Naoki Hodo, a 45-year-old funeral director, wearing protective gear, said that in April an emergency operator refused to send an ambulance for his 85-year-old aunt, telling the family to call back when they found a hospital themselves. His aunt hadn’t eaten for two days. Photo: Daiki Tanaka via AP
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As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil

108 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and KANTARO KOMIYA

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108 Comments
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@Zaphod,

In one breath you say,

thanks for the unbiased, non-hysterical choice of words, journalist.

and in the next

do realize that you are part of a huge experiment

Seriously?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyday I get more frustrated with this situation. I cannot understand how a nation facing a national health crisis can accept diverting critical resources like doctors to a game when hospitals are near breaking point. This is a classic case of when leaders fail to lead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NB: Thanks, Jimozo, for giving us a prime example of living in an information bubble. I am making a point of looking at both left and right news (not that the former can really be avoided). But if you insist in staying in one bubble, you of course never hear and see what is being withheld from you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil

So the Olympic "looms" and Japans health care is "in turmoil", thanks for the unbiased, non-hysterical choice of words, journalist.

Commodore Perry

If you can get out of Japan and go home and get vaccinated, no better time then now.

By all means get the shot if it makes you feel safe, but do realize that you are part of a huge experiment. While the corporate media and Big Tech censors them, there are plenty of experts who are sceptical i.e. see here

https://en-volve.com/2021/05/08/57-top-scientists-and-doctors-release-shocking-study-on-covid-vaccines-and-demand-immediate-stop-to-all-vaccinations/

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan, listen to your medical professionals! Why are the medical experts not allowed to influence the decisions around what Japan should do. This is a national crisis! Japan is in a war against COVID and the country is not listening to its doctors. Unacceptable!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A "STAR TEAM" will always beat A TEAM OF STARS.

The incumbent Government & The Japan Olympic Committee are "NOT" a Star Team

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Bottom Line: The IOC does not care if you live or die. "Cash" is The Only thing the IOC care about.

The IOC has stated Infections & Deaths are the problem of the Host Country.

The Public know this, 80+% say No Games!. The Japan Olympic Committee choose Not To Know.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The IOC doesn't care... they have a built in Legal clause that says don't blame them.. See the SCMP article :

https://www.scmp.com/sport/other-sport/article/3134441/tokyo-olympics-ioc-puts-covid-19-risks-athletes-shoulders-groups

Draw your own conclusions, then comment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Third world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The dominoes are going to begin falling when a major country says it's not sending its Olympic team due to concerns about athletes' health and the availability of medical care. The biggest domino to fall will be the Suga government. And then the people will go to the polls and vote to keep the LDP in power, starting the whole cycle again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's times like these that the true face of the LDP becomes apparent.

Equally easy to discern is the fact that they are unassailable due to the overlords who keep them in power as the LDP keeps their alliance in place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is time for the world community to come together and accept that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic has to be put out of its misery.

The question, and possibly the only the main event is who pays?

That is the the base line.

IOC as a governing body supposedly an embodiment of an Olympic Movement, is a grasping, scrambling, focused on a mammon oriented need, to hold a game at the cost of a countries health care system.

It stops now, and the Japanese Government walks away, and refuses to to put this retched sport event above/ before the welfare of its people!!!!

Refuse to pay, enough is enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's going to take some serious tax money to fix this one. Just a consequence of an aging population.

I don't understand why do many foreigners live in Japan and then say the jgov is so terrible, surely if it was that bad you'd leave, no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@RoccoL

I personally didn’t find this article sensationalizing as it had stories from actual victims and actual frontliners.

So the writing is perfectly acceptable to you, interesting.

So to you it paints an objective picture of what is happening right now.

That is what I'm afraid of.

Anyway let us take for granted for the purpose of this discussion that Osaka's health care system is indeed in turmoil, do you think it's right that they are passing it off as the situation in the whole country?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

OlympicsLife of those in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ian

What can you say about sensationalist writing?

I think we’d all agree that when stories are exaggerated, blown out of proportion or mid-presented i.e. sensationalized it’s not helpful.

I personally didn’t find this article sensationalizing as it had stories from actual victims and actual frontliners.

The subject matter isn’t sensationalist either - overstretched and woefully ineffective healthcare isn’t quite the same as Hulk Hogans sex tape.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't worry people, the world will see that no one.really cares about the Olympics so there will be no more Olympics after this

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Some see Osaka as a warning for what could happen to the rest of Japan if the crisis worsens at a time when officials — and the world — are focused on the Olympics."

