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Health ministry not helpful for foreigners in Japan seeking virus info

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Think that you have the viral infection?

Unless you have a temperature then don’t bother going to hospital.

Better to buy a thermometer and test yourself twice a day.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

If you can't do this how are you going to do the Olympics?

27 ( +32 / -5 )

How do foreigners expect to get any reliable information when the Japanese themselves have a PM that seems to be a chicken running around with it's head cut off?

31 ( +34 / -3 )

Although the health ministry offers a toll-free phone number for inquiries about the virus, it is available only in Japanese. For non-Japanese speakers, it has designated websites in English and Chinese.

You are better off not talking to a translator anyway. Most of them are 20-something girls that don't know the difference between poop and clay. If you want information you have to follow international news sites and foreign immigration updates.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

I agree with Yubaru. As a foreigner living in Japan I would like the Japanese government to get its act together in Japanese first. If the response in Japanese is a mess than imagine what a translated response would be.

Remember they said they would have a plan March 10........if they are truly of the belief this is very serious then they need to move quicker or get someone in there that can do so.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Nothing new in this regard,Japan notoriously was never good at handle any kind of situation for the foreign community,and never will until it changes it’s mindset.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Why would anyone go to Japanese government website, especially foreigners, who should know better?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

All set for the Olympics! Here we come en masse!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

If you can't do this how are you going to do the Olympics?

Excellent point. If they can close the schools down, they can equally cancel the Olympics and postpone it until this crisis is over. I wouldn’t mind it. Lives of people are more important than the games, just move it to next year. Give vouchers, refunds and or guarantees to people that have already paid for tickets and focus on tackling this disease. What is the highest priority now, big bucks or the safety of the public. Because if they can’t help the foreign citizens or tourists, they’ll just be creating mass confusion, frustration and possible worse if they can’t even do this much efficiently.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The embassies usually offer their own advice for their citizens. You can also call your embassy for advice.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/japan/health

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Best advice is anyone can have the virus, avoid contact with people much as possible, wear musk always

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Health ministry not helpful for foreigners in Japan seeking virus info

What?! I'm Shocked!! I'm gobsmacked!

How do foreigners expect to get any reliable information when the Japanese themselves have a PM that seems to be a chicken running around with it's head cut off?

Excellent point.

Nothing new in this regard,Japan notoriously was never good at handle any kind of situation for the foreign community,and never will until it changes it’s mindset.

Bang on!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Health ministry not helpful for foreigners in Japan

Really? That's unexpected. I also heard that water is wet too!

It's like people were saying too. If this is too much for Japan then they may as well call it quits on the Olympics here and now.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Foreigners facing similar situation what they faced during Fukushima disaster in March 2011.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

All set for the Olympics! Here we come en masse!

They'll be cancelled, so don't worry about it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan thinks they're ready to host the olympics? An event where MANY foreigners will come to Japan but Japan cannot provide the necessary help needed in certain situations? Its like hosting a house party with no house, beer, furniture or set date! It will raise confusion as to where and how to get proper information. Get it together!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Kyodo News directing readers to r/japanlife? Is that a first?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The embassies usually offer their own advice for their citizens. You can also call your embassy for advice.

Hahaha! Last week the Canadian Embassy listed only to avoid traveling to hot zones in Fukushima and a Rubella warning. Nothing about COVID-19 at all. When I contacted the email emergency address (located in Montreal) offered me the JNTO Helpline.

I came as prepared as possible (since I am not sick insurance will not cover my flight or lease cancellation). While in flight the nation emptied all its stores of toilet paper. Yokoso Japan!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wouldn't like to be responsible for handling the response to this outbreak. It's a tough situation to deal with. It's easy to sit behind a keyboard and criticize but how many of us would do a better job?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus Japan

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-japan

Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

https://livejapan.com/en/emergency/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As others have said: best cancel any planned trip to Japan, as the situation is continuing to escalate.

If you do decide to come, and don't speak Japanese, you need to take responsibility for any consequences.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just because the government isn't being helpful in giving information, doesn't mean that such information isn't out there and relatively easy to access.

This story reveals a government-dependency mindset. It reveals a faulty mindset which says that unless government does it, it doesn't get done at all.

There is plenty of helpful information on the coronavirus out there, on medical websites and so forth.

Let's snap out of the "government is our one and only savior" mentality, folks.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wouldn't like to be responsible for handling the response to this outbreak. It's a tough situation to deal with. It's easy to sit behind a keyboard and criticize but how many of us would do a better job?

I understand what you're saying, but it's not our job to handle this situation.

And there's nothing wrong with holding to account the people whose job it is to handle it -- if for no other reason than they work for us and we pay their salaries via our taxes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That’s understandable. Every country has its own embassies in Japan. Instead of putting all the faults in Japan why not contact your embassy first? It’s not only Japan who’s struggling with the situation...this is a worldwide issue!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"That’s understandable. Every country has its own embassies in Japan. Instead of putting all the faults in Japan why not contact your embassy first? It’s not only Japan who’s struggling with the situation...this is a worldwide issue!!!"

