TOKYO — Highlights of Japan-related events for March 16-22:
March 16 (Mon)
— Cabinet Office to release machinery orders data for January.
— Yokohama District Court to hand down ruling on Satoshi Uematsu, who is charged with killing 19, injuring 26 others in July 2016 knife rampage in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Prosecutors are demanding capital punishment for the former employee of a care home for the mentally disabled, the scene of the murder. His defense team has said he is innocent as he had a marijuana-induced psychotic disorder. Uematsu has said he will not appeal regardless of the ruling.
March 17 (Tues)
— No major events.
March 18 (Wed)
— Bank of Japan to hold policy meeting through March 19.
The BOJ is expected to discuss the possibility of further monetary easing steps including a plan to buy more exchange-traded funds by lifting the annual target of 6 trillion yen ($57 billion) to support financial markets, which have been rattled by concerns over the impact of the globally spreading new coronavirus.
— Finance Ministry to release preliminary customs-cleared trade statistics for February.
Japan posted a trade deficit for three straight months through January due to the global economic slowdown. The February result could show a further slowing of exports amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
— Japan Tourism Agency to release data on number of foreigners visiting Japan in February.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan fell for the fourth straight month in January with a 1.1 percent decline and is expected to see a sharper drop in February after China banned group travel and some individual trips overseas in late January due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
— Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to release “listed prices” of land across Japan.
— Hiroshima District Court to hand down ruling on Manabu Kashima, charged with stabbing a 17-year-old high school girl to death in Oct. 2004.
March 19 (Thurs)
— Former Emperor Akihito, former Empress Michiko to move out of Imperial Palace after 26 years, their first step toward swapping residences with the current emperor and his family.
— Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to hold press conference.
— Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to release national consumer price index for February.
— Chiba District Court to hand down ruling in lay judge trial of Yuichiro Kurihara accused of fatally abusing his 10-year-old daughter in January 2019.
Prosecutors are seeking an 18-year prison term for Kurihara, while the defense team has said the death was a result of excessive discipline. The case attracted international attention with problems uncovered in the way a child welfare center, her school and other local authorities responded to Mia’s repeated pleas for help.
— Tokyo Olympics flame to depart for Japan after handover ceremony in Athens.
March 20 (Fri)
— Spring Equinox Day national holiday.
— Torch’s flame from Greece to arrive in Japan for Tokyo Olympics.
The flame will arrive at the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force’s Matsushima base in Miyagi Prefecture aboard a chartered plane accompanied by three-time gold medalists Saori Yoshida and Tadahiro Nomura. The arrival ceremony has been scaled back due to the new coronavirus outbreak.
— Japan to mark 25th anniversary of sarin gas attack on Tokyo subway system by AUM Shinrikyo cult.
March 21 (Sat)
— New Harajuku Station building in Tokyo’s pop-culture hub to open.
March 22 (Sun)
— Kumamoto gubernatorial election to be held.