A worker uses a thermometer to check people's temperatures before they enter the venue for the ISU World Team Trophy figure skating competition in Osaka on Thursday. Photo: AP/Hiro Komae
national

Tougher virus restrictions expanded to 4 prefectures

67 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

67 Comments
Login to comment

Is the vaccine not available or Japanese citizens not willing to take it?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Better yet, place even the least at risk prefectures under a heightened alert. there have been surges in several countries and there's the French variant that cannot be detected through testing. Better be safe and be a bit overkill now than be sorry in the future.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Reasonable given all the Japanese people who don’t wear masks or don’t wear them properly. So far this morning I have counted six Japanese people with no masks and another seven using them as chin warmers. I haven’t seen any foreigners without masks yet.

6 ( +26 / -20 )

”Quasi” re-emerges! We need another mascot! Let’s ALL vote: “kun” or “chan” ?

*- “added to Saitama, Chiba & Kanagawa, the central prefecture of Aichi, which includes the major city of Nagoya, will be placed under a quasi-state of emergency, starting from Tues, the officials said.*

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Another State of Emergency and I cant pay my rent & will have to move to a much smaller, much much older place. Cant work = cant pay rent. ;-(

21 ( +23 / -2 )

We are living in a quasi-world run by quasi-men and quasi-women in a quasi-state of time

18 ( +22 / -4 )

two years of this garbage is the absolute limit most people are going to take, before they figure out they’d rather take their chances than waste any bigger fraction of their lives moaning and worrying and fearing

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

With the quasi-emergency status, prefectural governors can ask restaurants and bars in targeted cities to shorten operating hours and impose a fine of up to 200,000 yen for noncompliance.

So, basically a state of emergency without calling it a state of emergency..due to the upcoming Olympics. Time to #canceltheolympics

18 ( +25 / -7 )

And here come 'The Olympics'. I think some heads need to roll.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

While the country needs strong leadership, the Prime Minister is paying homage to the Master.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

P,

I am not doubting you. But I personally have not seen an unmasked Japanese person in several months.

Perhaps it is a case of things not being taken as seriously outside my limited frame of reference.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

two years of this garbage is the absolute limit most people are going to take, before they figure out they’d rather take their chances than waste any bigger fraction of their lives moaning and worrying and fearing

Spot on. I already reached that limit quite a while ago... ill wear the bloody mask thing, but thats as far as Ill go - there is no replacement for taking care of yourself, eating healthy, exercising and enjoying life.

I wont stay at home all the time, nor will I avoid pubs and restaurants.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

So far this morning I have counted six Japanese people with no masks and another seven using them as chin warmers. I haven’t seen any foreigners without masks yet.

So far counted 300 Japanese with masks and zero foreigners with or without them because there are none on this train.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This is a nightmare! Would the media please start urging the government to buy Sputnik V?

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

Maybe the vaccine issue is more urgent. The CEO of Pfizer came out today and said a 3rd dose will be needed and subsequently an annual booster.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/15/pfizer-ceo-says-third-covid-vaccine-dose-likely-needed-within-12-months.html

Would this mean Japan should focus more on vaccines? I guess we will find out soon.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So far counted 300 Japanese with masks and zero foreigners with or without them because there are none on this train.

Do you always walk the length of the train counting people? How are you able to accomplish this between stops?

6 ( +16 / -10 )

With the quasi-emergency status, prefectural governors can ask restaurants and bars in targeted cities to shorten operating hours and impose a fine of up to 200,000 yen for noncompliance.

That's all these IDIOTS can do? Shorten times for bars and restaurants? LDP FOOLS.

First, implement laws that help and push companies to make more and more of their employees WFH.

Second, shut the schools and implement online learning. Many countries are doing this. Time for this quasi tech nation to join the 21 century.

Only asking restaurants and bars in targeted cities to shorten operating hours and imposing a fine is just not going to do it.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Well I am a totally foreign looking Japanese Citizen who has and has not worn his mask correctly at all times this last year. I have forgot, I have done well most of the times lol :)

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

""quasi-state of emergency, ""

It will NOT work unless MORE and MORE people are vaccinated.

That is the key my friend, just look at England, France, USA, and other were they are vaccinating 3,000,000 people per a DAY, while Japan only vaccinated about 1.3 million in 2 months, almost like a JOKE.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

More meaningless moves by the government but these small restaurants and bars are loving it most of them wouldn't make the money that they are being given every day happy days.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Again, what on earth does the government expect to happen if it doesn’t vaccinate the population?

