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Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures

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it,s about time ...

18 ( +38 / -20 )

And here we go, hold on to your hats.

21 ( +33 / -12 )

Economists expect Japan's economy, already reeling from a consumption tax hike in October last year, to have fallen into recession due to the impact of the pandemic.

It's going to be rough.

24 ( +31 / -7 )

Stop all flights into japan now. Start telling people to socially distance themselves from other people. Start testing people and isolating them from those who don’t have this evil virus. Pull your finger out and stop taking a week before you take action abe..

3 ( +26 / -23 )

'two mask Abe'rollercoaster kicks off..

want me to stay home?

¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ will have to be paid for loss of earnings...

perhaps sell the Aegis and the faulty U.S fighters...

-18 ( +21 / -39 )

Prepared and yes, scared.

Thoughts go out to all the small businesses and families out there who will struggle.

33 ( +39 / -6 )

Let's just hope this is not too little too late. Fingers crossed... hopefully, Japan will come through this without experiencing the misery that several other countries are facing now. :(

15 ( +25 / -10 )

I think Abe should hold on as long as poss before lockdown. Coming from UK (while travel was poss) lockdown is economic suicide. So many people out of a job, no roof over their heads (forget about universal credit and landlords advised not to throw tenants out) people are going to die, no matter how much care, ventilators, masks or love they are given. Many will get over their symptoms and survive. There is more option to simply lockdown, so let's look at the options. Japan, Sweden and many other countries the media conveniently forget to mention are trying another option, let's give them a chance

-3 ( +30 / -33 )

On the news they are saying as early as tomorrow..

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Now that his precious Olympics are off and the evidence is coming out he can’t hide the truth anymore,as a newspaper of my country stated wisely Abe within these 7 years gathered such a strong political power that basically none of his ministers or people inside his party would have dare to raise a voice of disagreement so he was basically free to run this situation as he wanted.

And so the quarantene now will begin over a month behind of most European countries.

But still the nonesense remain,he locks the major cities but it seems that the Covid will magically avoid the “minor” towns.

What a disgrace.

13 ( +27 / -14 )

I hope they clearly convey in English what we should not do. I think 5% or more of Tokyo residents are foreigners.

22 ( +30 / -8 )

Good news but what do we do when our company says to come to work anyways??? I'm sure many companies will say this. Mine definitely will. And if you refuse to go to work?

36 ( +38 / -2 )

Good news but what do we do when our company says to come to work anyways??? I'm sure many companies will say this. Mine definitely will. And if you refuse to go to work?

Take care of your health first, do not go to work if you feel it is not safe!

22 ( +26 / -4 )

@onedragon

You're a little out of date. US almost at 10k now.

33 ( +37 / -4 )

I am afraid I do not understand how a stay at home order is compatible with going to work as usual.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

So...whoever's doing the downvoting: You're now opposing government policy, right?

-26 ( +3 / -29 )

Far too late, but it's a start

0 ( +14 / -14 )

One reason for the recent surge in infections has been cases imported from abroad, prompting the government to implement an entry ban on foreign travelers that have recently been to one or more of 73 countries and regions.

Had this been done back in Dec, guess what limited cases. Does anyone recall where and when was the first case reported in Japan, and when the media first posted about COVID-19 in originating country?

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

If this would happened it would be a disaster for small business, freelancers and contractors since they will cometely loose any source of income. Does JP gov going to provide any financial support for the ones in need if that happens?

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Worst decision ever. It's too late to stop the spread. Shutting down vast sectors of the economy will hurt more than it will help at this stage. If he wanted tido this then it should have happened weeks ago and with vast testing. Stick with the herd immunity plan because it's the best option at this point.

-15 ( +17 / -32 )

Abe is not permitted to declare a state of emergency at his own discretion. He needs to seek input from an advisory panel comprising experts in medicine and public health who determine whether the situation calls for an emergency declaration.

Good.

Otherwise they end up like a autocrat as seen in Hungary... a member of European Union!

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The economic, fiscal, and human costs of “lockdown”, for the UK without a clear strategy for an escape route are detailed below. Remember this, the people of Japan are ultimately responsible for the existing gargantuan debt liability.  The J economy is dependent on consumer spending. Isolation breeds panic.  

Centre for Economics and Business Research……

UK GDP expected to contract by 15% in Q2 as consumers under lockdown rein in spending…..

https://cebr.com/reports/uk-gdp-expected-to-contract-by-15-in-q2-as-consumers-under-lockdown-rein-in-spending/

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Too little, too late.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Can someone explain what happens in a state of emergency? Some examples?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

2 weeks of miso soup and rice!

15 ( +19 / -4 )

@ old man -

Far too late, but it's a start

@ old man, Feb 1 -

this coronavirus is all hype. Influenza is far worse. Most people recover from the coronavirus like a common cold

Common cold, eh old man? Changed your tune just like Trump.

A lot of people were aggressively dismissive of this dangerous killer virus from the very start. This attitide has made the situation much worse with people not taking it seriously.

28 ( +36 / -8 )

“I don’t take responsibility at all.”

15 ( +17 / -2 )

They don’t appear to be able to order businesses to close but even open the eyes of some who are putting their staff at risk is a good thing. I hope the complacency will end as a result of this.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

@onedragon

Tell that to Italy and Spain where hospitals can't handle the amount of people getting sick and dying.

