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Japan, spared mass outbreak so far, now sees national crisis after Tokyo surge

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By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg

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Where are all the ‘it’s not spreading in Japan’ posters now? This virus has been spreading for some time and we are going to be in for a rude wake up call now. Take care everyone.

50 ( +56 / -6 )

Spared? If you are not testing you don't know... Letting Mori run all over town after being exposed because he displayed no symptoms just shows how seriously you are not taking this.

50 ( +52 / -2 )

Key words: so far.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Is it a coincidence that the number of the infected surge right after the announcement of the Olympics postponement?

46 ( +49 / -3 )

"I told Prime Minister Abe there is a high risk of coronavirus spreading widely," Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters after meeting Abe and Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

Dude, what rock did you crawl out from under? We’ve known this for the past three months. We’ve just been waiting for the Olympic to be postponed so we could have the actual numbers.

37 ( +38 / -1 )

Hardly, but watch the spin doctors lay the blame on "imported" cases, and the failure of people to heed the warnings, oops "urges" to not congregate in large crowds!

"Oh I just have to see the beautiful cherry blossoms!"

37 ( +38 / -1 )

Is it a coincidence that the number of the infected surge right after the announcement of the Olympics postponement?

No, and unfortunately I fear, we aint seen nothing yet! This hasn't been a surge, 40 people a day for a couple of days, in a metropolitan area of over 13 million people, is still a drip in the bucket of what potentially is still to come!

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Oh the wonders of actually testing people...

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Yah OK....and incredibly the surge started happening as soon as Olympic delay was announced. Thank you for your co=operation until now Mr. Virus.

"I told Prime Minister Abe there is a high risk of coronavirus spreading widely," Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters after meeting Abe

You don,t say..... Kato , the same incompetent aparatchik who claimed a week ago he didnt even know about the drive in testing stations in SK and insisted spread was being controlled. Where are all those masks he promised to secure back in February btw?

Suga later said the risk of the infection spreading was high, but there was no need to change a plan to reopen schools in early April

So just to summarize , the virus was under control here until Olympic postponement was announced but exploded on cue once the news conference was over. People in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures should stay off the streets over the weekend with a sense of crisis but on Monday morning they can get back onto the trains and ride to work, Schools can re-open just in time for the infection surge despite next week being a " critical time" according to the Suga douche. Can this deceitful bunch of LDP incompetents get any worse?...watch this space. Awaiting arrival of our resident caliboy trollboy now to hear how well Abe & co are handling this.

Take care everyone.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

With such relaxed checks and week quarantine rules at Japan airports why haven't they added Americans to the banned list ?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

In the news they were saying that many of the new cases were from Japanese returning from overseas trips. Why were they letting people back in without testing them first? It is not like they didn't know about this weeks ago. They only have themselves to blame. S. Korea has done a much better job than Japan at containing this virus. They went out and tested massively right away.... Japan, there are no figures on how many people have been tested.... because so very few have and it would be embarrassing to admit it.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

I’ve lived here over a decade and seen some dodgy stuff pulled by politicians but this takes the first prize for money first people sec... third. Stooped to a new low. I recon a state of emergency within 10 days. Stay safe folk, put your health first!

33 ( +34 / -1 )

With 47 new cases reported in the capital,

I got more appalled at the American figure on the same day of 13,968 new cases, 150 deaths. The US has already outnumbered China with confirmed cases.

I never intend to downplay the Japanese number. Caution and proper course of action are still vital for individuals.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Japan, there are no figures on how many people have been tested.... because so very few have and it would be embarrassing to admit it

A grand total of 21 thousand tested until now ...thats over 2 months roughly. About the same other countries can manage in 2 days. Olympic ¥¥ was more important than public health to the LDP administration as we all know.

Btw...link for daily testing updates

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/03/6d9b934880a0-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-march-27-2020.html

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Too little, too late as I've said a couple of times.

Watch those numbers spike in a very short period of time.

Urging, asking people won't help. Make rules, implement penalties like other countries did!

In addition, agree with what most of the people here already said:

strange coincidence that after the postponement of the Olympic games they come up with these (still unbelievable) low numbers.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

This is Japan.... the crap won't hit the fan. Hardly anyone ever questions the Government and its actions. You want to know why South Korea has done a great job containing this virus? Because in S. Korea, if the Government didn't do everything it could, it would absolutely hit the fan. They'd be protesting up and down the country. I often think the S. Korean's are protest crazy.... but in this case, it has served them well.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Well, a good comparison is NYC. They began testing and found their first case just three weeks ago. We know what happened there.

