Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and wri

tes for publications around the world.

Japan may be sleepwalking into a coronavirus crisis
Japan’s top government spokesman on Monday moved to dispel growing talk of a lockdown in the capital Tokyo, amid concerns that restrictions on movement would wreak damage on an economy already walloped by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s not true that the government is planning on declaring a state of emergency from April 1,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.  He added that an expected phone call between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, had nothing to do with that topic. But a top Japanese doctor called on Abe to issue an emergency decree to fight the outbreak. “If we wait until an explosiv
Tokyo Olympics mean a lot more to Japan than a sporting spectacle
Japan has far more at stake than its athletes picking up medals in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games and Paralympics, which explains the government’s single-minded commitment to going ahead with the event in the face of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. The Japanese government on Wednesday reiterated that the Games would go ahead in July as scheduled, with chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga declaring that preparations were continuing despite the spread of the virus worldwide. The previous day, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw its weight behind Tokyo’s position. “We are preparing for a successful Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020,” said IOC head Thomas Bach. “I would like t