Yeah, we often get viruses and bacteria, and our immune system can most of the time destroy those. You don't need to tell us this, almost everyone knows.

But this virus seems much worse than normal.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I've been paying taxes in this country for 26years. Now it's time for the country to declare a state of emergency, tell us all to stay home, and give a little of that tax money back to the people to hold us over, until this all goes away.

30 ( +37 / -7 )

About time too. And stop focusing on Tokyo, the virus is everywhere and just talking about Tokyo is making many complacent.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

Stop the train services. Simple as that. This will immobilize 80 % of people in Tokyo metropolitan area and at the same time, keep the local businesses active.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Finally.

A lot of people were aggressively dismissive of this dangerous killer virus from the very start. This attitide has made the situation much worse with people not taking it seriously.

VERY True.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

Now that his precious Olympics are off and the evidence is coming out he can’t hide the truth anymore,as a newspaper of my country stated wisely Abe within these 7 years gathered such a strong political power that basically none of his ministers or people inside his party would have dare to raise a voice of disagreement so he was basically free to run this situation as he wanted.

> And so the quarantene now will begin over a month behind of most European countries.

> But still the nonesense remain,he locks the major cities but it seems that the Covid will magically avoid the “minor” towns.

> What a disgrace.

Best post on this thread so far. Well done William

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Someone said

perhaps sell the Aegis and the faulty U.S fighters... I Agree !!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

One reason for the recent surge in infections has been cases imported from abroad

There have been clusters all around Tokyo and Japan with no direct connections to any foreigner.

The real reason is that the people in charge of this country have tried to cover up and minimize the real situation in order to protect the Olympics. Once the Olympics were cancelled, they started to show up on tv with masks on their face and speak of emergency state. And they continue to show a disgusting lack of transparency because they want to declare an emergency state but continue to report numbers of infections and deaths which themselves don't justify such a thing. They are literally making fun of the citizens of this nation, knowing that it is easy to do so. In fact it is.

24 ( +30 / -6 )

yes vic.M..

wasted billions on that U.S trash!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Other first world problems: lack of government leadership and death by virus.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

...lockdown is economic suicide.There is more option to simply lockdown...Japan, Sweden and many other countries are trying another option.

Throughout history pandemics have always afflicted human societies and yet most people survived and social and economic activity resumed. Sweden and Japan are not comparable since the denser the population, the better viruses propagate. Central governments play a central role in propping up the capitalist socio-economic model and in times of crisis, such as a pandemic they must temporarily switch to a defensive mode to ensure the viability of the community that many would denigrate as "socialism". Not to worry though, we'll soon be back to "bizness as usual", maybe.

As for Abe's imminent pronunciamento, I can't help but think "a stitch in time...". It's all very regrettable.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

So...whoever's doing the downvoting: You're now opposing government policy, right?

i think most posters are not Japanese and have no voting rights in this country so govt policy is forced on them.

A two week time limit lockdown will never happen. Most lock-downed countries have reached 3 weeks or more and are still peaking. Japan is just starting. To be effective it will need to be 6 weeks maybe, otherwise 2 weeks is a waste of time, lives and economy.

lockdown should only affect large cities. Where I live, people drive K-cars and I’ve never seen groups of more than 10, except Pachinko.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

That is possibly the worst thing for places like Miyazaki where I am and other rural areas throughout Japan.

I think Prefectures or Regions need to be closed (except for essential workers) or else all the workers/Uni students who are in Tokyo will return to their hometowns and spread it around Japan.

they closed the borders to the States in Australia and it has been successful apparently.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why just Tokyo? Why just bigger cities with high infection rates at this time.

If they want this "emergency call" it should cover all of Japan!

And get some of that tax money out of your pockets (government) to pay people who loose their income!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The LDP did have months to prepare, the only trasparacy is their total lack of a plan. 40+% of the population are working with no safety net, so what do they do? What do their mortgage paying landlords do? A fish coupon and 2 masks, not really going to sustain anyone for long. Where is this expert government Pannel?

Seems the highly paid experts really hadn't thought it through.....as usual. 10% pay cut for all....for a month. Politicians a bow and a 11 month pay cut just to show solidarity with those they tax.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Close the nurseries too not just schools!!!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Dr. Theopolis: "Good news but what do we do when our company says to come to work anyways???"

You go to work. They are not going to include companies anyway, except on a voluntary basis, and even if the company demands you come anyway, what's the government going to do? punish them? I don't think so. They might issue a "stern warning", but that's all.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

I presume the govt. delayed this so that students and parents could travel to their schools for the essential opening ceremonies... A last hurrah to spread the virus before lockdown.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

First off, I think Japan should have been put in lock down, as a precaution.

But I can kind of understand Abe san's reluctance. Japan was one of the first countries to record cases of the virus. We have had some really bad management of people coming home from parts of the world. The Okinawa family that went to Spain, the people who refused to be tested, and people allowed home after getting off the boat. And Japan did not see huge amounts of increases in cases. With this all happening weeks ago, hard for him to declare a SOE. Then things start to increase, rapidly not really but steady, time to act, yes, was he late yes. I think he was between a rock and a hard place for a bit. But in the end action was way too slow.

