national

Abe urges 2-week curb on big events to stem coronavirus spread

54 Comments
By Sakura Murakami and Rocky Swift

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

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
Login to comment

Never mind that his government allowed its citizens to exit the ship without being tested, nor did it test the officials and medical personnel that boarded: "Astonishingly, the Japanese government released without a test more than 90 officials who boarded the ship during the quarantine, even though four had already tested positive — and this, according to one report, because of concern that “they won’t be able to fulfill their official duties if found positive.” The Health Ministry has since agreed to test 41 officials, but it still won’t test any medical professionals and quarantine officers who were on board, on grounds that “they had taken sufficient precautions” themselves.

As some observers have pointed out, a measure of denial and inertia is at play. The Japanese bureaucracy is notoriously dominated by a culture of “kotonakare shugi” (literally, “no-problem-ism”), which prioritizes stability and conformity, and shuns anything that might rock the institutional boat. Sound the alarm about an impending crisis and you might be blamed for causing it."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/opinion/coronavirus-japan-abe.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

29 ( +31 / -2 )

no-problem-ism

Great expression. I hope you don’t mind me stealing that one.

My partner works in the Marunouchi area and she told me which building. Interesting that the article didn’t mention which building.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Another urge? Seriously?

How about to make some concrete laws as the Italian PM did.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Another urge? Seriously?

How about to make some concrete laws as the Italian PM did.

Are you serious?....Concrete laws?..that would take at least half a dozen meetings of a yet to be assembled " expert panel. Nigh impossible .

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Too late . Too little.

Abe and the J govt have screwed this up.

They should have stopped all incoming travel from china weeks ago and put all the people from the boat into the olympic village for 2 weeks use some intelligence instead of fumbling and stumbling around now Tokyo is going to be the next petri dish. Say bye bye to the olympics abe

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Abe urges 2-week curb on big events to stem coronavirus spread

Define "big" ! It's graduation season, and in local high schools, literally 1,000 to 2,000 people are going to be getting together for the ceremonies, in literally thousands of schools throughout the country.

Not to mention universities, and technical colleges and junior colleges as well!

Instead of "urging" ORDER them cancelled!

Oh right, then the teeth sucking and your poll numbers will fall even further! Just urge them, and "blame" them because you ain got the guts to make the call!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

He can't be either serious or doesn't know what he is talking about!

......that the next one to two weeks are extremely important in stopping the spread of infection .....

No way that one to two weeks is enough! Look at how long this has been going on.

Look at how many people left that ship without being checked.

Look at all those new virus infections.

But he tries to make sure the Olympics won't be delayed.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Mask is useless if you are not sick. Stop with the fake news.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

Are you serious?....Concrete laws?..that would take at least half a dozen meetings of a yet to be assembled " expert panel. Nigh impossible .

No it's possible, just wont take effect until Spring of 2022 at the soonest. Take that long at least to get AKB to produce their public service announcements!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

One of the things I find frustrating about these types of news stories is the lack of specific details about the infections.

In this article we have ‘two businesses in Tokyo’ and ‘a building in Marunouchi business district.’ Previously it was information about a man riding the Tokaido Shinkansen, someone returning to Tochigi on public transportation, a women in Chiba, etc. How can anyone use this information to know if they’ve been potentially exposed to the virus? Without specifics like dates, times, or places this information is useless. We need specifics if we want to be able to protect ourselves.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

From the Abe Government!

http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/influenza/novel_coronavirus.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mask is useless if you are not sick. Stop with the fake news

Youre gonna catch flak for staying a fact.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"Meanwhile, the Yomiuri Giants baseball said on its website it would stage planned preseason games versus cross-town rival the Yakult Swallows at its Tokyo Dome stadium, but with no fans in the building."

Next up, baseball game with no players. It probably would not be any less boring!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I feel bad for Abe, seems like the only authority he has is "to urge"

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Prime minister Abe’s salary should also be curtailed or scrapped until the viral outbreak is under control. His government failed to take necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus in the first place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan has at least 164 cases of infections from the flu-like coronavirus, apart from 691 reported from a cruise ship docked south of Tokyo

The real number is way higher than that.

My partner works in the Marunouchi area and she told me which building. Interesting that the article didn’t mention which building.

Well, out with it, Jimizo - which one is it? Aren't you going to tell us?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe and his whole family are more then knee deep in tax payers money's. For him it's normal. Us that is the people paying his salery aren't happy but I am a foreign type no vote no say permanent resident just fleece me for exhortation tax to pay idiots like this,,,,,,where is the experts? Not in the Diet that's for sure.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Was watching an afternoon wide show and things were getting testy! Almost all guests were angry at Abe saying we have to hear from him, not just Kato. Also one professor said these two weeks of holidays and cancelling large gatherings is useless. He said it will take almost half a year until this is under control. His words not mine!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

John_Beara

Masks can prevent moisture, containing viruses, from access to the mouth or nose of people, via sneezes or coughs. There is a proven (but fairly low) increase in protection this way. However, mass-produced facemasks cannot prevent airborne viruses, as the holes in the masks are too big to stop them.

