OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) June 6th, 2020 The month of June brings about the seasonal rainy season for Japan. Yes, typically June is the beginning of what is called "梅雨" (reads TSU-YU) although it hasn't hit us yet! The humidity starts. My hair starts to curl naturally outside, a personal note to myself that summer has arrived. This will be my last series piece on the COVID-19 Road to Recovery articles I have presented to you in the last 8 weeks. There
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) May 29th, 2020 As the summer months approach, Japan is "back to normal" after the central government lifted the "state of emergency" before their initial expectations. Most of Osaka's businesses have been operating since the 22nd of May, and with much hesitation, Tokyo and surrounding areas have slowly opened after the 25th of May. In my humble opinion, the reports of the aftermath of COVID-19 in Japan have been very inconsisten
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) May 22nd, 2020 Amid much uncertainty of all countries affected by COVID-19, there are talks that Japan will produce a travel fund to reboost inbound tourism. The amount presented is approximately 1.35 trillion yen ($12.5 billion) and this will most likely directly contribute to anyone considering or revisiting the idea of travel to Japan. A direct quote from the Japan Tourism Agency's Commissioner's message as of January 2020: "
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) May 16th, 2020 With early summer weather in full swing, Tokyo should have expected a surge in tourists from all over the world, given the 2020 Summer Olympics if it happened as planned. However, Japan has not yet lifted the State of Emergency status in 8 prefectures for larger scale urban centers including the capital and Osaka, in carefully watching for further Covid-19 outbreaks. For more details from a local news source in En
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) May 8th, 2020 Although the initial deadline of May 6th has passed, Japan continues its "state of emergency" in regards to the Covid-19 outbreak. If you are interested in knowing more about how the general public in Japan is or is not reacting to the pandemic, you're welcome to read Dr. Mirei Takashima Claremon's article on How Japan’s unique cultural attitudes explain its people’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. It is heartwarmi
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN) April 24, 2020 Covid-19 situation in Japan: As of April 16, the government's "Declaration of a State of Emergency" is effective in 47 prefectures (English Overview). It is common knowledge that the outbreak of Covid-19 suddenly created a halt in travel, both domestically and internationally. Japan's tourism and surrounding service economies will easily suffer from this decline in visitors from overseas, as non-essential services