A stated above,

"Abe is not permitted to declare a state of emergency at his own discretion. He needs to seek input from an advisory panel comprising experts in medicine and public health who determine whether the situation calls for an emergency declaration."

Anyone who has been living here for a while knows that the Japanese medical association has more power than sense. Waiting for any panel to decide something in this country.......well.........

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Thoughts go out to all the small businesses and families out there who will struggle.

Thoughts should go out to many workers. Workers from companies of all sizes could be in trouble from the economic hit we are already feeling.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

But, is it enough just to declare a state of emergency and leave it up to the local councils to deal with it however they see fit? They need national policies to control the spread of the virus. All pubs, clubs, restaurants and concert venues need to be closed nationwide immediately. There needs to be strict enforcement of social distancing rules and those morning cattle trucks shuffling all the people through the cities need to be emptied. This needs to happen immediately and to be continued for at least six months. It’s pretty obvious Abe doesn’t want to take the responsibility to close the country, even though he is supposed to be the leader. He has just delighted all the responsibility to the local councils.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

onedragon

We will always lose a few people with weak or distressed immune systems. 

How old are your parents? I dare you to tell them face to face that it is OK for you elderlies to die so our precious lives will not be disturbed. If they are already dead they must be reeling in their graves.

By the way, one day you will get old, too. How will you feel if the younger people tell you that we do not care more about money than you.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

When it comes to working from home, Japan simply doesn’t get it. In the midst of a coronavirus epidemic, commuter trains in Tokyo are still pretty packed, and many companies are acting like nothing’s really changed.

This is a nation where you still have to show up in person. Work culture demands constant face-to-face interaction, partly to show respect. Employees typically are judged on the hours they put in rather than they output they produce. Managers don’t trust their staff to work from home, and many companies are just not set up for telework.

“My boss said it loud and clear: ‘If I allow you guys to go home, you might not be focusing on your work. Who knows? You might even be drinking,’ ” said one investment banker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly. Clients don’t want face-to-face meetings anymore, the banker said, but still his boss thinks the team should be in the office to take their phone calls, just to show them respect. “Otherwise, my boss says, it’s just giving clients the idea that you’re taking time off and making things easy for yourself,” the banker said. “It’s Japanese pride.”

The uniquely rigid work culture has left this country among the least prepared in the developed world to embrace the new remote-working realities of the coronavirus age. To be fair, a few companies have embraced telework. But many haven’t — and the lack of preparation could be a big reason, management consultant Rochelle Kopp says, why Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been reluctant to declare a state of emergency and impose a lockdown, despite a recent surge in infections.

Technology is an important factor. Despite Japan’s high-tech image, it simply isn’t set up to work from home. Like the hare in the fable, it often feels like a country that raced headlong into the future, and then in 1991, took a nap and let everyone else overtake it. Japanese companies lag their Western counterparts in IT investment, and many are still stuck 20 years in the past, with old software and little awareness of cloud computing or video conferencing tools. IT departments are so paranoid about protecting intellectual property and confidential client information that they allow employees to access work systems only on office computers.

This is a country where businesses still send faxes, and where documents have to be stamped with a seal, or hanko, dipped in ink. Even people working from home have to go into the office to get documents stamped by a manager, according to local media. Schools have closed, but have little or no provision for online learning.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/coronavirus-japan-telework-business-culture/2020/04/05/a420a39a-74ec-11ea-ad9b-254ec99993bc_story.html#comments-wrapper

26 ( +29 / -3 )

“My boss said it loud and clear: ‘If I allow you guys to go home, you might not be focusing on your work. Who knows? You might even be drinking,’ ” said one investment banker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly.

This comment is very apt and shows the reality when managers have no idea how to evaluate performance of subordinates except by face time or butt-kissing.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

I hope I can still go to work as normal. I need to work to earn money to cover my mortgage and other expenses. I would rather suffer through flu-like symptoms than go into debt.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Common cold, eh old man? Changed your tune just like Trump.

To be fair, you did the same. You have lauded the brilliance of ‘Abe-san’ and ‘Aso-sensei’ as the envy of the world along with Trump in the past.

I don’t think the world is envious of ‘Abe-san’ and ‘Aso-sensei’.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There is more option to simply lockdown, so let's look at the options. Japan, Sweden and many other countries the media conveniently forget to mention are trying another option, let's give them a chance

Singapore, with a population of 5.6 million, had been praised by WHO as the role model for other countries to follow in containing the virus. Schools and shops were all open. Business was as usual. Then as oversea Singaporeans returned home. This happens:

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/singapore-announces-1-month-lockdown-amid-rising-corona-cases/amp-11585905344421.html

Singapore announces one-month lockdown

2 min read . 03 Apr 2020

Most workplaces, except for essential services, will close starting Tuesday

The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission in the country have risen in recent weeks

Even with extensive testing, strict isolation, near detective style contact tracing, after reaching 1,114 cases and 6 deaths. Singapore has decided to play it safe and folds its cards.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Althi

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is not permitted to declare a state of emergency at his own discretion. He needs to seek input from an advisory panel comprising experts in medicine and public health who determine whether the situation calls for an emergency declaration.