Open things up, infection rates increase. Put measures in place, infection rates drop. Open things up again, infection rates increase.

We’ve got 18 months of evidence worldwide now showing that this is the pattern. It’s nothing surprising, and nothing that can’t be predicted. However, the Japanese government still hasn’t learned.

It’s not about the overall death rate as some will argue, it’s that people’s health is being put at risk unnecessarily.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This is a State Of Emergency and/or Lock Down.

They can call it whatever they want, but it is what it is and we know it.

"With the quasi-emergency status, prefectural governors can ask restaurants and bars in targeted cities to shorten operating hours and impose a fine of up to 200,000 yen for noncompliance."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Meanwhile what really matters is the Glorious covid safe Olympics showing mankind’s victory over the virus although perhaps now with no spectators

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Quasi is the perfect word to describe Japan...or so it seems....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan may need a martial law for very strict measures. Japan's state of emergency and whatever is "request".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Germany edges toward national lockdown; considers Russia’s Sputnik vaccine

The bigger problem in Japan is how to get the vaccines into people's arms.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Germany....

confirmed coronavirus cases jumped on Thursday by 29,426 to 3.073 million, the biggest increase since Jan. 8. The reported death toll rose by 293 to 79,381, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) showed.

michigan US state...

Michigan reports 6,303 coronavirus cases,

You don't test you don't find, so simple yet very difficult for some to understand. Continue to feel good not testing and comparing numbers with other countries, it is not an olympic event that Japan will earn a medal. At the end Japan is reliant for vaccines on countries that Japan has been busy comparing for more than a year and feeling good. There is light at the end of tunnel for those countries whereas Japan can only pray vaccines will be the rescue.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What's going on in Japan? Answer: what history teaches us and what we never seem to learn, that humans in their arrogance and ignorance always underestimate the deadly power of the lowly virus. What we are now about to experience is a pandemic Groundhog Day in Japan. Some will seek solutions in prayers and magical thinking, others in science. Whatever, Olympics, Schmolympics to Suga, Koike and all the usual suspects. Oh, and one fine day it will all go away, desu ne.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"stricter anti-virus measures" is never stricter, it is weakener than state of emergency.

Suga government or Osaka governor who failured also timing of finish of state of emergency mere used measure of different name to evade the blame.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tokyo-EngrToday  07:48 am JST

Maybe the vaccine issue is more urgent. The CEO of Pfizer came out today and said a 3rd dose will be needed and subsequently an annual booster.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/15/pfizer-ceo-says-third-covid-vaccine-dose-likely-needed-within-12-months.html

Would this mean Japan should focus more on vaccines? I guess we will find out soon.

Sounds more like he's feathering his own nest.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"quasi-emergency status"

What does it take for "actual emergency status"?

Apparently not even this:

"The health care system in Osaka Prefecture is now in such a critical situation that hospitals fear they may soon have to turn away seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

*There are now more patients with severe symptoms than the number of available hospital beds for their treatment in the prefecture**."*

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14331155

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Is the vaccine not available or Japanese citizens not willing to take it?

Why people think these vaccines are going to somehow stop or slow the spread of this virus is mind-boggling.

The makers of the vaccines admit themselves that they don't prevent transmission, but only lessen the severity of symptoms. They don't prevent you from getting it, and they don't prevent you from passing it on.

So how are vaccines going to make things any safer?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Rightly so, people aren't scared anymore.

This is pointless and increasingly unpopular.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Shinichi Hamada

Is the vaccine not available or Japanese citizens not willing to take it?

Why people think these vaccines are going to somehow stop or slow the spread of this virus is mind-boggling.

Working very well in countries like the UK which have given the first vaccinations to more than 30 million people. Infection and death rates are falling fast. But cautions are still needed.

The makers of the vaccines admit themselves that they don't prevent transmission, but only lessen the severity of symptoms. They don't prevent you from getting it, and they don't prevent you from passing it on.

They prevent people from getting sick and dying.

So how are vaccines going to make things any safer?