Wrong. The rest of the world could give a s.hit about the Games. The only ones who actually do are certain Japanese Gov't 'officials' and the corrupt IOC.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It seems to read the situation in Europe during March/April 2020...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

With the IOC shoving the current schedule for the Olympics down the throat of the Japanese country which overwhelmingly wants a delay, they act as though Japan has no choice in the matter.

Well, here’s a thought. They can’t get hundreds of thousands of people in to Japan if they don’t have visas. They can’t force Japan to issue all those visas.

Another thought, every person coming here for the Olympics should be forced to undergo the same frequency of testing that the athletes do.

Every country should be required to have private planes on standby or contracts for the same. Each and every person athlete or not that test positive for the Coronavirus should be immediately returned to their ow country. Don’t allow them to roam free and don’t allow them to add to the burden on the medical system here.

Japan doesn’t have to roll over and play dead for the IOC.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am off to get my second jab this morning, ( UK resident) can some one remind me how many people in Japan have had there first jab, let allown the second one.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Carefully selected by AP to put a negative spin on the story. My guest is they spoke to abut two people.

How many medical personel have you spoken to that told you on the contrary the system is doing great here? My well educated guess is a big fat zero.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It all points to one thing, Japanese government does not care about the citizens, therefore does not spend money on medical facilities, but at the same time expect women to have more children because they need taxpayers to line their pockets...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The proper solution would be to increase the number and capacity of national hospitals. Unfortunately Japan has a very blase attitude towards disasters, and proactive measures like this just wont happen.

I have been saying for the past 10 years that Japan needs to build more large public hospitals and a couple of hospital ships that can handle mass casualty events like earthquakes and pandemics. It is unfathomable that a disaster-prone country like Japan doesn't have its act together when dealing with emergencies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Pukey2

Quite right and yes I do!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Olympic will lift the spirit of the nation.

So you think having Olympics during a pandemic is going to lift the spirits like us that have lost family to covid as well as those that will lose loved ones to Covid?

Sure we haven't been able to hold an actual funeral for our dead family members but the Olympics will lift our spirits.

No we don't need them

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Olympic will lift the spirit of the nation.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

There is one major point missing from this article. It deflects from the “real crisis” facing Japan.

The hospitals filling up with seniors facing an assortment of illnesses (whether Covid induced or the root cause) is more a statement of the aging demographic cliff that Japan is now plunging over.

Japan is now at the later stage of the geriatric society curve. The stage where deaths accelerate upwards. Coupled with a shrinking tax base to pay for the large demographic transitioning from nursing home to funeral home, with all the health ailments in between.

Hospitals and health care services becoming overwhelmed is an obvious result of not preparing for this wave. Be it Covid, a bad flu season, a hot summer, or a cold winter ... there is a vulnerable portion of the population that will suffer at an increasing rate. And perish.

Very few nations in our world face this crisis to the extent it exists in Japan. The government has become increasingly ineffective at changing its trajectory.

In fact, looking at the demographic of the government leadership, it represents a poster child for the problem.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Don Mai-n, Don Mai-n, Ganbare Nippon!!"

When will these dinosaurs wake up and jump into reality?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@RoccoL

Although JT republished releases from the AP, Kyodo etc, which don’t always cover all angles, I think it’s good to have major news covered from multiple angles so kudos to JT and AP for this one.

It's always good to get input from as many angles/sources as possible, of course.

What can you say about sensationalist writing?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

after this catastrophe is over, officials will prompted to nationalize or socialize the system,

This will be incredibly difficult. Unlike places like the US and Europe, private clinics and hospitals are often run by individuals rather than big companies/corporations. Negotiating with thousands of individual businesses will take forever. The proper solution would be to increase the number and capacity of national hospitals. Unfortunately Japan has a very blase attitude towards disasters, and proactive measures like this just wont happen. Nothing will be learned from covid, and nothing will change.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In a normal country, the government would have fallen by now over such incompetence, but it's what people here have come to expect...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This demonstrates how little the Japanese government cares about its citizens.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

llyfrgellydd:

When you put a Finance Minister rather than a Health Minister in charge of the pandemic response, it shows the priorities of the Government. What more needs to be said?

Forget about the finance minister. When you put fossils like Aso, Suga, etc in any sort of high-responsibility position, all you'll get is a lot of yawning, foot in mouth, feet dragging and indifference. They understand nothing but money for their own wallets.

