People enter Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo's Ginza district on Tuesday. All floors opened at the department store as coronavirus-related commercial restrictions eased in the capital the same day. Photo: KYODO
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Department stores, cinemas reopen in Tokyo as some restrictions eased

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Enable SOE, ease restrictions under SOE. I have many friends world-wide and I tell them about Japan and their "We are confused about what to do" and they all laugh.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

...aiming to strike a balance between curbing coronavirus infections and reviving the battered economy.

Reviving the economy by closing everything? That makes sense.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga set new guidelines for them when it extended the virus emergencies in nine prefectures last week, aiming to strike a balance between curbing coronavirus infections and reviving the battered economy.

there is no balance. this is arbitrary and stupid on so many levels. infections will spike and that's even before the olympics.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

Again with this open and shut game?

They’re keeping doing this from over a year and what did they solve?

Actually they just complicated things.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

I’ll probably get thumbed down into oblivion here (it strikes me that a lot of the commenters here actively want Japan to fail), but I don’t see the harm in this. Almost everyone masks up and (generally) the Japanese don’t go in for the Black Friday fighting frenzies that plague other countries.

I have nothing to back this up, but I suspect the majority of COVID cases are idiots going out drinking late at night and/or trashy young people (yankis and whatever the female version is) trying to impress each other by being rebellious. So shopping? Not really that high-risk.

-23 ( +9 / -32 )

I have nothing to back this up,

Exactly.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Siding with Some Dude. Things need to change to stop economic disaster. Hopefully this with a more vigorous vaccination approach leads somewhere better than now.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

It's unreal seeing other countries striving to get infections and deaths to zero when Japan seems to not care at all. I'm not going to participate in 'reviving' the economy, which I'm 100% sure won't be helping anyone that needs it.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Great news for us city folk. We popped to Tennoji to some dept stores earlier. Thought they maybe very busy but quite quiet which was pleasing. Things are getting back to normal finally, the sacrificies paid off in Osaka anyway, very low numbers now.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

I just want a solitary lunchtime beer in an empty pub. But alas it's too dangerous.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Huh, didn't know the pandemic had ended. Gotta love the alternate reality the LDP lives in.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka restarted business the same day for the first time since its closure on April 25 and people were waiting in line in front of its gates from two hours before opening.

I wouldn't go until I am vaccinated.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Go to Shopping

18 ( +18 / -0 )

These moves make sense.

The foreign Olympic athletes need to have entertainment between their events, and also need places to buy souvenirs.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I'm sardined on a train every morning for my commute. Everyone's wearing a mask - you'd be a pariah not to - but I wonder how effective they are. I came down with a bad cold and sore throat - don't know if it was corona, but it was horrible. Don't travel if you don't have to, and if you do, wear a mask.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

In the first place, department stores should have not closed. It is not a place of infection. It was just people to avoid to got out and gather together.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Everyone's wearing a mask - you'd be a pariah not to - but I wonder how effective they are.

I do not wear a mask in my commuting train. I am the only one, to be honest.

And haven't had any problem or cold since the start of covid. Let's hope it continues.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

I give it two weeks before they change course.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

These moves make sense.

The foreign Olympic athletes need to have entertainment between their events, and also need places to buy souvenirs.

The Aussie softball team that arrived today will probably gobsmacked if they catch up on the local English news on NHK today...back home , Melbourne gets half a dozen cases and the city goes into lockdown...in Tokyo 471 today ( real figure probably at least triple ) and the city re-opens cinemas, dept store foodballs and bathhouses. Another spike on the way within 4 weeks....LDP incompetence at it's finest, it just never ends here ,does it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Although in SOE? A test balloon for the games, probably. Like that allowing stadium visitors in baseball. Then it’s easier for them to hold the Olympics. Something like “Look, you all go to stadiums and movie theaters, so why we shouldn’t hold the games with some visitors?”

