Japan

Powerful earthquake rocks Japan weeks from disaster anniversary

The 7.3-magnitude quake was felt strongly in Tokyo, but a tsunami warning has not been issued.

There are reports of about 50 people injured, officials say, and almost one million homes are without power.

The quake struck near the epicentre of a 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and killed over 18,000 people.

That tsunami caused a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant - the world's most severe nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

IOC meets to discuss the future of Tokyo Olympics

With less than six months to go until the troubled Games are due to start, the board will instead tackle questions over the vaccination of athletes, international visitors and the attendance of spectators, and safety regulations among other matters.

The Olympic body, which will meet remotely, nevertheless finds itself in a similar situation to March last year, when it was forced to postpone the Games by 12 months as the Covid-19 pandemic shut down sport worldwide.

Fiji boss sends warning to overseas XVs stars hopping on Olympic bandwagon

A set of criteria have been established in conjunction with coach Gareth Baber to try and sidestep the kind of pandemic problems that restricted the Fijian 15s team to just one game during the recent Autumn Nations Cup in Europe which saw numerous players and staff return positive tests. Bristol’s Semi Radradra has made it clear he wants to be part of the gold medal defence and Baber would like to include other European based players if they can be released for pre-Games camps and matches.

First Nauruan P-LEADS scholar completes Masters Degree in Japan

Ms. Jacob, virtually presented her Master's research thesis on "Impacts of Nurition oriented Agriculture: A Case Study of the Republic of Nauru", whilst in quarantine in Nadi.

The main objective of the research was to find correlation between kitchen garden and household diet for people living in Nauru.

Ms Jacob was nominated by the Nauru Government to pursue further studies through the P-LEADS programme.

The programme supports long-term training for Bachelors, Masters and PhD studies implemented under Official Development Assistance by Government of Japan.

London 2012 chief feels Tokyo Olympics unlikely to go ahead

Keith Mills told BBC radio that the delayed Olympics, scheduled for July-August, were looking unlikely to happen in his opinion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If I was sitting in the shoes of the organising committee in Tokyo, and thankfully I'm not, I would be making plans for a cancellation," he said.

"I'm sure they have plans for a cancellation but I think they will leave it to absolutely the last minute in case the situation improves dramatically and in case the vaccines roll out faster.

"It's a tough call and I wouldn't like to be in their shoes."

Snowstorm causes 130-car pile-up in Japan

The storm blanketed a stretch of the Tohoku Expressway in Miyagi prefecture at around noon on Tuesday.

Some 200 people have been caught up in the pile-up and rescuers were at the scene, officials said.

Japan has been hit by severe snowstorms in recent weeks with some parts of the country having double the average expected snowfall.

Authorities had already enforced a 50km speed limit on the road due to visibility.

There was a maximum wind speed of about 100km/h at the time of the incident, local weather officials said.

Japan Top League on hold

The competition had been due to start this weekend but with 10 positive tests at Kobe Steelers on Thursday taking the total to 67 league-wide, organisers said they were now aiming for a mid-February start.

Last year's season was cancelled entirely because of the pandemic.

"Japan Rugby Football Union and Top League have had discussions and we want to do everything we can to have this year's Top League season," said JRFU Chairman Kensuke Iwabuchi.

Japan finds new Covid-19 variant in travellers from Brazil

A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.

"At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness," Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told a health ministry briefing.

'Impossible': Tokyo residents concerned about hosting Games

The Japanese government and International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided in March to postpone the Olympics by a year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The global sports showpiece is now slated to start in less than 200 days and run from July 23 to August 8.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterated on Thursday his intention to hold the Games.

However, a December poll by public broadcaster NHK showed a third of Japanese residents want the Games to be scrapped due to fears an influx of foreign arrivals may cause a further spike in Covid-19 cases.

Tokyo Olympics to go ahead in 'safe and secure' manner despite Covid-19 surge

Tokyo reported 2,447 new cases on Thursday. This is a jump of 850 cases – just over 50 per cent – from the day before. Tokyo was reporting just a few hundred new cases a few months ago.

The rapid spread of the virus in Japan is imperilling plans for the postponed Olympics, which are to open on July 23. The Paralympics begin on August 24.