By the way, dych chi'n gweithio mewn llyfrgell?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Just go to California. Plenty of cheap flights to LA, stay at one of the LAX airport hotels and walk into any CVS in walking distance to get a vaccine. That's what I am going to do.

Might as well spend some time at the beach after that long flight. Rent a longboard for a few hours, have a cheeseburger, enjoy craft beer, get a nice suntan. Then fly back.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil

Yet another news story about public health being framed in the context of the stupid Olympics.

It just disgusts me where the priorities lie, this crisis is not a joke.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

You want to know why the Olympics are going ahead? It's because everyone in power that makes the decisions has had their vaccinations. They don't give a dam about anyone else.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Games of Shame, paint those rings in black.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

When you put a Finance Minister rather than a Health Minister in charge of the pandemic response, it shows the priorities of the Government. What more needs to be said?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

“They can’t even have a proper farewell with their loved ones,” Hodo said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

It was like that last Christmas season. My aunt died from a long unrelated illness, attendence was rewstricted to 20 max. 5 relatives tested CoVid positive, 4 of them survived but my uncle the widower didn't.

For God's sake,

Call

The

Games

Off

Again

Now!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

So far only North Korea has officially announced its full boycott to the Tokyo Games.

Amazing that one of the most backward countries is one of the smartest.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Before going to Guam make sure it is ago, and remember you will have to quarantine for 6 days in a hotel under military guard, and so, it is not a breeze.

Just go to California. Plenty of cheap flights to LA, stay at one of the LAX airport hotels and walk into any CVS in walking distance to get a vaccine. That's what I am going to do.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ashley Shiba:

I have a heart condition, and I went to my local ward office and was told it would not before next spring before I could get vaccinated and I am in my 50's.

Jesus Christ, you have got to be kidding me. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, the Japanese government's inaction and incompetence has been criminal and just reminds me of all those other man-made disasters like Fukishima and Tokaimura. Even my younger relatives around the world are now being offered vaccinations. The older ones have mostly have their two jabs already. I am literally embarrassed when they ask about my situation.

A Johnson:

and everyone spewed hate on me when I said, Japan can spare a few 100 or few 1,000 nurses for the olympics. Most of them will never touch a COVID patient. So if you really want to help the fight against covid help mitigate damage of the olympics...

Just what planet are you living on? Are what are you on? Other advanced nations can't afford to spare a few hundred, so what makes you think Japan can?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

sakurasukiToday  06:40 am JST

This is the latest IOC decision, even if Tokyo under state of emergency. They still will hold Olympics.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/05/22/national/ioc-reassure-olympics-covid/

Suga can still grow a pair and stand up to these greedy nimcompoops. It's his nation, and their welfare is his responsibility. Stick up for the health and well being of the Empire of Nippon, Suga. Be a man, not a mouse.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

So far only North Korea has officially announced its full boycott to the Tokyo Games. Many other participant states and covid survivors are going ahead preparing in line with the IOC policy (to hold the Summer Games as scheduled). For instance, French President has just decided to join at the opening ceremony. These moves give rise to a misleading message and a mounting external pressure making a cancellation option more difficult for the host Tokyo and Japan to take.

If you are to seriously seeking the cancellation, please also make global and coordinated efforts to urge foreign officials, key stakeholders and IOC delegates NOT TO visit Japan. To keep blaming only Japan will hardly make it happen. That's unfair, irresponsible and hypocrite. Technically Tokyo has no power for a final say.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

...managed the pandemic better than many other advanced nations...

Really? The most important step in managing this pandemic right now is supplying vaccines. And at that, currently, Japan is failing badly.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

@ian

All news should be written like this then.

I think that all major news should have interviews and opinion from all sides which is often lacking from the journalism republished here on JT. Otherwise it becomes click bait tabloidism.

For example, articles often have details of a government action with out interviewing the opposition (which does exist). Sometimes articles are simply a provocative quote from an IOC member without comment from another source.

Although JT republished releases from the AP, Kyodo etc, which don’t always cover all angles, I think it’s good to have major news covered from multiple angles so kudos to JT and AP for this one.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the healthcare system has not collapsed. No it has not, the 5% of the beds for COVID patients are full.

the Dr’s an nurses are struggling and fighting to save lives from the virus. No, the vast majority are not.

