Japan's Mount Fuji will remain shut down during this year's climbing season to curb the spread of novel coronavirus, officials reportedly said on May 18. Shizuoka prefecture, which is believed to be country's tallest mountain range announced that they were closing some of the major routes to the mountain peak, according to the international media reports. A Shizuoka prefecture official reportedly told the media that the routes generally open in summer but this year it will be closed from July 10 to September 10.
He added that the major step is taken not to spread the coronavirus disease. He reportedly added that this is the first time the trails of the 3,776-metre mountain are closed since at least 1960 when the prefecture began managing the routes.
As per reports, nationwide Japan only recorded 29 new cases. The country has reported a total of 16,258 coronavirus cases. 8 new coronavirus deaths take the country’s death toll to 744. In addition to the capital, new cases were also recorded in Hokkaido, which confirmed 8 new cases. Eight other prefectures also recorded new coronavirus cases. According to reports, Tokyo, Osaka and six other prefectures currently remain under the state of emergency. The Japanese government will reportedly assess the situation in these regions on May 21 and decided if restrictions are to be lifted.
Meanwhile, as of May 18, the Cabinet Office of Japan reported a 3.4 per cent drop in the gross domestic product, or GDP for the January-March period, indicating that country’s economic growth plunged into recession in the first quarter. This comes as the novel coronavirus pandemic halted production, exports, and spending. Therefore, the exports dived 21.8 per cent, private residential investments slumped by nearly 17 per cent, and household consumption declined at 3.1 per cent, shrinking the world's third-largest economy by 0.9 per cent from the prior quarter, as per reports.
As the country entered a recession, the annualized drop rate stood at a shocking 3.4 per cent in the second quarterly contraction amid the restrictions on economic activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As per the report by analysts, several other major economies would face recession like Japan, as the households limit spending and businesses slash investments, and the situation is expected to get worse since WWII. According to the latest figures, Japan has entered a technical recession, as its economy contracted 1.9 per cent in October-December, and was a mere 0.5 per cent in April-June, and the growth remained flat in July-September.
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