Japan

'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.

Fans now want Rugby Championship expansion

Having withdrawn from this season’s Australia-based competition due to concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, fears rose that that could spell an end to the four-team competition, with the Springboks favouring a potentially seismic move to the northern hemisphere and the Six Nations.

Those fears have obviously been allayed and after the news was announced by SANZAAR, there have now called for the Rugby Championship tournament to welcome new additions – with Japan and Fiji being the most discussed.

Lions to play Japan

The Lions will host the Brave Blossoms in Edinburgh next June ahead of their tour of South Africa.

It will mark just the third time the Lions have played on home soil following games in Cardiff against Argentina in 2005 and a Rest of the World XV in 1986.

"We saw Japan play some excellent rugby during the World Cup and they will come to Edinburgh fully-motivated to win," Lions head coach Warren Gatland said.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said it was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for the players.

The Lions play South Africa in three tests in July-August.

Another All Black off to Japan

The Hurricanes No 9 confirmed on Monday he had signed with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes club for the 2021 season.

Perenara would reportedly travel with the All Blacks to Australia on Sunday and then depart for Japan at the completion of the abbreviated Rugby Championship.

The 28-year-old, who had recently welcomed his first child alongside wife Greer, said the contract didn't necessarily mean the end of his playing days in New Zealand.

Typhoon Haishen: 200,000 ordered to evacuate as Japan braces for storm

Typhoon Haishen is expected to intensify on Sunday, bringing heavy rain, storm surges and winds of more than 160kmh.

It will move past Kyushu on Sunday, and is expected make landfall in South Korea on Monday.

It comes days after Typhoon Maysak, one of the strongest storms to hit the region in years.

The latest typhoon has led to the closure of factories, schools and businesses across western Japan. Hundreds of flights and train services have also been cancelled.

Japan's government will be holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Sunday to address the storm.

Toshiba shuts the lid on laptops after 35 years

It means the firm no longer has a connection with making PCs or laptops.

Sharp bought 80 percent of Toshiba's personal computing arm in 2018 for $US36m ($NZ54m), and has now bought the remaining shares, Toshiba said in a statement.

Toshiba's first laptop, the T1100, launched in 1985. It weighed 4kg and worked with 3.5 inch floppy disks.

It was launched at first only in Europe with an annual sales target of 10,000 units, according to the Toshiba Science Museum website.

Many feared dead in Japan in flooded care home

Fourteen victims were found in the same flooded nursing home while the other was pulled from a landslide. The deaths have yet to be formally certified.

The authorities have ordered more than 200,000 to evacuate and 10,000 soldiers are being sent to help rescuers.

Heavy rain is predicted to continue overnight into Sunday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged people to be on "maximum alert".

The prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima have been worst hit.

Nauru HC Aroi signs $1.3M Japan grant

The grant, through the Economic Social Development Program (ESDP) is valued at AU$1.3 million, and will enable the procurement of equipment to support the efficient delivery of health and medical services in Nauru.

Ambassador Aroi thanked Ambassador Masahiro, delivering messages of appreciation from Nauru’s President Lionel Aingimea and Minister for Health Isabella Dageago.

“President Lionel Aingimea sends his words of appreciation for this grant that has been offered by Japan to the people of Nauru, especially during these unprecedented times because of COVID-19.

Japan bank to buy ANZ Bank's UDC for $762m

Japan's Shinsei Bank is to buy UDC for $762 million, after an original deal to sell it to China's HNA Group for $660m was knocked back by the Overseas Investment Office in 2018.

ANZ had also toyed with floating UDC in a local share sale but reconsidered and last year decided to hold on to it.

"With a strong outlook for infrastructure and agriculture projects as the New Zealand economy rebuilds post-Covid-19, there is a significant role for UDC to play. As such, it needs an owner that can invest in and grow the business," chief executive Antonia Watson said.