...and everyone spewed hate on me when I said, Japan can spare a few 100 or few 1,000 nurses for the olympics. Most of them will never touch a COVID patient. So if you really want to help the fight against covid help mitigate damage of the olympics...

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

"From the above, which country is getting so wrong and which country is getting so right????"

Overall you are right. Going forward the next 4-5 months, I would rather have in US situation than Japan's, however. Herd immunity is near in many parts of the US and nearly all (98-99%( of the newly hospitalised in the US didn't get any vaccine.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Mere conjecture. Unless both nurses have experienced the situation in India, I can't see how they can really compare. Unless they are being dramatically.

I'll take their opinion over yours sir. After all, they are health care givers. Are you?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

That is very scary that you have to find your own hospital. 

Healthcare system must be overhauled somehow. There's no lack of hospitals

11 ( +12 / -1 )

That is very scary that you have to find your own hospital. Objectively speaking however, Japan has overall handled the coronavirus situation better than the US.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

AP taking the time to interview front line workers and victims, even publishing the sources under anonymity. That’s not sensationalist, it’s solid journalism. Kudos to them and JT for publishing it.

All news should be written like this then.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

AP taking the time to interview front line workers and victims, even publishing the sources under anonymity. That’s not sensationalist, it’s solid journalism. Kudos to them and JT for publishing it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

"It's unbelievable yet so believable that Japan can be getting this so wrong."

Really,

lets see

Japan covid 19 deaths 12,000

USA 589,000

From the above, which country is getting so wrong and which country is getting so right????

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

The IOC says the Tokyo Olympic village has "safe" accommodations for 18,000 people, so where will the other 62,000 arrivals be accommodated without spreading this variant? Somebody should be asking PM Suga this question and then Japan should cancel this super- spreader event.

Great points, but you also forgot to mention the local medical staff coopted to give their time for the glory/ addition to their resume, the ?110,000 volunteers, plus the team Japan members, plus all their support staff, who will all be out in the community and travelling to and from their homes every day. Oh, and plus all the 'front-facing' hospitality staff who will also be coming into contact with all of the above, the media and the other so-called 'stakeholders'. How many hundreds of thousands is that in all?

If you read the weasel words in the IOC or the J-gov statement, they always fudge the words to misrepresent all of this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Donald Seekins

Well said. Totally agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can someone tell me what is really happening here?

Sensationalist writing, norm now

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

We have massive Olympics stadium in the center of Tokyo. Easy to get to. It doesn’t have to take six weeks like China and UK , as the structure is already built and empty. It only take a week or two to train nurses. Use of the stadium a a Covid-19 treatment center will prevent smaller hospitals from dealing with the pandemic and possible transmission to staff like happened to my hospital, closing it down to outpatients for two weeks.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

*ts not different from the US. The same thing happened here at the peak. *NY and CA had a hospital ship because there was no room at the hospital. Also they set up a tent hospital.

No hospital ship in Japan, or tent hospitals. So yes, it's completely different from the US, more like a banana republic.

But the cruise ships, @Zoroto! You forgot the cruise ships! Couldn't we count them? Remember the Diamond Princess. Then there was the Asuka about a month ago - they even managed to repeat the bungling. Because business. Must have cruises, after all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reads like a tabloid and readers are lapping it up.

People are outraged but many can't be bothered to even wear a mask.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

and is that story representative of the situation in Japan? 

Yes it is.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Can someone tell me what is really happening here?

It has been public knowledge that only a small fraction of the total hospital beds available are being used for coronavirus patients.

That means that if your grandmother falls ill, she may have to wait hours and hours for a hospital, if she gets into one at all.

Japan had time.

They had an entire year+ to prepare, improve, and create systems that provide first-world care to its people.

Why aren’t the people crying foul?

Where is the outrage?

Are we really to believe that it’s all to be blamed on gross government negligence combined with the cliché “it cannot be helped” attitude?

If it’s purely a “cultural” issue (bureaucracy, top-down thinking, etc etc) it’s time to see this for what it really is.

If the sacrifice of your own people is a byproduct of protecting your own culture, it might be time to rethink what is important for Japan to move into the future.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

It's unbelievable yet so believable that Japan can be getting this so wrong.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

"And how exactly do you put a positive spin on "My mother waited for over 6 hours to find a hospital bed and then died"?"

and is that story representative of the situation in Japan? In the story, did the writer cite the following stats: Japan has a mortality rate of 1.6%. The lowest in the world. Why didn't mention those stats? The story is about Osaka. why does the headline read: As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil?

