Japan: News

Japan’s Cherry Blossoms Peak on Earliest Date in 1,200 Years in Sign of Climate Change

Japan’s Cherry Blossoms Peak on Earliest Date in 1,200 Years in Sign of Climate Change

Japan’s cherry blossoms season, the country’s traditional sign of the start of spring, peaked last Friday, the earliest date on record according to Osaka University.
Records go back to the year 812.
The previous record in the former imperial capital was set in 1409, when the season reached its peak on March 27.
Hanami, the term used to describe the centuries-old Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of cherry blossoms, and sometimes …

W Hotel Opens in Osaka

W Hotel Opens in Osaka

Marriott International announced the opening of the W Osaka. The new property is Japan’s first W hotel.
The hotel’s minimalist black monolith façade was designed by the architect Tadao Ando, who was born in the city.  Once inside, the “colorfully exuberant” interior greets guests and, the hotel explains, harkens back to the Edo period during which excessive public displays of wealth were prohibited.
The 337-key property features rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, and …

Coronavirus News Update – March 4: ‘The Last Thing We Need Is Neanderthal Thinking’

Coronavirus News Update – March 4: ‘The Last Thing We Need Is Neanderthal Thinking’

President Joseph Biden said Wednesday that it’s a “big mistake” for states such as Texas and Mississippi to lift pandemic restrictions such as requiring the donning of face masks in public, as well as allowing dining establishments to open at full capacity. “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, ‘In the meantime, everyone’s fine, take off your mask,’” he said. “Forget it. It still matters.”
The president’s words are underscored …

Coronavirus News Update – Feb. 17: Biden Says All Americans Could Be Offered Vaccines by ‘End of July’

Coronavirus News Update – Feb. 17: Biden Says All Americans Could Be Offered Vaccines by ‘End of July’

President Joseph Biden said Tuesday that all Americans could be offered vaccines “by the end of July” during a town-hall style program on the news network CNN.  He then qualified his statement slightly, saying that the doses of vaccine would “be available” by then, indicating it would not take months to actually inoculate people.
Meanwhile the winter storm wreaking havoc across much of the country is causing significant disruption to vaccination …

Marriott to Open 100 Hotels in Asia-Pacific in 2021

Marriott to Open 100 Hotels in Asia-Pacific in 2021

Marriott International said it plans to open approximately 100 hotels in the Asia-Pacific region in 2021.
The hotelier will add hotels under multiple brands, including JW Marriott, W hotels, and the Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
“The strength of our pipeline is testament to the long-term growth prospects in Asia Pacific,” said Paul Foskey, the chain’s chief development officer for the Asia-Pacific region.
The opening of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigo this spring in China will make …

Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 14: Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion Virus Plan, France Tightens Restrictions

Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 14: Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion Virus Plan, France Tightens Restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc unabated.  The novel coronavirus has sickened more than 93 million people worldwide. At least two million people have died from it.  The United States has almost 24 million cases reported, with over 398,000 deaths.
Saying “the very health of our nation is at stake,” President-Elect Joseph Biden announced a $1.9 trillion spending package to combat the virus and the economic downturn that has been …

Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 4: U.S. Records 21 Millionth Case, Larry King is Hospitalized

Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 4: U.S. Records 21 Millionth Case, Larry King is Hospitalized

The start of the New Year continues to look much like the prior year. Cases have skyrocketed since Thanksgiving and Christmas, and a post-New Year’s Day surge is expected within a week.
The United States recorded its 21 millionth case since the start of the pandemic, while New York State surpassed the one million mark.  Globally, there are almost 86 million coronavirus cases and a death toll of over 1.8 million.
Officials …