By reducing the infection rates and deaths.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Stricter measures - bars and restaurants close at 7:30 pm, and get subsidies

Quasi-emergency stricter measures - bars and restaurants close at 7:00 pm, and get larger subsidies

Super-quasi-emergency stricter measures - bars and restaurants close at 6:00 pm, and get even larger subsidies

Can't the LDP and local government think of anything besides bars and restaurants closing earlier?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

one week ago I said to my wife : the GW is approaching, wanna bet about cases rising all around Japan so they can order to not move around ?

And here we go......

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For every one short but painful lockdown, you could have about three prolonged, quasi state of 'emergency' which could go on for god knows how long. Your choice. But here we go again. Didn't we just literally come out of SOE days ago?

As I said, it's very telling that, now, the UK has similar daily rates of cases and deaths as Japan. And remember, they are doing a lot of testing in the former, but we know testing is being suppressed or discouraged in the latter. We all had an inkling of how incompetent the government here would be as early as that cruise ship incident occurred over a year ago. Japan is the sick man of East Asia.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The makers of the vaccines admit themselves that they don't prevent transmission, but only lessen the severity of symptoms. They don't prevent you from getting it, and they don't prevent you from passing it on.

That is false, what the makes have said was that at the end of the phase III trials they did not have evidence to say the vaccines prevented transmission, that is very different from what you wrote. Now this evidence is accumulating and there is very strong indications the vaccine not only prevents complication but also symptomatic disease and even transmission.

Maybe the vaccine issue is more urgent. The CEO of Pfizer came out today and said a 3rd dose will be needed and subsequently an annual booster.

At this point the evidence don't indicate that, the most important part is that antibody levels don't correlate perfectly with the level of protection, and since there have not been cluster of reinfections (even on places with people infected a year ago) it is not realistic. Unless evidence of immunity that fails to be protective his comments can be just taken as interested pesimism.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I have seen several recent claims that the data suggests vaccines reduce transmission, but by how much? Is it comparable to a regular asymptomatic patient.

Considering that hydroxychloroquine has been clearly demonstrated to significantly reduce viral load, it too should reduce transmission. I hope Japanese doctors are prescribing it.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I have seen several recent claims that the data suggests vaccines reduce transmission, but by how much? Is it comparable to a regular asymptomatic patient.

Very likely, and it is possible even more. As usual the exact degree still needs more evidence.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e3.htm

Considering that hydroxychloroquine has been clearly demonstrated to significantly reduce viral load, it too should reduce transmission. I hope Japanese doctors are prescribing it.

Not really, reduction is dependent on lower quality of the studies (no reduction demonstrated in several well performed and analyzed reports). Seeing how HCQ treatment is not even able to have clinical repercussions (people complicate and die as easily with or without it) it is not justified to assume any effect without measuring it directly. In comparison with the vaccines the risk of its use is also much higher so it is not even considerable as an option for this purpose. The consensus of science is that no drug should be prescribed if it does not have proven benefits that are more important than the risks of its use.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I haven't noticed any mention of reduction of transmission in your reference.

Anyway, if vaccination reduces transmission to levels comparable to those of asymptomatics, then the vaccine will have very little or no effect for the many of us who would be asymptomatic...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I haven't noticed any mention of reduction of transmission in your reference.

It is very clearly written.

Reducing the risk for transmissible infection, which can occur among persons with asymptomatic infection or among persons several days before symptoms onset (6), is especially important among health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers given their potential to transmit the virus through frequent close contact with patients and the public.

(reference 6 is "Estimating the extent of asymptomatic COVID-19 and its potential for community transmission: systematic review and meta-analysis")

Anyway, if vaccination reduces transmission to levels comparable to those of asymptomatics, then the vaccine will have very little or no effect for the many of us who would be asymptomatic..

That is because you assume a result as sure without considering the risk. Since this result is not something you can assume will happen 100% of the time, the effect is precisely the reduction of the risk of having symptoms (which is not something rare at all). This is like saying the vaccine would have no protective effect on a diabetic hypertense 98yo that would have been fine when infected anyway. This would be technically true but requires assuming a very unlikely case.

It is of course also possible the reduction is even more important than that.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Half-arse measures as most of the time!