So Abe can't call the state of emergency at his own discretion, but he seems to have the discretion to delay it. What the ....? The Japanese medical experts have already been calling for an emergency for a couple of weeks now. The 'expert' panel is a joke. Abe is a joke. This is pure Abenarratives serving to mask Abe's pathetic incompetence.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Many businesses in Japan are already suffering. Whether a state if emergency is declared or not would not make any difference. The government must do something to help them.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

So it's a state of emergency, and everyone is still going to work? I don't understand at all.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Hope gaijin have some money saved for a rainy day.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

It's an emergency!!! But, not an emergency emergency. So, like, is Wednesday good for everybody? Cool.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Ok. I posted a few week ago this was coming(friend in gov circles). Was expecting a quicker and more decisive action, but then again it's Japan. Stay safe everyone

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This will be so watered down, that it won't stop people from not going to work. It's already only going to effect certain parts of Japan. It'll be business as usual everywhere else and only limited changes for those in a state of emergency. Kind of pointless really.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I was told this morning that I would still have to go

to the office.

Guess its time to quit and take unemployment...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

New York, check. Italy, check. Spain, check. 118 new cases on Saturday and 134 new cases in Tokyo on Sunday, check. Let the kids go back to school today….check.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

There is more option to simply lockdown, so let's look at the options. Japan, Sweden and many other countries the media conveniently forget to mention are trying another option, let's give them a chance

Japan trying another option? You kid me not. Japan had no option, no plan, no foresight whatsoever. The government never mentioned that they were aiming for herd immunity unlike their counterparts in UK and Sweden. This J gov was more like a headless chook practicing for the 100m heats at the Olympics.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Thanks Kyle. Somebody needed to say exactly what you just did.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This whole thing is so dang fishy. People falling for it hook, line and sinker.

It's a tragedy.

ok if its so fishy they maybe you should volunteer your time in caring for the sick, if the infected is all a hoax then you have nothing to worry about. Goodluck

7 ( +11 / -4 )

It seems too late, but I hope people in Japan get through this difficult time with minimum loss. Japan Government, you need to act as soon and as much as possible

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Destroy jobs and business. Give more power to government. Be hammered down even harder. All the countries declaring emergencies will most likely never return to where they were before all this. People willingly giving up a lot to supposed trusted officials.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Thanks for the head up. Now everyone can rush to the grocery stores. Let the hoarding begin.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@expat.

working from home would be a multi billion dollar gift to every hacker in NK and Ukraine and of course...Bitcoin.

one. Hack personal computer.

Two. Check users name from ISP data.

three. Retrieve information on their first child’s name.

four. Enter into password field and BOBS YOUR UNCLE.

working from home needs encryption. Our cyber security chief can’t even use a computer.!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

All pubs, clubs, restaurants and concert venues need to be closed nationwide immediately.

Not going to happen unless the government compensates the pubs and restaurants to close. Also what about all the full time and part time staff ? How are they supposed to survive on no income and just 2 masks and a fish coupon.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

One reason for the recent surge in infections is believed to be the importation of cases from abroad, prompting the government to implement an entry ban on foreign travelers that have recently been to one or more of 73 countries and regions.

Ah right - Here's me thinking the recent surge in infections was down to the government doing almost sod all for 6 weeks since the first cluster of cases was reported in mid-Feb until they decided to postpone the Olympics on March 24.

Turns out the post-March 24 surge is down to the 'importation of cases from abroad'. Silly me.

Oh and notice that the implied blame is specifically 'foreign travelers' and in no way 'Japanese people traveling abroad or returning to Japan', because they state an 'entry ban on foreign travelers' was required - where as we know Japanese people haven't been banned from returning to Japan.

The whole situation as it currently stands is just disgusting, and leaves a terrible taste in the mouth.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I am off to buy my 10 cans of tinned tomatoes for the impending lockdown-please don’t go to the shops before I do-thanks!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I am off to buy my 10 cans of tinned tomatoes for the impending lockdown

Cut, or whole?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I could quite rightly be accused, my comments infer that for the sake of the J economy, a quantifiable model needs to establish an economic cost of saving lives.

Basically, a cost to/of life.

Subconsciously, a substantial number of venerable consumers have established this very scenario.

The meaning that quantifies the benefit of avoiding a fatality, as 100 yen.......

Every Friday our local Sunshine Supermarket, Kochi, has “coupon” day, ten items 20-yen discount. Sunshine even provide stickers.

Some two/three weeks back, I jumped in the car, stickers in paw and headed off.

On arrival, the store was packed and the checkout queues stretching back accordingly. I noticed that many of the customer were elderly pensioners. You would be lucky to get a cigarette paper between them.

Social distancing? when 100 yen is at stake, bring it on.

I felt such a foolish prat, because I should have known better.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sorry that 200 yen, I go to the back of the class, stand in the corner, and don the pointy dunce hat.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Help!

I have Abe fatigue!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wednesday it is...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Lamilly

Many will get over their symptoms and survive. There is more option to simply lockdown, so let's look at the options. Japan, Sweden and many other countries the media conveniently forget to mention are trying another option, let's give them a chance.

Right - when's the last time you checked on the situation e.g. in Sweden?