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

Most Japanese people seem angry with the Suga regime for insisting on holding the Olympics, under pressure from the robber barons in the IOC. But they just shrug their shoulders and say shikata ga nai ("nothing can be done about it"). The deep and depressing political apathy of most Japanese people allows the LDP to literally get away with murder. So, in a very real sense the people share responsibility for the coronavirus disaster.

Contrast this situation with the people's protest for democracy in Myanmar, where people are risking their lives for democracy and over 800 people have already been killed by military thugs.

It's sad.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

What this article also doesn’t mention is that while the Osaka situation is definitely bad, it’s actually getting better....

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Even more reasons to look into early and easily accessible treatment rather than just relying on hospitals until it's too late: https://trialsitenews.com/do-the-nih-and-who-covid-treatment-recommendations-need-to-be-fixed/

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Where are all the posters who keep telling us the virus isn’t an issue

There were posters whosaid the virus isn't an issue?

That's definitely basis for deletion I think

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Carefully selected by AP to put a negative spin on the story. 

And how exactly do you put a positive spin on "My mother waited for over 6 hours to find a hospital bed and then died"?

15 ( +18 / -3 )

"The frustration and fear are clear in interviews by The Associated Press with besieged medical workers and the families of patients in Osaka. "

Carefully selected by AP to put a negative spin on the story. My guest is they spoke to abut two people.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

Going to US or Guam to get vaccinated is not a viable option for most people living in Osaka. Moreover, travel abroad on a massive scale is the worst thing to do during a pandemic. So, while ex-pats can discuss such options Japanese must think in terms of what can be done within Japan. This obviously relates to canceling or postponing olympics, sending self-defense forces to badly affected areas, and possibly brin g in healthcare workers from abroad.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The comparisons to small countries with small populations, such as Singapore, five million is ludicrous and meaningless.

Citing the anecdotal musings of two nurses as a factual assessment of SARSCoV-2 with absurd comparisons to India and Brazil is completely devoid of reason. The incidence of poverty in Brazil and India is overwhelming and contributes largely to the ongoing disaster in those two countries, along with the failure of leadership, that makes Suga look like Solomon in comparison. In Brazil, the president purposefully undermined the response to covid.

As for hospital beds, Japan has the highest number of beds per capita, but those resources are not dedicated to SARSCoV-2 patients.  There are 13 beds per 1,000 people in Japan, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). That compares to less than 3 per 1,000 people in the US and UK. The OECD average is 4.7. While Japan has more than a million hospital beds, for a population of roughly 126 million, the majority are for the mildly sick -- not for critically ill people. The country has only about 5 intensive care beds per 100,000 people, while Germany has nearly 34, the highest in the OECD, and America has nearly 26.

Most Covid-19 patients in Japan are being treated by large public hospitals.

However, the majority of hospitals in Japan are private hospitals, but most of them do not have the staff and equipment to treat Covid-19 patients. According to January Health Ministry data, 30% of private hospitals can accept Covid-19 patients, while 84% of public-supported institutions can.

Suga dismissed the need for a state of emergency in late December, only to declare one for Tokyo and several other prefectures the next month. Before that, his administration encouraged domestic consumption with a "Go To" campaign, which gave Japanese citizens steep discounts to travel and eat at home. That campaign was not suspended until December.

Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College London, said Japan's response has been "too slow and confusing."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

... has, until now, managed the pandemic better than many other advanced nations

And worse than many as well. Seriously, back to this? The situation is dire to say the least. No one is taking consolation in more people having died elsewhere.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Leo

Its not different from the US. The same thing happened here at the peak. NY and CA had a hospital ship because there was no room at the hospital. Also they set up a tent hospital.

No, it’s totally different. At least the US set up those ship and tent hospitals to keep treating people. Japanese hospitals are outright rejecting patients and sending them home or to hotels to die. There’s clearly no Hippocratic Oath here.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Guam was in discussions about vaccinating US expats in surrounding Asian countries, however, I have not heard anything official as of yet. Before going to Guam make sure it is ago, and remember you will have to quarantine for 6 days in a hotel under military guard, and so, it is not a breeze.

I have a heart condition, and I went to my local ward office and was told it would not before next spring before I could get vaccinated and I am in my 50's. So, yes, it is better if you are able to leave Japan and get vaccinated.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I’m horrified by the idea of hospitals rejecting patients in desperate need of help.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

The experience on the ground doesn’t match up with the official numbers. But we all know the reason for that, if you don’t test you don’t report high numbers and the Olympic disaster can go ahead.