Do what has to be done to prevent further increases and spreading.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

J politicians are 1 trick ponies. They literally cannot come up with alternatives. It's high time younger, more dynamic politicians were put in place.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

virusrex: are temperature tests more theater than practical?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

virusrexToday  11:24 am JST

"Since this result is not something you can assume will happen 100% of the time, the effect is precisely the reduction of the risk of having symptoms... "

I see. We can't be 100% certain we won't get severe symptoms if catch covid, so take the "vaccine" anyway. That's your argument. Here's ours: we can't be 100% sure the "vaccine" will not harm us years in the future, make our immune systems less effective, cause blood clots, yada yada yada, so we're not all in for taking them.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

That's your argument. Here's ours: we can't be 100% sure the "vaccine" will not harm us years in the future, make our immune systems less effective, cause blood clots, yada yada yada, so we're not all in for taking them

The problem with your argument is that not taking the vaccine comes with much greater risk, you are not comparing some imaginary problems with a zero risk option, you are comparing it with a well documented collection of risks for your health that are expected to grow in the future.

After all the virus actually produces proteins to make your immune system less effective, do cause lethal blood cloths and etc. etc. You can still choose not to vaccinate, but it is a deeply irrational option according to the evidence.

Vaccinating to reduce the risk of transmission of course bring no extra risk to the situation, it is not like you are choosing between the realistic possibility of having more important viral shedding if you are vaccinated.

virusrex: are temperature tests more theater than practical?

More like whole insufficient. They would be useful to stop people that are clearly symptomatic, but not enough to stop people that are actually infected (and able to transmit the disease) so even if theoretically useful to reduce the risk they will never be enough to make attendance "safe".

1 ( +6 / -5 )

virusrex

Today 10:52 am JST

"HCQ ... In comparison with the vaccines the risk of its use is also much higher so it is not even considerable as an option for this purpose. The consensus of science is that no drug should be prescribed if it does not have proven benefits that are more important than the risks of its use."

Where is the study that shows HCQ risks outweigh the benefits?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Can't the LDP and local government think of anything besides bars and restaurants closing earlier?

Its the LDP "unique and superior Japanese mindo " way...keep repeating whatever doesnt work infinately and hope the problem somehow magically disappears. Close restaurants one hour earlier...pathetic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Where is the study that shows HCQ risks outweigh the benefits?

HCQ comes with risks, that is well known since the drug was first used on humans. Since no benefit have been demonstrated for COVID patients, that means that any amount of risk outweigh the benefits (since they are 0).

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-cautions-against-use-hydroxychloroquine-or-chloroquine-covid-19-outside-hospital-setting-or

The whole point looking at the effects of the drugs in human trials was to search for possible benefits that could outweigh the known risks. At this point is already more than clear that there are no benefits and this is the consensus of science about it.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

It's the LDP "unique and superior Japanese mindo" way...keep repeating whatever doesn't work ad infinitum, and hope the problem somehow magically disappears. Close restaurants one hour earlier...pathetic.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Whoops - forgot the quote in italics...

It's the LDP "unique and superior Japanese mindo" way...keep repeating whatever doesn't work ad infinitum, and hope the problem somehow magically disappears. Close restaurants one hour earlier...pathetic.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying,

4 ( +5 / -1 )

virusrex

Today 01:00 pm JST

"Since no benefit have been demonstrated for COVID patients, ..."

Now that's outright dishonest. And the link you gave stipulates outside hospital settings.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Now that's outright dishonest. And the link you gave stipulates outside hospital settings.

You asked for the risks of HCQ use, that is a perfectly good link to understand them. People can die from use of HCQ, which means clear benefit must be proven in order for it to be justified for use. Also, read the updates, HCQ was de-authorized in June of last year precisely because research found no benefit for patients being treated, this revocation is not for use outside of hospitals, it means it is no longer authorized to use the drug for the purpose of treating COVID anywhere.

Why don't you search some recognized medical or scientific professional association that defends the use of HCQ? big hospitals, universities, research institutes, etc You will not find any because the scientific evidence is clear, it does nothing for COVID patients (except increasing their risk). There is nothing dishonest about repeating what the scientific community have demonstrated.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Hoping for stricter measures in the most effective and least destructive manner, but also don’t want to see small businesses and their workers suffer.

No fear-mongering here, and sincerely hoping for lower numbers, but it’s clearly looking like this wave/upturn is going to be the biggest and deadliest so far.

So everyone, do the best you can in your own ways. Hoping to see the usual posters here at the end of this one.