The most effective way to prevent viral infection or spread is to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face while in public and not going out if you are ill.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Abe urges 2-week curb on big events

What a disaster! Does this mean no Sakura o Miru Kai for Shinzo this year? What's he going to do for money? Akie's going to be really mad.....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

My partner works in the Marunouchi area and she told me which building. Interesting that the article didn’t mention which building.

Right, so in the interest of public safety you refuse to share the information right?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nice Photo.

Thank you, Masked Man.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe this will teach Abe and his friends and relations that there is more to government than drawing a fat paycheck. In fact, it looks like the silver lining might be the disappearance of fat cat politicians like Abe and crew and Xi in China.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Also, on this Wide show this one professor was saying the reason that Japan has done so few tests has nothing to do with the kits needed, but that the Abe government is only allowing a small number of facilities to do the tests. Which means there are huge backlogs. If it was opened up to private companies and groups more and more people could be tested and a real number of carriers would be known.

Not surprising to hear this at all. I wonder which of Abe's friends control the testing of these test kits! I know that sounds so terrible, but I wouldn't put anything past this LDP group.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And what will happen after two weeks ?

It is a strategy for only slowing the spread.

The virus will still be around and the risk of infection too. The only way to stop it would be to stop all activities and closing borders for 1 month. Impossible.

I still do not understand why outdoors events are cancelled and all that hysteria. The risk is still very low at that time, much less than catching the flu or winning the loto.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Not surprised ...it was reported that China gave Japan 12,500 test kits to help with containing the virus as a goodwill gesture ( repaying Japan for sending supplies on the Wuhan flights I guess) . It was gifted on February 14th...not a peep about it in J-media, why? It became known because the Chinese embassy mentioned it on its website.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Also, on this Wide show this one professor was saying the reason that Japan has done so few tests has nothing to do with the kits needed, but that the Abe government is only allowing a small number of facilities to do the tests

Not surprised ...it was reported that China gave Japan 12,500 test kits to help with containing the virus as a goodwill gesture ( repaying Japan for sending supplies on the Wuhan flights I guess) . It was gifted on February 14th...not a peep about it in J-media, why? It became known because the Chinese embassy mentioned it on its website.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everything starts from the gov't. When they are still keeping secrets, nothing will change to help its citizens.

Japan have to change, if not, even the whole diet will be affected by corona virus. But it maybe a good thing

on the other hand as we can have a new goverment if 50% of the diet is wipe out. This is japan is no more an excuse.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I’m working on the events For now my calendar for March is empty..... Got a phone today that they cancelled another event and here we are, I’m jobless for 1,5 month and probably more....

But of course schools and COMPANIES are still working... Isn’t that wrong? If you don’t stop the whole country cancelling only part of events MEANS NOTHING.

I guess Abe will pay my bills and rent?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan’s leaders are so out of touch with the lives of ordinary people that they seem genuinely uninterested in their plight. That, in turn, allows an entire bureaucracy to wallow in denial, even over a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak and just a few months away from the Olympics.

I wish everyone in Japan could read the article posted in the New York Times today. It's the ultimate breakdown of Abe's & co.'s incompetence. I suspect that if this were South Korea, Hong Kong, or any nation where the media speaks freely and where the value of confrontation-avoidance was not ingrained as much as it is here, people would be protesting in the streets by now.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/opinion/coronavirus-japan-abe.html

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My daughter's school cancelled all activities outside of the actual school day until graduation. They also are sending all of their daily goods home every day for washing and sanitizing (opposed to once a week) and are not going to allow parents/guests onto the school grounds outside of picking up the kids. This suddenly feels a lot more real. If they cancel the graduation I'll not only be shocked, I'll know that the situation has gotten serious. They also require the children to wear disposable masks every day (and to send a backup if you can) which is good, but I haven't seen a mask for sale in over a week... I imagine if you don't have backup stock (thank goodness we do) that could get hard. One of her classmates has 3 siblings, imagine trying to produce 30-40 children's masks a week just to go to school. The last I could find were over a week ago and it was 550 yen for 6 masks. Tough.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I for one support the "urging" technique.

If they make a law they have to use police and court resources to enforce it which would just be a huge waste and in reality, all major institutions, both public and private will follow Mr. Abe's advise anyways.

So it has the same effect as a law but without all the complications of the cops and courts getting involved.

A sensible measure.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

i wouldn’t want to be the guy at the mask distribution desk.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I’m working on the events For now my calendar for March is empty..... Got a phone today that they cancelled another event and here we are, I’m jobless for 1,5 month and probably more....But of course schools and COMPANIES are still working... Isn’t that wrong? If you don’t stop the whole country cancelling only part of events MEANS NOTHING.