And just heard the BBC interviewing Japanese Director of Institute of Population Health at Kings College in London about the Japanese response (rough transcription)

Q: Why do you think there were not enough tests? Was it they were concerned about the Olympics ?

A I don't want to buy into that theory. When comparing, testing per head of population Japan is far behind that of South Korea and other countries.

Q: How do you account for that?

A They are expanding testing but capacity but the pace is behind

Q: Why?

A: I don't know that.

Q: They are asking people to stay indoors at all cost in Tokyo and other cities. Can a weekend quarantine make a difference?

A: I am worried. It is time to get serious and think about social distanceing and potental lock down of entire cities.

You people who keep saying there is not going to be a crisis, really really need to get serious and consider getting out of Tokyo soon if you are in that area.

This has been brewing for months and months, just like it had in NY and elsewhere.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

@Since 1981

Dude [Kato] what rock did you crawl out from under? We’ve known this for the past three months. We’ve just been waiting for the Olympic to be postponed so we could have the actual numbers.

This is a repost from me about what Kato said about a week ago:

When you have people like Kato, the head of the Ministry of Health saying he hasn't heard about drive through testing before, and might consider it, if it's appropriate for Japan, it makes my blood boil. He should have been onto it months ago. I wonder who is briefing him.

And this from the Ministry of Health:

"Just because you have capacity, it doesn't mean that we need to use that capacity fully," health ministry official Yasuyuki Sahara told a news briefing on Tuesday. "It isn't necessary to carry out tests on these people who are just simply worried."

You just can't make this up!

16 ( +18 / -2 )

That would give local authorities legal basis to ask residents and businesses to restrict movement and work. Nishimura, the economy minister, said no such declaration is planned for now.

Without calling an emergency there is no legal basis to ASK? Then I guess Koike and the other Gov's are breaking the law?

How much more asinine can things get? ASK?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It’s always convenient when national crises wait until the day after a big political decision has been made.

This virus has been spreading in Japan since the end of January - Chinese New Year. (That isn’t a slight on China before anyone jumps on that bandwagon).

Had the government ACTED strongly enough nationwide in February when there were a high number of cases in Hokkaido (skiing tourists?), and the cruise ship - then the curve could have been well and truely flattened and under control now.

This isn’t a case of hindsight either. I, and many others, have been saying this is going to get worse here and not enough is being done. Watching in real time at how this thing has spread around the world has shown that the reaction in Japan has been nothing short of criminal.

There needs to be a political revolution in Japan. All these politicians who have been complicit in this monumental mishandling should be removed from office at the earliest opportunity.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

errr, that took awhile (for them to realise that they are facing a national crisis.)

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Mrs. Noakes and I were left dumbfounded by the scenes from the Shinzo Task Force Spearhead Power Rangers meeting shown on State Broadcaster last night: several dozen elderly and middle aged men jammed cheek-by-jowl into a room. The only one wearing a mask was Kono Taro. It's just unreal. What planet do these people inhabit?

32 ( +32 / -0 )

My partner changes the channel when she sees Kato's face. Kokei's dress is maybe trying to give us a laugh to cheer up in times of disaster.

UK is doing 5000 tests a day. We are about 600. UK has half the population. Almost Nobody there can get a test except Prince Charles. They want 25000 a day, but will take up two weeks. Japan's goal is 6000 by the end of the month.

A doctor in our hospital is self quarantined as he has symptoms. The test will take one week. This is very serious. If he is positive, the whole hospital might have to close. He couldn't get the test until he was quite sick. We are all waiting the results. It is scary when it is someone you know, meet every work day.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It's bound to happen. But we can't use the countries in worse condition than Japan even though they've had a longer time preparing for it as examples of what must have been done. We should just stick to maybe our original reasoning.

In any case it's obvious that less testing would lead to less positives, OF CoURSE! But it should be obvious also that even if not tested, those who are positive will be sick. It's the relatively small number of serious cases or death so far or until now that is the reason why Japan is considered lucky(?) (so far).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

On January 16, the first case was confirmed in Japan. On January 21, the first case was confirmed in the US.

Niether country took testing seriously. From day one it should have been: test, test, test. Isolate poaitives, and trace any contacts. Then test, test, test. [Keep repeating].