They were going for the 'herd immunity' at first, to protect their economy. Then came the big increase in covid-19 cases, and now they're in trouble. They're completely changing their tactics and attitude. A big turning point for Sweden was when there was an increase of +500 cases in a day, which, FYI, has just happened in Japan as well. According to the data from Johns Hopkins university, there were 3139 cases yesterday (Sunday April 5th), and today (Monday April 6th) the number is 3654. By far the biggest increase in a day.

(It is arguable though, that has Japan finally just started testing more people, or, are more cases really coming up at this rate, if the testing policy is still the same. If the latter, this really is alarming, as this would also mean the virus is literally everywhere, as Japan has been testing only a fraction of suspected cases. )

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Please don't forget the homeless people, they don't have house to stay, or they will be the carriers of this infectious virus to still transmit next persons. It will be endless the period of emergency...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So he calls a state of emergency, but there is no law to make people stay home, limit the size of groups of people. Companies can continue to work, what kind of state of emergency is that? Useless! Japan get ready to fill all your hospitals and empty hotel rooms with covid 19 patients.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The panic buying has started. My local gyomu supa had no tinned tomatoes, little pasta etc. Maruai had no rice or instant ramen. I bought what I needed, the food supply won’t stop and lockdowns don’t mean you can’t go out to get food.

On the way back I saw a load of nursery school kids in a crocodile, grasping the rope, looking at the cherry blossom, joining the adult idiots who think a mask will save them. What was the nursery thinking?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@Alexandre T. Ishii

"Please don't forget the homeless people, they don't have house to stay"

Yes they most likely don't. And I hope the J-gov't can figure out a way to help them out.

"they will be the carriers of this infectious virus to still transmit next persons."

Come on, man. Let's not blame the poors over this. Most Japanese won't even go near them. They also didn't get to sit on their hands and pretend that this wasn't coming or that this wasn't going to happen.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WWOXCBXmfiE

For three weeks they are saying, Osaka and Tokyo...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There should be a proper freeze on all bills including credit cards and rent until the lockdown is lifted and work routine returns to normal. Also, a freeze on city tax, pension and NHI payments. And there should be no interest or penalties for current payments that become late due to current work/lockdown circumstances.

And then I woke up...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@If this would happened it would be a disaster for small business, freelancers and contractors since they will cometely loose any source of income. Does JP gov going to provide any financial support for the ones in need if that happens?

Not had it occurred over the holidays at the end of Dec when it wasn't even a pandemic outside originating country. A full ban at that time would have been most effective and limiting our countries exposure. Guess our admin did not learn from SARS, MERS which also originated in the same country. However all the negatives on the earlier posts only proves facts are correct and they need to pay.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not scared, nor am I freaked out, got enough food, rations, so we are all good and I don’t go out so I’m not worried about getting hit, but this thing could really get out of hand now going forward.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

An emergency declaration, the first of its kind in Japan, would restrict individual rights, allowing prefectural governors to call for specific action to prevent the spread of the virus.

That sounds still very vague. What exactly do these genius prefectural governors (Koike in my case) want us to do? People are already wearing masks (no idea where they buy them), and are being careful. Surely nobody wants soldiers on the streets, enforcing curfews??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How did the surge in infected cases happen just after the Olympics were postponed?

"Once declared, prefectural governors will be able to tell the public to stay at home and request the closure of schools and other facilities."

"Abe is required to specify which areas will be targeted and for how long. Major cities such as Tokyo and Osaka will likely be targeted, the government official added."

"People will not be punished if they do not fall in line, neither can business activity be banned."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

daito_hakToday  11:03 am JST

One reason for the recent surge in infections has been cases imported from abroad

There have been clusters all around Tokyo and Japan with no direct connections to any foreigner.

Early cases (or at least a case) were connected to a Chinese tour group in Nara which got a Japanese guide and bus driver sick, but more recently the media here has reported the imported cases are mainly stemming from Japanese returning from overseas.

It seems Japanese nationals returning from overseas had not been directed to isolate or anything upon returning to Japanese airports, such as the situation with my friends daughter who arrived back from Europe recently and just waltzed through customs and immigration without anyone saying anything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why would you wait....so people can panic and crowd stores and restaurants for two days

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Almost the same as before-asking and requesting people and businesses.

Weak a*S government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why would you wait....so people can panic and crowd stores and restaurants for two days

Some people won't yet have stocked their homes. They need time to prepare.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So many commenters here seem to think that a "state of emergency" is a magical cure.

Can some of you tell us what exactly they imagine the state of emergency to include and what it would achieve that current measures dont?

I am really curious.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

LamillyToday 10:10 am JST

I think Abe should hold on as long as poss before lockdown. Coming from UK (while travel was poss) lockdown is economic suicide. So many people out of a job, no roof over their heads (forget about universal credit and landlords advised not to throw tenants out) people are going to die, no matter how much care, ventilators, masks or love they are given. Many will get over their symptoms and survive. There is more option to simply lockdown, so let's look at the options. Japan, Sweden and many other countries the media conveniently forget to mention are trying another option, let's give them a chance

no way, we have to lockdown, who cares if we lose our job? see all the unlike you got ?

it's like what happens to me when I say lockdown will make more damage than the virus, all these great gaijin employees ready to unlike just because they think only about themselves, they are safe, they will get their salaries for months and months while people with their own business will finish money in a couple of months, but who cares about them, we have our salaries, let's unlike these boring posts !!!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I wish they would stop terrorizing us with these announcements already. The virus is not afraid of government's declarations. And people, although afraid, can't do much more than hoard food.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It could be the case that depression, and failed businesses and suicides have a much larger impact than deaths from the virus...

