News Headlines - 11 March 2020

Japan marks ninth anniversary of 3/11 disaster quietly as virus concerns halt events | The Japan Times

Japan marked the ninth anniversary Wednesday of the massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked the Tohoku region and killed more than 15,000 people in 2011, as health fears over the spread of COVID-19 prompted the cancellation or scaling down of a number of events.
A state-sponsored memorial ceremony that had been held every year in Tokyo since 2012 was canceled for the first time ever, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying he would instead observe a moment of silence and deliver an address from his official residence.

If Olympics Can’t Be Held This Summer, Best to Postpone 1-2 Years: Japan Organizing Official - WSJ

If the Olympics can’t go ahead this summer in Tokyo because of the coronavirus epidemic, the most realistic option would be to delay the event by one or two years, a member of the executive board for the Japanese organizing committee said.The board hasn’t met since December, before the new coronavirus epidemic arose, and hasn’t discussed the impact of the virus on the Games, said Haruyuki Takahashi in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Spring high school baseball tourney cancelled over coronavirus

The new coronavirus outbreak cost Japan a pillar of its spring sporting scene on Wednesday as the Japan High School Baseball Federation canceled its national invitational tournament for the first time in history... It is the first time since its establishment in 1924 that a "senbatsu" tournament at historic Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, will not be held as scheduled. No tournaments were scheduled between 1942 and 1946 during World War II and its immediate aftermath.

Jittery over COVID-19, Toyota and other Japan firms shun base pay hikes | The Japan Times

Many major Japanese firms were reluctant to offer base pay hikes during annual wage talks held Wednesday, with Toyota Motor Corp. forgoing its uniform monthly pay-scale increase for the first time since 2013 as coronavirus jitters pervade.
The decisions over wages could further hurt household spending and the nation’s economy, which is already on the edge of a recession after it shrank in the October-December quarter after private consumption was dented by a consumption tax hike on Oct. 1.

Xi Goes to Wuhan, Coronavirus Epicenter, in Show of Confidence - The New York Times

China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, toured Wuhan, the city at the center of a now global epidemic, for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began, hoping to demonstrate that his government was containing a crisis that has tarnished his image at home and abroad.
Wearing a blue mask, Mr. Xi stopped short of declaring victory, but his visit was clearly intended to send a powerful signal that the government believes the worst of the national emergency could soon be over in China - just as others countries are being struck by their own outbreaks. As if to echo the message, some cities, even in surrounding province of Hubei, announced plans to loosen some of the most onerous limits imposed on millions of people.







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