This needs to be done from the start of the crisis, with the appropriate measures put into place like happened in South Korea, for example.

Politely asking people nicely to refrain from going out for a weekend NOT going to stop this.

My guess is that the authorities here are just using this weekend to begin work on the lockdown logistics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

At the moment, the Tokyo situation is serious cause for concern. Of equal concern to me is that people seem to be running out of mask stocks. It may or may not be true people got complacent, but mask supplies are nowhere to be found.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yes it's obvious Japan's dear leaders have been putting the Olympics, the economy and until last week the cherry blossoms before the health and wellbeing of the people.

However the good people of Japan and its media mostly been blissfully complacent as events have unfolded, and at risk of being flamed, a bit smug when South Korea battled it's Coronavirus outbreak last month.

Governor Suzuki in Hokkaido has done his best though.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It’s a virus, they latch on to people, they want to survive. I hope people don’t think it’s just going to stay in one location. If it’s spreading in Tokyo, then it will expand. I figured that out and I’m not even a medical professional. Hope Abe and the government understands this fact about the virus as well.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I'd hate to live locked up in a Tokyo apartment during a lockdown. With all of the stockpiling going on there now, it would be hard to weather it out.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Spared is an anagram of spread.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it's insane that for nearly 5 months this virus has been killing thousands of people and only now japan decides to create a corona virus task force.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Tokyo has used its time till now well to prepare for the virus which will 'overshoot' next month. Obviously they thought why bother when the numbers of cases in Japan and Tokyo are so low.

Just this week on Monday they had a meeting about increasing the 118 beds they have now for the outbreak and are seeking cooperation for their plan to have 4000, actually its only 700 for intensive care

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200323_32/

Contrast what is going on in New York and the preparation they are doing. And the situation in Tokyo will soon be similar to New York. Unfortunately the Japanese policy of not testing to keep numbers low so the Olympics could go ahead doesnt cure the disease and didn't even save the Olympics

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Ian

Are you talking about those dust masks? It's an issue and I fear it's getting to the stage where you'll be looked upon with disdain if you don't wear one when out and about.

Remember they do nothing to actually protect you from catching the virus. A dust mask only reduces the chances of the wearer from spreading it. You could just use a scarf or bandana.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And where is the data on how many people have died from pneumonia in the Tokyo/Kanto area this year?

Even the German embassy in Tokyo thinks that Koike/Abe have been lying through their teeth for weeks about the coronavirus...

http://www.japansubculture.com/germany-calls-japans-coronavirus-bluff-embassy-says-nippon-is-lying-expect-a-surge-of-coronavirus-cases/?fbclid=IwAR3Q1L7uqC757oGWpqd1QdF8YFjzHUszpJtxiz8MwoyZzynP-H-eixBXK_o#.Xn0N6U38loE.facebook

11 ( +12 / -1 )

There are currently only 100 Tokyo hospital beds for serious infectious diseases,

according to Motoko Rich in today's New York Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/world/asia/japan-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The first line of defense against virus is your masks. That is my professional advice to those who believe truth.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

Hardly ever agree with "bass", but this time an exception shall be made.

Now even foreign embassies point out the b.s. from Tokyo.

How much worse will it get. Folks, please stay safe and healthy!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Safecast has a crowdsourced map to help people document their experiences when seeking COVID-19 testing — were they able to get a test when they sought one, or not.

Here is the reported experience one person in Tokyo: "I was seen by doctors on Day 3 of fever, cough, diarrhea, and body aches. Chest X-ray clear , influenza negative blood work normal. Was told I would not be referred to Minister of Health because 1. I was not in contact with anyone from China or Italy 2. I do not have pneumonia 3. I have not had a fever longer than 4 days as a “high risk” patient or 7 days of fever not at risk. I was told it would be unlikely any testing would happen and to go home and rest and to contact them if I had difficulty breathing. Several days later, all symptoms persisted, fever ranged between 39.2-37.3. A rash developed across my chest and back. Phone consultation with doctor recommends an antihistamine and again recommends not to go to hospital unless I have difficulty breathing. Day 10. All symptoms remain."

No wonder Japan has a comparatively low number of confirmed cases.

https://covid19map.safecast.org/views/map

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The government here is so ridiculously slow implementing things and utilizing technology. A bunch of headless chickens.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

This fight against the virus is on such an elementary level. The biggest weapon they’ve got is to wash your hands, open an window, and to avoid crowds. There may not be enough masks, ventilators, and hospital beds as seen in other countries but no action is taken. Few tests .