Expats are also prone to economic ills in Japan if they are not making a return for the company too.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This what's been written on another site:

"Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute for Public Health at King's College, London, said the emergency was too late given the explosive increase in cases in Tokyo.

"It should have been declared by April 1 at the latest," he said."

The same what not just I said: too little, definitely way too late!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe gave hint of the white flag when he started covering his face.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I hate to say it, but the flippancy that the Diet carries on with no social distancing in light of most politicians very advanced age, makes them at risk to be a coronavirus statistic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

That sounds still very vague. What exactly do these genius prefectural governors (Koike in my case) want us to do? People are already wearing masks (no idea where they buy them), and are being careful. Surely nobody wants soldiers on the streets, enforcing curfews??

WilliB - we don't want enforced curfews, which is exactly why we need to control the virus before it spreads too far and there is no choice but to do it.

Once it begins to spread rapidly, the only method we have is a complete and enforced lockdown.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can some of you tell us what exactly they imagine the state of emergency to include and what it would achieve that current measures dont?

I am really curious.

I would have thought this was pretty obvious, if you look at countries that have introduced tough emergency powers in response to COVID 19 - you must be aware of these countries.

The emergency measures principally limit the amount of contact you can have with people to get the R0 well below 1. Current measures do not achieve this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once it begins to spread rapidly, the only method we have is a complete and enforced lockdown.

A month ago they asked people to void going out so they didn't have to declare a state of emergency. I guess it didn't help, because here is a state of emergency.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There needs to be a moratorium on rent, mortgage and other payments for those without the means to see themselves through. Those with the ability to pay should continue to do so to keep the system solvent, but you can't ask people to make the choice between food, medicine and shelter, particularly if they have children at home. Companies should continue paying salaries, and the govt should pick up the slack with no-interest loans, like in Europe. Abe has been follosing the Trump model, which has been disastrous in the US. There's no reason to think it would be any better here, given the level of red tape and paperwork in triplicate required for the simplest ionteraction with the govt, and their inability to offer residents services online.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ah So:

WilliB - we don't want enforced curfews, which is exactly why we need to control the virus before it spreads too far and there is no choice but to do it.

Once it begins to spread rapidly, the only method we have is a complete and enforced lockdown.

That is no answer. What exactly do you want this "state of emergency" to look like? What would be different from now? And if you have ideas what the Tokyo govermt should do in addition to the current state, can´t they do that without this "state of emergency" declaration?

From the phrasing in the article, is seems like the "state of emergency" simply means giving Koike the power to implement whatever bright idea she has at the moment.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

expat:

Abe has been follosing the Trump model, which has been disastrous in the US.

Trump stopped flights from China the day after the WHO declared Corona a pandemic. Did Abe do that?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If you feel danger, you should once evacuate from Japan to your countries after receiving JPY 300K.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yes it’s not clear how a state of emergency will differ from what we have.

with right now being don’t do anything at all except ride the train on weekdays and go to work then lock yourself in your room every night and weekend.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pls correct me, I am getting confused. Schools are opening but abe want to declare emergency ???. Pls explian to me ???.Somebody or anybodies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Blacklabel:

Yes it’s not clear how a state of emergency will differ from what we have.

Right now, from the article it seems the only difference is that Koike can do what she wants the moment she gets a "bright" idea.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why would you wait....so people can panic and crowd stores and restaurants for two days

When India imposed its lockdown with less than a day's notice some people panicked and hit the shops, and other people were left stranded miles from home with no public transport, and threats of 2 years' jail time plus a fine if caught outside.

Anyone in Japan with half an eye on the news has known this was coming and ought to be prepared. Anyone who feels the sudden need to panic into the shops has not been paying attention.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

That is no answer. What exactly do you want this "state of emergency" to look like? What would be different from now?

Close the bars and karaoke clubs for starters. At the moment there is just advice to avoid them.

And if you have ideas what the Tokyo govermt should do in addition to the current state, can´t they do that without this "state of emergency" declaration?

Don't know - you'd need to ask someone with a better understanding of the Japanese legal system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah So

Close the bars and karaoke clubs for starters. At the moment there is just advice to avoid them.

Karaoke boxes closed a couple of days ago, did you miss that?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ah So:

Don't know - you'd need to ask someone with a better understanding of the Japanese legal system.

So you are clamouring for a "state of emergency", but you don´t know what that should achieve. Brilliant.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

kitts:

A month ago they asked people to void going out so they didn't have to declare a state of emergency. I guess it didn't help, because here is a state of emergency.

So, are you asking for a curfew? Any suggestions how that should be enforced? And how to deal with violators?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

National State of Emergency…..NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY…In capitals….

Cleo, the tone, syntax, the dramatic monologue/interpretation invokes fear and panic.

Human nature will seize on the emotional consequences and act according, irrationally, drive and purchase 4000 toilet rolls.

