TOKYO – Highlights of Japan-related events for May 18-24:
May 18 (Mon)
— Cabinet Office to release preliminary data for January-March gross domestic product.
Economists estimate Japan’s economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter in the three months ended March 31, as the coronavirus outbreak disrupted production and stay-at-home requests in an effort to prevent the virus spread dented consumption.
— Panasonic Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp. among others to release earnings reports for FY 2019.
— Japan to launch its first space operation unit within Air Self-Defense Force.
The Space Domain Mission Unit based in the suburb of Tokyo will track space debris and meteorites that could hit Japanese surveillance satellites orbiting earth.
May 19 (Tues)
— Hiroshima District Court to hold hearing in trial of state-paid secretary of ruling party lawmaker Anri Kawai, indicted over payments to staff members for their work in her election campaign last year.
The vote-buying scandal involves Kawai and her husband, former Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai who is known for his close ties to Prime Minister Abe. Prosecutors plan to press charges against him over the alleged bribery.
— Sony Corp. to release business plan.
Sony said its group net profit fell 36.5 percent in fiscal 2019 from a year earlier to 582.19 billion yen ($5.4 billion) due partly to slowing demand for its products, and withheld its forecast for the current business year due to uncertainty stemming from the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
May 20 (Wed)
— Cabinet Office to release machinery orders data for March.
— Japan Tourism Agency to release number of foreigners visiting Japan in April.
In March, the number of inbound tourists nosedived 93 percent from a year earlier, logging the biggest rate of decline since comparable data became available in 1964, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
May 21 (Thurs)
— Finance Ministry to release preliminary customs-cleared trade statistics for April.
April data will be released as world trade continues to remain disrupted by the coronavirus crisis. In March, the government preliminary data showed 11.7 percent drop in exports from a year earlier, as the novel coronavirus weighed on overseas demand.
— H2B rocket carrying unmanned cargo vessel Kounotori9 to International Space Station to be launched from Tanegashima Space Center.
May 22 (Fri)
— Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications to release nationwide consumer price index for April.
— 8th anniversary of Tokyo Skytree tower’s debut.
May 23 (Sat)
— No major events.
May 24 (Sun)
— Horse racing Japanese Oaks to be held at Tokyo Racecourse.