Highlights of Japan-related events for April 20-26:
April 20 (Mon)
— Finance Ministry to release preliminary customs-cleared trade statistics for March, fiscal 2019.
March data will be released as world trade remains disrupted by the coronavirus spread. In February, Japan posted a trade surplus of 1.11 trillion yen, the first surplus in four months due to shrinking imports from China amid the virus outbreak. The country’s goods imports from China in February nearly halved to an 11-year low, the steepest fall since 1986.
April 21 (Tues)
— No major events.
April 22 (Wed)
— No major events.
April 23 (Thurs)
— Bereaved families to mark the eighth anniversary of a car plowing into a group of mostly children in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture. Three were killed in the incident and seven others injured while they were walking to an elementary school.
April 24 (Fri)
— Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to release nationwide consumer price index for March, fiscal 2019.
Price data will be released as stay-at-home requests amid the coronavirus pandemic dented consumption. Japan’s nationwide core consumer prices, excluding volatile fresh food items, rose 0.6 percent in February from a year earlier. The figure, a slower increase than the 0.8 percent in January, marks the 38th straight monthly increase.
April 25 (Sat)
— Survivors and bereaved families to mark 15th anniversary of train derailment in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, that killed 107 people.
On April 25, 2005, a rush-hour commuter train on the JR Fukuchiyama Line derailed after entering a curved section of track while traveling well in excess of its maximum permitted speed. It crashed into a condominium building at 9:18 a.m., killing 106 passengers plus the driver and injuring 562 others, in one of Japan’s worst rail accidents.
April 26 (Sun)
— House of Representatives by-election to be held in Shizuoka Prefecture.
The election will be held to fill a seat vacated by former Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki who died in December at the age of 72.
Yoichi Fukazawa, running on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket with the backing of its junior coalition partner Komeito, is pitted against Ken Tanaka, endorsed by the opposition camp. In focus are steps to support the economy and businesses as the new coronavirus outbreak grips the attention of voters. The election will be held with unusual measures taken amid the virus outbreak. Candidates are not holding indoor gatherings and are refraining from shaking hands with people to reduce the risk of transmission. Early voting will be encouraged to prevent crowds of voters from forming at polling stations.