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Japan enters final business day of 2022 amid virus woes and scandals

Japan’s government agencies and many businesses mark their final working day for 2022 on Wednesday, with health centers declaring a “desperate situation” amid the eighth wave of coronavirus infections, but some large businesses I remained shaken by the scandal.

“There is no holiday mood,” said Mieko Harada, head of Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward public health center, saying the center has struggled to find enough beds to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients since mid-December. He added that he does. .

A senior official of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, who decided not to participate in the year-end party again this year, said, “I hope this will be the last year we have to worry about the coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, Japan’s largest advertising agency, Dentsu, continues to be embroiled in major controversy surrounding last year’s Tokyo Olympics, and the company’s employees say it will be a tough year as they struggle to restore trust. I am predicting.

Commuters wearing face masks head to work in front of JR Tokyo Station in central Tokyo on the last working day of December 28, 2022, as health officials warn of an increase in COVID-19 cases. remain vigilant against (Kyodo) == Kyodo

Former Dentsu executive and sporting event organizing committee member Haruyuki Takahashi has been indicted four times in widespread bribery scandals. It has been.

An employee involved in a sports-related business said, “Amid scandals that have shaken trust, the mere mention of the company name creates resistance.”

The future of the industry is uncertain as the scandal jeopardizes plans such as Sapporo’s candidacy to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, the employee added.

Among the failures of other companies, KDDI Corporation, which operates the ‘au’ branded mobile phone service, suffered a network outage in July that affected more than 30 million people, leaving users to make long emergency calls. I couldn’t.

A spokesperson for KDDI said, “In order to provide a stable service, we will strengthen operations with system monitoring using artificial intelligence.”

In contrast, Japan’s imperial family is looking to celebrate next year by holding an official New Year’s greetings event for the first time in three years after cancellations due to the pandemic.

Princess Aiko, the only child of Emperor Naruhito, will also make her first appearance at an event at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on January 2.

A senior official of the Imperial Household Agency said, “We want to have a good New Year while taking sufficient infection control measures.”

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