Well, yes it is a worldwide issue. I would say that other developed countries are doing a better job at communication and direction. Sadly, after 16 years here, I have to agree with those who are complaining. For a government that has so much money and unity to not treat the increasingly new and necessary foreign population with the same respect as their own is not acceptable. Not only that, this is an emergency situation, and they aren't dealing with it very well in general. at first they treated like a joke, and now they are slowly doing the trickle-down effect but it's too late. The knowledge was there at the very beginning that the virus takes 2 to 4 weeks to incubate. They should have shut everything down then. Doing it now is not very effective. Because so many people are having symptoms or concerned that they might have it, they're overloading the national health system. The government isn't prepared to deal with it. Instead of keeping people in the dark, they should give them some good options.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wonder how many people posting messages here criticizing the Japanese government (and understandably so) over coronavirus response ...

... also want the U.S. government to take over the health care system there.

If the government of a 130-million-people country can't handle just one health issue adequately, why should we trust the government of a 320-million-people country to handle the entire kit and caboodle?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The website isn't even helpful to the Japanese, what makes anyone think it would be beneficial to a foreigner much less. The data is clearly outdated and not kept up with real world and current valuable information. Both Japanese and foreigners get better and most updated information from outside sources and countries. That is shameful. Just today at the Asahi's there was a large crowd gatherings just for toilet paper, yet the Government says there is plenty of toilet tissue and people should not be alarmed. Well I beg to differ because if there is, then it is not being delivered and what is delivered is quickly sold out within 2 hrs. Some stores like Youkudo, Homec, SanWa, Universe, Life, Happy Drugs are among many with no stock received, their managers have no clues as to when shipment would arrive if arriving. This is poor outdated and cheap planning. No wonder people are out there buying what they can grab their hands on. Many speak of the locals in Japan being considerate and polite, not what I saw from 3 local Asahi's stores this morning, as people of all ages men and women stampeded and literally just shoved and grabbed available stock of toilet tissue. Who is to blame for this nonsense, the supplies, deliveries, orders, processing, system or government who says one thing but it quite different scenario from boots on the ground.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What exactly do they want to know?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

mariasjapan: "That’s understandable. Every country has its own embassies in Japan. Instead of putting all the faults in Japan why not contact your embassy first? It’s not only Japan who’s struggling with the situation...this is a worldwide issue!!!"

Here is why Japan owes me up to date and complete info on this crisis and NOT my embassy

I live in Japan (18 years) and pay taxes (national, prefecture, city) and National Pension.

I own a business that employs 36 full time Japanese workers.

I am married to a Japanese lady and have 3 kids with her.

I care for my wife's retired parents to keep them off the public dime and stress Japanese taxpayers even more.

My life is here and not the USA.

I do not care what the rest of the world is facing. My life is here in Miyazaki, Japan and no place else. As a vast majority of JT posters lives are in Japan. We are owed by the nation we live in and pay taxes in for reliable and clear info for not just our sakes but our family. Get it now?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

oops and not stress Japanese taxpayers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What?! I'm Shocked!! I'm gobsmacked! 

Absolutely,

Excellent point.

Indeed!

Bang on!

Touché!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If you're that clueless that you can't find information.... then you probably shouldn't be here. And.... far too many people believe they should be "spoon fed" on the governments dime. Again... those people shouldn't be here either.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Here is why Japan owes me up to date and complete info on this crisis and NOT my embassy

I live in Japan (18 years).......

....My life is here

If you've been here that long, how come the Japanese-language info isn't doing it for you?

You can't claim to be Japanese in all but passport and then expect special treatment because of that passport.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I just would like someone to explain? why? Toilet paper is being bulk horded. Does this Virilant Virus induce some kind of bowel fire hose reaction? And why do people in their own cars by themselves wear a mask? Are they afraid the Chinese parts in the car will give them a Virus? I love watching stupidity on such a level. My son in law went to Korea for 3 days, his boss told him he has to stay away ( funny it's one of those companies that never give holidays) for 2 weeks after, and although he now is back at work, he can't eat lunch with everyone else. Again the boss somehow thinks working together is ok but together lunch is off. Satire is completely lost on Japanese. There is so much that's funny besides yelling and smacking heads.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Kyushuu Bill- don't reside in Miyazaki myself, but the prefecture your taxes support provides information about the virus in English- Mandarin and Korean as well. Did you not think to look? Didn't take me long to find.

https://www.pref.miyazaki.lg.jp/kohosenryaku/kenko/hoken/covid19_eng.html

The hotlines offer no English language support, but after 18 years in the country, you should be able to handle that.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Any long termer here has to devote time to the language or suffer repeat stress.