Well if you aren't happy about the government is doing by taking away your money, sell masks on the internet.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Abe has been piling up pressure from all kind of scandals. The healthiest thing for the Japan and Abe himself would be him stepping aside.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese government is blocking diagnosis tests. Doctors cannot get their patients tested, and patients therefore cannot be treated.

Tests are only for people with severe pneumonia who needs hospitalization, by that time any intervention or anti-virals will be too late. Furthermore, by making diagnosis tests so restrictive, it would be impossible to identify super spreading events like the one occurred in South Korea.

Based on the current diagnosis rules, Japan will likely see much higher case fatality rate than other countries, perhaps over 10% as the medical interventions will occur too late for most people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

dk9000

Very, very unfortunately, many Japanese distrust NYT as well as the supporers of President Trump, because they believe NYT often provides fake news or one side opinion.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

blahblah222

I was very surprised that diagnosis tests are not so reliable based on an interview with a Japanese specialist. She said it was because the quantity of new virus is very little, comparing with normal flu. I always hope foreigners can read the news of Japanese language. Otherwise, the Japanese government should send messages translated into English as much as possible.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very, very unfortunately, many Japanese distrust NYT as well as the supporers of President Trump, because they believe NYT often provides fake news or one side opinion.

Source? I have never met a single Japanese person who has stated this to me. Admittedly I have never asked them this question directly, but I haven't asked them about other papers either.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ah so

I am very sorry. I have no intention to get you angry. If you read the comments in 5ch, you can find a lot of critisism of NYT, easily. But I admit they may be supporters of the government.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm not familiar with those online forums so maybe I'm missing out, but my impression living here is that the majority of Japanese people live in a rather confined Japanese-language media bubble and wouldn't be able to read the New York Times even if they cared to do so.

This article was written by Koichi Nakano though, a professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo. I wonder if he has much of a voice within the Japanese media - he really should.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

South Korea has had more than 40,000 people tested, while Japan has had a mere 5,700 tests carried out TOTAL, and the government is still trying to come up with a plan to "prevent an outbreak" in Japan. It's like they all woke up this morning in government and thought it was two months ago! But NOW they are truly panicking as they realize a virus doesn't stop with their snail's pace of politics. Hospitals are literally turning away people who want to get tested, and the priority here is on impact on the economy, the Olympics, cancelling OTHER events and things like concerts and graduation, but very little to nothing is doing about people commuting or going to work besides "suggesting" companies think about it, etc. Abe got TOASTED by the opposition in the DIET today, and all he can the health minister could do is say, "We're working on plans for the health of the people," etc. What a joke. I hope the Olympics are taken away. Watching Koike say, "The opinion of the IOC is not the official position, and we want to go ahead as planned" while everything else is cancelled, but they should be cancelled if Japan is serious about health.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is that the entrance of their fashion show and catwalk? That style has been going on for quite sometime now. Hell, from what I can recall, its been over 15 years now!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The building in Marunouchi is

Shin Marunouchi Building

It is on the J-news

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Alfie NoakesToday  06:21 pm JST

Abe urges 2-week curb on big events

“What a disaster! Does this mean no Sakura o Miru Kai for Shinzo this year? What's he going to do for money? Akie's going to be really mad....”

No problem since it had already been cancelled. I guess you missed that news.

Meanwhile in some depressing news tonight, it was announced that one of the first known cases in Japan, the tour guide living in Osaka, recovered, tested negative, and was released from hospital. Only to start felling unwell and testing positive again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No problem since it had already been cancelled. I guess you missed that news.

I remembered about three seconds after I posted.

Koichi Nakano's article really hits the nail on the head: modern politicians just don't give a toss about the people they're supposed to represent. Not one toss is given.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

PM of Japan needs to make a decision. The focus should be the Olympics, everything has to be done to make sure that event will not be canceled.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thats now 5 deaths (all over 80 years old) in a population of 123,000,000

3,400 influenza deaths last year in Japan. But, influenza isn’t new and didn’t come from China.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr Kipling said "3,400 influenza deaths last year in Japan". Are you sure ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dentsu has their employees officially working from home as they found one person in the building have tested positive for the virus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey,

you got mask guy and New York Times guy here. Is this part of this story ? I thought the story is 2 weeks curb

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This virus is a contagion and hence spreading a lot faster than just airborne in proximity of 1 meter radius. Recommend the use of gloves and proper removal during change and disposal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That should be a hand washing station instead of a dust mask distribution station.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"We know that those types of surgical masks are important to prevent transmission from someone with infection to other people, and that's pretty routine practice for infections that are spread by respiratory droplets like viruses," Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, professor of medicine and public health at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, told Yahoo Finance during a January interview.

*"However, there is no data to suggest that in people who are not infected that they provide any protection to prevent infection, to prevent exposure in terms of the typical surgical type mask," he added.*

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/cornoavirus-mask-protection-195815084.html

0 ( +0 / -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