The Tokyo numbers are out — 667 new cases, 43 patients in serious condition — and I can’t get up my daily salute to the current Japan Model™️, because, actually, I still don’t know what it is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nagoya gonna be on the list of cities under stricter rules.

So instead of 10 pm closing at bars it will be 8 pm again..

Massive change! lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So we’ll get some more quasi-restriction in some prefectures in a quasi-crisis to contain a quasi-pandemic situation?

Oh well,but it’s very smart,close the bars and restaurants one or two hours earlier but let everyone gather like lemmings in trains and closed spaces.

The LDP and it’s people are beyond ridiculously.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When will they make people cue for trains to follow the rules of true capacity?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

(reference 6 is "Estimating the extent of asymptomatic COVID-19 and its potential for community transmission: systematic review and meta-analysis")

Yes, I noticed that one. What I meant was that there is nothing indicating that vaccines reduce transmission.

I agree that vaccines appear to reduce the probability of vulnerable people from dying of Covid. But I've been saying for months that vaccines will basically result in asymptomatic spreaders, and this was usually countered with comments saying that the evidence indicates vaccines prevent transmission. Thank you for now confirming that there is no such evidence.

So vaccines might reduce the death rate of vulnerable people, but will likely have little effect on reducing the spread. That is probably why Fauci and others say people should still wear a mask (or 2, 3, ...) even after vaccination.

So the vulnerable might want to get vaccinated, but the painful antivirus measures should only be done to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

HCQ has been used safely for several decades. Unfortunately, because of some terrible RCTs where suicidal doses were given to late stage covid patients, many have the mistaken impression that it is a dangerous substance. It isn't, except perhaps for some people that have certain heart issues, which can be easily checked for before administering it.

Considering the safety of HCQ, its clear effect in reducing the viral load, and its very low cost, it should be made widely available to reduce the spread and death rate.

If ever I get infected, I certainly would want to HCQ as soon as possible.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yes, I noticed that one. What I meant was that there is nothing indicating that vaccines reduce transmission.

So if you noticed that why did you write that there was nothing about reduction of transmission? that is precisely it. You are contradicting yourself.

But I've been saying for months that vaccines will basically result in asymptomatic spreaders

And to say that you require evidence, you have presented none.

Thank you for now confirming that there is no such evidence.

That is false. https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/real-world-evidence-confirms-high-effectiveness-pfizer

Selectively ignoring the evidence is not proof of absence of evidence.

Also, the social distancing measures are to be in place until there is clear evidence of important reduction of the transmission or the population achieves herd immunity and its interrupted. Having an excess of caution is preferable to having too little of it.

HCQ can be used safely, but for that it requires that it has benefits that outweigh the risks, this is false for COVID. The reason you expose for not using it is also wrong, If HCQ was effective its risks could be compared with the benefits, but since it has no benefits then the risks associated with its use are by default too much.

It may surprise you but the reduction of the viral load is neither a done conclusion (only "demonstrated" in studies with methodological problems) nor is a goal for its use, It is only a surrogate that would indicate it has effects that are actually desirable like reducing transmission or improving the fate of patients. None of those actual desired effects happen with the drug.

People choose irrationally to use inefficient things all the time, as long as there is no evidence of benefit this is still an irrational choice not justified.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Is the vaccine not available or Japanese citizens not willing to take it?

It's not available. It will be Fall before non-elderly even have a chance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Total shut down before no more heathy people to pay tax.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's high time younger, more dynamic politicians were put in place.

Yes, we need to make Covid-19 sexy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

TARA TAN KITAOKAToday  06:24 pm JST

Total shut down before no more heathy people to pay tax.

You're aware that very few people are actually getting sick, right? Lock yourself in at home and hide beneath the covers. The rest of us have lives to live and families to feed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is currently on a trip to the United States, at a coronavirus task force meeting.

and they expect people to swallow this lot of BS, ontop of stay home , dont enjoy life, be scared, be afraid, be very afraid, and all the other dribble, oh and we are having the olympics its going to be great people, you'll see , oh yeah then go back to being afriad and stay home.

Stupid people for thinking people are that god damn stupid to keep swallowing their BS.

Enough of this maskuruade already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They will be able to impose a maximum fine of 200,000 yen ($1,800) on restaurants and bars failing to follow the mandate to close early

How about a fine for the politicians who through stalling (possibly kickbacks) and not listening to scientists brought us here? But I guess it's easier to go after small businesses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites