendar year 2021 as follows: 


Number of newly born babies      842,897 (3.4% lower than 2020)

Number of deaths                        1,459,289 (4.9% increase from 2020)

Population decrease                    609,392 

Number of marriage                     514,242 (4.3% lower than 2020)   

Number of divorce                       187,854 (4.5% lower than 2020)  


The figures include foreigners living in Japan and Japanese living abroad as well.   Experts suggest that the pandemic might affected the number of newly born babies and of marriage.


4. Cyber Attack Forced Toyota To Stop All The Car Production In Japan


Toyota announced on February 28 that it would stop on March 1 the operation of all the 28 production lines out of its total 14 factories throughout Japan.  According to its public relations, one of its major suppliers suffered from a serious cyberattack and became unable to supply key components of Toyota cars.  The name of the supplier is Kojima Industries Corporation, which has been manufacturing resin components for Toyota and its group companies like Hino Motors and Daihatsu.  The two group companies also stopped some of their major factories in Japan.  According to Toyota, its auto production rate is around 13,000 cars per day.  In response to a question from the media, PM Kishida replied that his administration is now looking into any possibility that this attack is caused by Russia.  



Have a wonderful weekend!