5 ( +5 / -0 )

From the article:

"I really want to enjoy USJ since it's been a while. I also want to pay attention to avoiding infection at the same time"

Fine logic right there! Not surprised in the least though. I've just become so jaded these days....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is beyond laughable. It is an actual comedy of errors that makes the Three Stooges look like geniuses.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

These half-baked plans and actions are just going to prolong the pandemic and the pain of a tanking economy. Suga has to pick a course of action and go all in. Either open up completely to revive the economy and take his chances with Japanese lives, or enforce a strict lockdown while getting shots in arms for a month or 2 and get this virus under control. I'd refer the latter because I'm tired following the guidelines while others don't and continue spreading COVID. In either case, he needs to push for a postponement of the super-spreader Olympics.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The foreign Olympic athletes need to have entertainment between their events, and also need places to buy souvenirs.

They can’t do either.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A Canadian

The government of Japan does not have the powers to enforce draconian lockdowns. They have not been used yet the cases and deaths are low in comparison to most of the West. Cases continue the downward trend which is good news for all of us. The Olympics will be the turning point for mankind to acknowledge the defeat of Covid and for life to return to normality.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

In my opinion, the percentage of people who are immune to Covid-19 is not yet high enough to safely reopen movie theaters and stadiums. I remember the comments from a few months ago about India, and how remarkable they were doing.......until they weren't. When a much higher percentage of the population has been vaccinated, then Covid-19 will be unable to run amok through the population.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

...aiming to strike a balance between curbing coronavirus infections and reviving the battered economy

The economy was in trouble long before the virus outbreak. The virus is just a convenient cloud to cover the roots of the flailing economy.

The economy suffering far more with this cycle of ineffective SOEs than it would if the country went into a full one month lockdown a year ago.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Because this makes sense?????????!????!!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

this weekday vs. weekend distinction of what can be open is beyond ridiculous.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Shouldn't you people complain about all the countries who start to reopen? ? ?

Japan is not alone!

Japan is not the only one that made this decision.

Japan and Covid is not anywhere close to how bad it was in other countries. Even though, dense population and very old.

The narrative you get from JT posters is:

Never reopen. Keep it shut.

What if cases never drop to complete 0 for many years? ? Even perfect record Taiwan can't stop it, with only 22 million people.

This is more typical bias and double standards.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Another dose of pointlessness.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most everyone has continued to slog to work on crowded trains irrespective of the covid situation. Opening department stores and cinemas will add that little more covid into the mix, but the Games are coming so everything has to look more normal. God forbid the government actually carry out more serious levels of testing to really see what the situation is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Department stores: OK if not too crowded and people wear masks unless the infection rate really jumps.

Cinemas:: Ridiculous to open these until the other side of the vaccination effort.

The thing is, there is no guiding medical principle for any of these decisions. Still waiting to hear why drinking a beer is a no no, but drinking an iced tea is not. (Granted that beer builds belly fat...)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh look, more contradictions.

I wonder what Japan would be like, without counterproductive ideas and plans.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

About time. Let the recovery begin.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Another India, mini version, none the less Japan is a major disaster just on the brink of happening. The Japanese government is doing exactly what the Indian government did only months ago. I have a friend working in the government office and this person has stated that there are so many cases not being reported and many now dying at home and not counted as a death of COVID though the individual was diagnosed as having COVID.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The National Hallucination sets in. 'Everyone else is opening up, taking off masks, getting back to normal'.

Without seeming to realize actions were taken and vaccination commenced to allow such situations.

Vaccination efforts are picking up, which is great, but kids...we're not there yet!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All in the name of the Olympics. It's sad that the Japanese people will have a double price to pay and I am willing to bet the numbers will increase, and when they do they will want the Prime Sinister out!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ somedude "(it strikes me that a lot of the commenters here actively want Japan to fail)," I dont think that any one wants Japan to fail, far from it. where the critisumn comes from is the wishy washy decision, lack of leadership, all for the sake of a few yen, and saving face, the goverment seem hell bent of with the olympics, and trying to get a failing economy going. but what they are doing is only making the matters worse, its all to short and hurried, so the infection rate will bouce back up once again.