This pandemic is clearly highlighting the systemic inadequacies of the Japanese healthcare system. Private hospitals inadequately resourced for anything but routine profitable cases making up way too much of the provision. The whole system needs a shake up and probably nationalising in to some sort of comprehensive socialised care system. Other advanced countries have managed it so there is no reason Japan can’t.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Its not different from the US. The same thing happened here at the peak. NY and CA had a hospital ship because there was no room at the hospital. Also they set up a tent hospital.

What Japan is going through (a raging virus, a broken medical system, and a blind goverment trying to shove the Olympics down our throats) is something that you could only understand if you actually live here.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/988619/Variants_of_Concern_VOC_Technical_Briefing_12_England.pdf

You see that steep green line to the left in Figure 2 of this Public Health England report? That is the infection rate of the Indian variant in the UK, where about 50% of the population has had at least one shot! What do you think will happen as the variant gets a grip in Thailand where almost nobody is vaccinated, or in Japan (currently 4% vaccinated) after Olympics staff and athletes from S. Asia incubating this variant arrive? The IOC says the Tokyo Olympic village has "safe" accommodations for 18,000 people, so where will the other 62,000 arrivals be accommodated without spreading this variant? Somebody should be asking PM Suga this question and then Japan should cancel this super- spreader event.

The UK SAGE panel is suggesting this Indian variant could cause a winter surge in the UK as bad as last winter.

Be careful—this is not over yet by a long way.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Mr John Coats stated yesterday that to cancel the game would destroy competitors dreams and we can not do that, the games will go on.

So these dreams are more important than the lives of Japanese citizens.

Please email this fool Mr John Coats at the AOC site page.and register your protest. I have heard some really stupid statement in my life time but this must be the most out touch person in recent history.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Alyrustom 7:31

Japan is not so different from India. 

Mere conjecture. Unless both nurses have experienced the situation in India, I can't see how they can really compare. Unless they are being dramatically.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

“man-made disaster,”

Yes Sir, same as in the U.S., India, Brazil, England, Italy, and many more.

All it takes is one or more IGNORANT law makers to make the wrong choice and or decision and COVID takes full advantage of it.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Where are all the posters who keep telling us the virus isn’t an issue because of the low mortality rate?

22 ( +26 / -4 )

I have thought for a long time now, that the best money Japan can spend now, is delaying the Olympics again. No one knows what will happen if the Olympics go ahead, but one thing is certain. If we have a spike in infections because of it, the IOC will be long gone, after they got what they wanted.

The government need to put all it time and effort into controlling this virus and getting us vaccinated. After all, other counties are now showing the effect getting jabs in arms is having to there healthcare systems and economies. We are in danger of being left behind as the world economy recovers.

We live out in the sticks and in our area getting 10 infections a day is crippling our hospitals. It is difficult to get an appointment for a vaccine, as it appears at the moment we are getting so few doses. Also so few clinic’s are offering it to non patients.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

ts not different from the US. The same thing happened here at the peak. NY and CA had a hospital ship because there was no room at the hospital. Also they set up a tent hospital.

No hospital ship in Japan, or tent hospitals. So yes, it's completely different from the US, more like a banana republic.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Lost 30 years trying to restore economy.

Lost 30 years trying to go from analogue to digital.

Lost 10 years of properly treating Fukushima water.

Lost 1.5 years of setting up covid vaccination programme and setting up hospitals.

Jgov is the epitome of incompetence.

38 ( +41 / -3 )

And just what "global standard" is there for counting "deaths?" You want to compare Japan to India and the US or Brazil? Sure we have less "death" here due to COVID yet Japan is 39th worldwide in total deaths from COVID, meaning there are roughly 170 or so other countries and regions that have done a hell of a lot better!

If there is a "global Standard" for deaths, it would be number of deaths per population.

According to the World0meters site which you liked, the show exactly this with "Deaths / 1M Pop".

Japan ranks 130th at 96 per million.

As you can see, 48 countries have more than 1000 deaths per million, with 14 being more than 2000 / million. So Japan would be pretty low (not so low in East Asia, but certainly compared to most countries).