Not my opinion, but a student of psychology I happened to have a coffee with a few weeks ago in Nagoya.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Focus on the value of the Yen against a basket of currencies, this will provide a indication of future ecomonic/monetary/fiscal stability.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan could avoid spreading the virus just by blocking all Chinese tourists ,right after epedemic was announced. Check all Japanese returned from China. They could just lock down whole Japan , would be so much less loss then now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope I can still go to work as normal. I need to work to earn money to cover my mortgage and other expenses. I would rather suffer through flu-like symptoms than go into debt.

This is why we need restrictions to stop people spreading the virus by working when they are ill. But we also need a safety net so that people can pay their rent/ mortgage.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trump stopped flights from China the day after the WHO declared Corona a pandemic. Did Abe do that?

did Trump stop AMericans infected returning home or forcing then in mandatory quarantine, FOX and Trump were still downplaying this virus at the beginning of March. This downplaying is why its turning into the slaughter of American civilians you see now. these deaths are on the hands of the cult 45.

youtube.com/channel/UCwWhs_6x42TyRM4Wstoq8HA/videos

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A lot of cases in Japan are of unknown origin, meaning that it is well and truly imbedded into the community and moving and spreading amongst people freely. Whilst the virus is the illness, the real problem is people are the vehicles for it - the transmitters, so for as long as you have infected people moving freely around in mass transport, office buildings, shopping centres etc etc they ARE the problem. People are the problem right now.

Every day there is a delay in a hard shutdown merely offers further time for the full bloom of the pandemic. Japan clearly isn't taking the Swedish approach of herd immunity, so waiting is just going to facilitate the spread. Very slow response.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am from Yako, Tsurumi ku Yokohama but my work is in Tokyo. If a lockdown will happen how will we pay our bills when I am just a daily wage earner and my company closes down. No Work No Pay.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Slightly confused as to why schools are to reopen but then again looks like a State of Emergency has no real enforceable controls over people or businesses anyways.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Alcohol for disinfection is soldout at drugstores people can not buy it even they want to. Many Japanese use trains and subways everyday but there is no alcohol for disinfaction at the train or subway stations. It is cheap and effective i guess. I don't understand why governement still don't makw replaced alcohol at the stations.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo and six other prefectures.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does “close schools” mean only students stay home, or also teachers? My school wants us to come in for twice-weekly meetings regardless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Welcome to the Grand Awakening!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Keep with your life.

Will continue my cycling as usual in southern China. At worst, guideline from the police and bad eyes from my neighbors.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And how many days ago Japan wanted to host the Olympics???

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@RecklessToday: You and a lot of others seem to misunderstand what is an emergency directive. An emergency directive is NOT a stay at home order.

Business are allowed to open and people can still move freely. You cannot be forced to comply with a lockdown as there will never be a lockdown.

The only differences will be that the government can claim limited Eminent Domain to takeover private hospitals, some transport, food , and pharmaceutical companies. Businesses do not have to close and no one can ask you to go and stay home. They can also 'request' training and other transport systems to slow down service. Very little else.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And how many days ago Japan wanted to host the Olympics???

And they’re still talking about it surprisingly.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@TamaramaToday  There is no such thing as a "hard shutdown." Such activities are explicitly disallowed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Timely decision by PM Abe to declare State of Emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures of Japan to prevent Corona Virus to spread to community level. All those countries who had not taken preventive measures in time, are now , heavily suffering due to surge of Corona virus in their countries We all can see such suffering in Italy , France , Spain , U K . U S A which have now become new hotbeds for spread of Corona virus in the world

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kinda funny that the headline for the article under this one is "Many schools in Japan reopen after monthlong coronavirus shutdown"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What a joke... I surely won’t be following this. I guarantee many bars and restaurants will still be open, as is my gym.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I’ll be touring onsens as my work has 90% dried up...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One reason for the recent surge in infections is believed to be the importation of cases from abroad,

This is where the blame begins to be shifted from the policy of non testing as a critical disaster response.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@James Dean nah gyms, bars etc in those 7 prefectures have been asked to close. You should watch the news and keep up with things man. It's a constantly evolving crisis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Well, my kids won’t be going, the schools can open, their right...even though I think it’s madness, but as a parent, I have the right to tell my kids, you’re not going and that’s that, if the government won’t care for the people or the kids, I’ll institute my own personal lockdown.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

i won’t be riding an overcrowded train but in my car-what else is there to do?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't like a jumpy PM. One day say one thing, next day say something drastically different. This is a country, not a party.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sort of the lockdown you are having when you aren't really having a lockdown.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally. A good measure to stop the spread of the virus. 

I know that many people do not like this measure, reading the comments above. But people have to understand. That without an effective vaccine, the only way to kill the virus. It's the confinement of people to their homes. To prevent infected people who are asymptomatic. They can infect healthy people, free of the virus.

I know these are difficult times. So much for the people who will be at home and unable to leave. As well as the people who will have to work under these conditions. Because their work is considered a basic and essential good.

A message of hope for these difficult times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This was way too late.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It took 20 days from schools locking down to everyone getting bored and going out again.

I would be surprised if this warning holds to golden week.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Surge of infections?

It seems to be just a big-city thing.