"I have nothing to back this up, but I suspect the majority of COVID cases are idiots going out drinking late at night"

also you are forgetting just because someone ware a cheap face mask it solves everything, far from it, not only is it tranmited in tiny water droplets from the hoasts breath but it can be transmited by touch/contact, so its not only down to late night drinking, how about close contact and touching things on the train into work in the morning, and close contact through out the days work, like touching the fax machine, door handles, hanko stamps, staplers, phones, people shopping touching fruit and veg, the list goes on, its not just people going out drinking, its every one and that includes youths, adults, seniors,

"So shopping? Not really that high-risk."

yes it is, potentially anything that has been touched by an infected person can pass on the virus by touch, can you go shopping with out touching anything? also we have to maintain social distancing, and that mean keeping 2 m apart, this is how the Uk and Europe have tackled this problem.

The UK has been in the state of lockdown since last year and thing are just starting to open back up, let alown 4-5 weeks of sort of please dont go out, where people have just about carried on regardless of this so called state of emergancy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I doubt I’ll be visiting any cinemas in the near future.

As for department stores, I have no idea when I even walked into one.

In my opinion, “the turning point for mankind” is not the opening of entertainment venues and shopping centers, nor the holding of an international sports event.

A turning point will be substantial and clear medical evidence that Covid-19 cases across the world have been substantially reduced and the virus reined in.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Didn't they just implement a state of emergency about a week or two ago, and not they are easing it? Talk about a rollercoaster with the policies.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thomas

why would you say that? A successful Olympics will show the world that we can deal with the remaining threat of Covid. It’s an event awaited be hundreds of millions worldwide, we need positivity back and this is the beginning

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Some dude:

I have nothing to back this up, but I suspect the majority of COVID cases are idiots going out drinking late at night and/or trashy young people (yankis and whatever the female version is) trying to impress each other by being rebellious. So shopping? Not really that high-risk.

You are actually correct. The data supports your thinking.

The highest virus transmission occurs indeed at places of eating and drinking. On the other hand, shopping facilities have the lowest rate of transmission.

https://ledge.ai/jxpress-newsdigest-analysis/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@socrateos

You understand that there is quite an obvious problem with that study : the amount of untraceable transmission route. We are in the 50% bracket there.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

https://covid19-osaka.info/en

And the result are not as strong as you seems to think : 134 are restaurants and bars and 118 shopping places (41 commercials facilities, 77 supermarkets). The rest is bank and post office, for a total of 345. Do not ask me how they went to 639 to 345 and what was cut in the process.

Also, taking in account the number of times they make reference about the need to download the app to get more info, I am not sure that is the best choice of evidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Brian Wheway

"not only is it tranmited in tiny water droplets from the hoasts breath but it can be transmited by touch/contact, so its not only down to late night drinking, how about close contact and touching things on the train into work in the morning, and close contact through out the days work, like touching the fax machine, door handles, hanko stamps, staplers, phones, people shopping touching fruit and veg, the list goes on, its not just people going out drinking, its every one and that includes youths, adults, seniors,

So shopping? Not really that high-risk.'

yes it is, potentially anything that has been touched by an infected person can pass on the virus by touch, can you go shopping with out touching anything?"

Literally NONE of this is true. The CDC stated that the chance of catching COVID from surfaces is less than 1 in 10,000.

https://consumer.healthday.com/cdc-low-risk-of-catching-coronavirus-from-surfaces-2652264315.html

It's amazing that a year and a half into this pandemic, there's still this level of ignorance of basic facts about how the virus is spread.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Part two of the Mega Super Spreader begins.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

is this a quasi-semi-re-opening from the SOE? oh! or was that only a quasi-SOE? can't quite seem to keep track, must be getting old and befuddled.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bjm2021

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19/how-to-stop-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19#:~:text=The%20main%20way%20of%20spreading,in%20by%20another%20person.

How long does the virus that causes COVID-19 last on surfaces?

Recent research evaluated the survival of the COVID-19 virus on different surfaces and reported that the virus can remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

the more cautious we are the better we will be at breaking the infection and reinfection rates.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Under the guidelines, department stores are permitted to operate fully on weekdays with shortened business hours while continuing to be limited on weekends to opening food halls and sections selling daily necessities.

Is it really rocket science to understand that squeezing people into shorter opening hours increases customer density and thus infection risk, instead of decreasing it? If they want more social distancing, they should lengthen the shop hours, run more trains, and stagger work hours. Instead they do the opposite. The bureacrats that make up these rules use kindergarten logic.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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