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Its not different from the US. The same thing happened here at the peak. NY and CA had a hospital ship because there was no room at the hospital. Also they set up a tent hospital.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

People dying at home and in Hotels? No hospital beds available? Why aren’t the opposition asking the LDP questions about this in a vigorous manner? Is it cultural manners preventing this? If so that’s self defeating. And of no help to tax payers at all.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Japan’s daily cases and deaths are small by global standards, and the country has one of the world’s largest per-capita numbers of hospital beds.

This is an assine comment at best! Right in the article it openly states

Less than 5% of about 1.5 million hospital beds in Japan are set aside for COVID-19 treatment, an increase from less than 1,000 in April of last year, according to Health Ministry data, but still not enough.

And just what "global standard" is there for counting "deaths?" You want to compare Japan to India and the US or Brazil? Sure we have less "death" here due to COVID yet Japan is 39th worldwide in total deaths from COVID, meaning there are roughly 170 or so other countries and regions that have done a hell of a lot better!

Singapore only has reported 32 deaths.

More propaganda BS!

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

22 ( +25 / -3 )

Must fan the flames of panic.

What a b.s article.

-36 ( +6 / -42 )

Japan’s daily cases and deaths are small by global standards, and the country has one of the world’s largest per-capita numbers of hospital beds.

So why the struggles?

Because the first sentence is absolute BS that's why. If it was true, we wouldn't be hearing about the stories mentioned above.

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Is ANYONE “surprised”?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

As cases surge in Osaka, medical workers say that every corner of the system has been slowed, stretched and burdened. And it’s happening in other parts of the country, too.

I know 2 nurses- 1 in Osaka and the other in Saitama. BOTH said to me that their hospitals refuse Covid patients who have severe symptoms on a daily basis-

spoke to them again this weekend- takes a HECK of a while for them to answer- but I asked them how long until we are at India's stage and BOTH of them said to me "we're already there."

The picture they painted sent chills down my spine. 2 nurses. BOTH JAPANESE. BOTH in entirely different areas of Japan.

Japan is not so different from India.

THEIR words, not mine

36 ( +44 / -8 )

Somebody paint those olympic rings black

28 ( +28 / -0 )

Sadly if J gov had responded 12 months ago this could have been avoided. Health is more important than sport or money. I request, I urge the voters of Japan to respond later this year

39 ( +39 / -0 )

@Auxchanel--can get vaccinated in any state in the US.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

US citizens can hop over to Guam for a quick jab. Still gotta quarantine when back in Japan but at least you don’t have to go through japans laughable reservation system.

Not really "quick". You gotta quarantine in Guam too. And wait a few weeks between the 2 shots.

All told, with the pre-testing needed before going to Guam, the time needed in Guam, and the return quarantine time in Japan, its well over a month and several thousand bucks.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Japan bet on never having the need for some surplus on medical services for their strategy of public health, it is backfiring spectacularly.

Now it is betting on the Olympic games not having a further negative effect on a system that is exhausted and deeply insufficient...

37 ( +41 / -4 )

What are Japan's real covid numbers, they only do one tenth of other developed nations testing. And why is that! Because they were so worried they were going to loose the Olympics!

33 ( +37 / -4 )

Japan has relatively very low numbers. Yet it's medical facilities are overwhelmed. What does that tell you? That its system, which is mostly owned by the private sector, is fundamentally and fatally flawed.

Hopefully, after this catastrophe is over, officials will prompted to nationalize or socialize the system, so that it can better respond to serious problems.

42 ( +47 / -5 )

a child in critical condition could not find a pediatric hospital because they were all full. The child later died.

The Olympics and their need for doctors, nurses and hospital beds will only make the possibility of this happening to another family all the more likely.

42 ( +42 / -0 )

@Hubert

Not a US citizen here, but wondering if private vaccination would be available for non-citizens in Guam.

Europe is starting to open given that you got the full vaccine and given my age, I estimate that Japan would get me the jab around 2050.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

This is the latest IOC decision, even if Tokyo under state of emergency. They still will hold Olympics.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/05/22/national/ioc-reassure-olympics-covid/

22 ( +23 / -1 )

They only had a year to sort out the hospitals and build some temporary ones like China and the UK did.

51 ( +53 / -2 )

US citizens can hop over to Guam for a quick jab. Still gotta quarantine when back in Japan but at least you don’t have to go through japans laughable reservation system.

30 ( +37 / -7 )

If you can get out of Japan and go home and get vaccinated, no better time then now.

31 ( +38 / -7 )

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