Wikipedia shows a gradual increase nationwide - not an explosive jump in cases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Japan

(data from Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and WHO)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It just seems the majority of japanese are just not effected by this virus for some reason, I dont know. that is a good thing for them. also, they obviously were ready to go for the olympics, regardless of everything that was going on globally. Now,..they want to declare a state of emergency? doesnt seem real. Why now?? Declaring a state of emergency when you do not need to declare one does not make sense. I would be more curious to know why they are not effected by the virus.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even if a state of emergency is declared, citywide lockdowns, as seen in other countries hit hard by the coronavirus such as China and France, cannot be enforced under Japanese law. People will not be punished if they do not fall in line, neither can business activity be banned.

That's the problem. Japanese law is derived from a constitution drawn up in 1946 and never modified. That is why it cannot be as restrictive as in other countries. In the Fukushima crisis nine years ago, exactly that happened. And it proved the obsolescence of the current constitution. 

I hope that in this crisis. Most political parties that have a sense of responsibility. Enable a serious negotiation channel to reach a broad consensus. To get the first constitutional amendment implemented. To provide the country with emergency mechanisms, which currently do not exist in the current constitution.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Governors in Tokyo and elsewhere have asked citizens to stay home on weekends, avoid crowds and evening outings, and work from home.

Japan wears a kabuki mask of technological advancement and efficiency but it is easily the biggest technological relic among developed countries when it comes to business. It maintains a business culture steeped in respect founded on quantifiable things - hours worked, degree of conformity with colleagues, years at the company, how little sleep workers manage due to being in the office - instead of qualitative aspects generally recognized as "success" in Western countries. Having worked and lived in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures, and experienced the sometimes horrific working conditions expected of Japanese employees, I'm hoping this serves as a wakeup call. Japanese companies will (not might) begin to fail as a result of COVID-19 because of the country's dependence on ritual and "culture" versus innovation and quality-over-quantity.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

dougthehead13, it seems things going well with you, that is good. Compared to Spain, Japan is a little bit worry to me. I am not looking at the confirmed cases, because that is dependant on test. I am looking at the recovered cases, which it seems that Spain does excellent job, so far. Any shareable information that I can deliver to Abe ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe and Abe alone is wearing some bizarre kind of "bikini mask" -- what is that all about??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too late Abe , many small business are shutting down , passengers are coming freely from hot spot area such as Iran, i think this the second time denying the problems and the consequences ( first time was the tsunami and the radiation leak 2012 ) . Mr Abe please start helping your everyone and pump money in the economy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is not taking it seriously at all. Mass gatherings if 10 people are happening and will continue to happen until the government admit that there is community spread instead of spreading false propaganda that there’s no spread of coronavirus in Japan besides exceptional “clusters”.

Here you see that even doctors don’t take it seriously.

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200407-00000001-jij-soci

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The emergency declaration can't force public to restrict their behavior,because japanese constitution displays

just request.So latter circumstances depend on us!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sounds like the horse bolted from the stables just over two weeks ago, so no need to bolt it closed now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sounds like the horse bolted from the stables just over two weeks ago, so no need to bolt it closed now.

Yeah, no need to worry about the other horses still in the stable. Right?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"An expert on the government's coronavirus panel said Japan could avoid an explosive rise by reducing person-to-person contact by 80%."

Obviously an "expert on the panel" who has never taken a rush hour train across Tokyo. What a joke

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just read that the prime minister of Great Britain is now in the hospital in serious condition. To all of those who downplay the seriousness of this virus, just look at the death toll in New York City alone (3,578). This is not counting those who live in the suburbs who have died. How many managers and employees in the Tokyo companies do you think will die if this spreads like it did in New York. Go on line and look the infection rate that occurred in New York. Even a tiger in the New York zoo caught the virus. I expect to see in the next few weeks, Tokyo will become more like New York City

For those who like to blame the foreigners for bringing it in, let me expand on that statement. True they originally introduced virus into Japan along with some Japanese who had visited China, However in my town in the United States, it was Americans returning from Europe who brought the virus. It was the recent return of Japanese from Europe that introduced more clusters of infection in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they clearly convey in English what we should not do. I think 5% or more of Tokyo residents are foreigners.

In Tokyo as in Japan as a whole residents with Chinese nationality (PRC and ROC) vastly outnumber foreign nationals from English speaking countries.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Okay so you can go out, but you are asked to stay in. Not really a state of emergency compared to Italy or the UK.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I live in the Katsushika/ Adachi area of Tokyo and the numbers here are low and the reason for that is people are staying in,  yesterday and today, I went to the stores shopping no large crowds and many smalls stores shut.

Now, my American friend who lives in the Hiro-o area is giving me a whole different story shops are busy, people out drinking coffee and acting like nothing is happening.  That area is Minato-ku and is considered where the rich live and has the one of the higher rates of this virus.

My friend who lives in Chiba, rural and so far no cases in her area.

My British friend's husband who is Japanese weeks ago started changing the hours for his employees to come in later and go home earlier and they are rotating staff and so some work at home and just a skeleton crew in the office.  

Many of my students parents are working at home and the children are home bound for the most part.

It will be interesting to see what tomorrow will bring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Huge baby boom coming up in 9 months time?

Virus could save Japanese race from extinction!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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