Personally, in times of disaster my Japanese level advances.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Can anyone answer if Abe has yet to close the doors a hundred percent to S. Korea, Iran and China? Until he does this the virus is going to keep spreading. The Micronesian Islands closed all their doors weeks ago, and as of now they have no virus near them, and so, Japan needs to follow suit.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Quote from above: "The Micronesian Islands closed all their doors weeks ago, and as of now they have no virus near them, and so, Japan needs to follow suit."

Please be reminded that Japanese are also banned by those islands. "Follow suit," if instituted, can and likely will go both ways. One can imagine, for instance, certain states, if not the entire U.S. banning Japanese because of coronavirus here. Then I can imagine banning Americans, since some Americans have contracted and died from the virus. The situation in the U.S. may well get proportionally worse. As VOX notes: "America’s bad paid sick leave policy could make the coronavirus outbreak worse."

A good case could be made blocking and counter blocking millions of people if the situation leading to absurdity. Outside the Micronesia's pristine islands (for now) you need to admit that coronavirus is here and we need to deal with the thing in itself rather guessing which populations should be barred.

The article notes that helpful information is not getting from the Health Ministry to foreign people. That is a practical problem that can be fixed in realistic ways.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Third paragraph show read: "A good case could be made for blocking and counter blocking millions of people until the situation leading to absurdity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I speak Japanese and my local health number was pretty damn useless. I have all the symptoms listed to look out for and they just told me I should go and get some medicine. Even though people have died here, they're only testing people with pneumonia, and I don't have pneumonia, so all okay, apparently. Too bad, so sad that I don't have paid sick leave.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why couldn't the article include the link mentioned with "another link to a page providing a list of medical institutions in Japan." Sounds helpful. Now I have to go root around for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jean, yes I knew that the Micronesia Islands closed their doors weeks ago as I have friends living on Guam and my son was born there.   My son and I were to go there Golden Week, however, as it stands now it is probably a no go, however, United Airlines is still selling tickets from Japan to Guam and raising their prices for Golden Week I find that interesting.  

This morning I spoke to my friend on Guam they are saying if people get tested prior to coming there they would be allowed on the island well that is next to impossible. 

I just read an article where the Chinese President is canceling coming to Japan due to the virus outbreak.  Now,  isn't that rich of the Chinese President where the virus is in the 10 of thousands in the originated country which happens to be the one he runs and Japan has only a couple hundred active cases.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ashley; Yes the filthy Pooh Bear Xi is not coming. He is not wanted here.

Maybe he is afraid to answer questions related to this article in the NY Post

https://nypost.com/2020/02/29/china-officials-knew-of-coronavirus-in-december-ordered-cover-up-report-says/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Being insecure about the virus ,is not gonna ease your insecurities,the best thing is the confront the virus head on,i know how i can contract it and how it will kill me ,knowing this make me at peace with it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kyushubill, “Get it now?”

No, I don’t get it. I do get that tourists and short term residents need help in languages other than Japanese. But the reasons you list indicate you should be able to deal with information in Japanese, or if there is some reason you just can’t do that, at the very least someone among your Japanese wife, in-laws, children or 36 employees should be able and willing to help you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Very japanese and unfriendly. this is a death virus, corona virus. yet no info ???.

Yes all japanese visiting India should speak , read & write indian language when visiting india or get a indian wife immediately. See the level of japanese thinking of others. No toursists allowed in japan that do not read, write and speak japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

 I would say that other developed countries are doing a better job at communication and direction. 

How many countries did you survey? Which languages did you check?

We are owed by the nation we live in and pay taxes in for reliable and clear info for not just our sakes but our family. Get it now?

If you have been in Japan for 18 years running your own business, you should be fluent enough in Japanese to use the Japanese language sources that most residents use.

In terms of information in foreign languages, the Japanese government is right to stress Chinese. Japan has more than 800,000 resident Chinese nationals (ROC and PRC). The bulk of foreign visitors to Japan are also Chinese.

People who have Chinese as their first language vastly outnumber any other group including Koreans, about half of whom are born in Japan and have Japanese as their first language.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I speak Japanese and my local health number was pretty damn useless. I have all the symptoms listed to look out for and they just told me I should go and get some medicine.

I know the story. It is not enough to know Japanese. You have to know exactly HOW to speak to bureaucrats or the discussion will ultimately disintegrate into ambiguities and silence. Fortunately, I know people know exactly HOW to speak to bureaucrats and make them jump into action and actually enjoy the experience.

If you are resident you should have a Hokensho. Go to any clinic or hospital. I mean just show up. If you are really in bad shape they'll most probably take care of you or refer you to another hospital. "Refer" meaning they will write a reference for you. This is how it has worked with me,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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