“We will deal with it when we get there” seems to be the motto. Thereafter, “it is regrettable”...

And TV commentators have nothing better to say than “Italian families love to gather together to have meals” and how this is different from the modern Japanese family, “nihon no bunka to chyotto chigau tokoro ga arimasu ne-“

4 ( +6 / -2 )

And where is the data on how many people have died from pneumonia in the Tokyo/Kanto area this year?

This article gives a pretty good answer to your question:

https://safecast.org/2020/03/making-sense-of-covid-19-numbers-in-japan/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

47 is hardly a surge. We're talking about infections not deaths, not deaths, but infections.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@BruceChatwin Day 11 back on the crowded subway to my incubator office!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why the surge in new cases? Because Japan is importing cases.

Experts: Rush of arrivals from abroad worsens virus situation

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13246784

thank god PM Abe closed the borders.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Who would have imagined that cancelling the Olympics would have had such an effect on coronavirus?

I wonder if there has been a surge of coronavirus or a surge of coronavirus testing.

A friend went to a hospital to get a test. He was told that they could not test him unless he got a letter from his doctor saying he had symptoms of the infection which is often asymptomatic. He chose to self-isolate rather than go to his local doctor and risk spreading the infection in the doctor's waiting room.

Does this remind anyone of other history problems such as mad cow's disease and HIV? No tests, no problems followed by few tests, few problems, then more tests, more problems. It seems like a repeat.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Tokyo government knows what it's doing. Everyone will still go outside this weekend.

Then on Monday Koike will claim not enough people followed her suggestion and will announce a lockdown of Tokyo due to the people's lack of restraint. This is the Tokyo's government plan to avoid getting blamed for the late decision to delay the Olympics.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What’s stopping people from paying for the test outright?

We do live in a capitalist society , don’t we?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From Bruce's Article

https://safecast.org/2020/03/making-sense-of-covid-19-numbers-in-japan/

Though we can’t prove it, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) seems to have preferred that these deliberations not be made public until a coordinated policy could be announced. 

and

Ultimately, as Safecaster Joe Moross said the other day, though so far it looks like Japan has bent the curve, we’re still in round one of what will likely be a ten-round fight against the coronavirus. It’s way too early to ease off and declare victory.

I agree with the above. How about you Bruce?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Banning foreigners is not the answers. Claiming patients dying in hospital of coronavirus are dying of flu because they haven't been tested for the virus and thus can be said to have died from coronavirus is utterly amoral, and putting the population at risk to protect the reputation of the government.

The solution is identifying and isolating those who are ill and those they've been in contact with is, and isolating them.

" Japan had only a few dozen confirmed coronavirus infections when the 30-something nurse with a slight sore throat boarded a bus to Osaka, the country’s third-largest city, to attend a Valentine’s weekend performance by pop bands at a music club.

Less than two weeks later, she tested positive for the virus, and the authorities swiftly alerted others who had been at the club. As more infections soon emerged from three other music venues in the city, officials tested concertgoers and their close contacts, and urged others to stay home. All told, 106 cases were linked to the clubs, and nine people are still hospitalized.

But less than a month after the nurse tested positive, the governor of Osaka declared the outbreak over...."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/world/asia/japan-coronavirus.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

8 ( +9 / -1 )

47 is hardly a surge. We're talking about infections not deaths, not deaths, but infections.

Indeed.

Global deaths this year from coronavirus - 24,000

Global deaths this year from flu - 115,000

Global deaths this year from smoking - 1,183,000

The number of deaths from this new virus is small in comparison to usual death rates from other things, and yet governments around the world are busy using it to grab unprecedented powers and control over the lives of citizens, and trashing the global economy.

I might be wrong, and this virus might kill millions, but it's been in Japan for weeks now and it hasn't happened yet, despite the early (and still ongoing) predictions of gloom from so many posters here.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

The newest catch word "overshoot". They've been using this word like it is some sort of justification to do practically nothing. But when you're fighting something.... isn't it better to "overshoot" and solve the problem? They say they've been making calculated moves in order to save the economy and Olympics, when actually they were woefully unprepared in the first place. Look at the number of people Hospitalized and the number of people found with the virus. To me the telling ratio would be the number of people hospitalized versus the number infected. Does anyone have that figure.... can't find it?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"47 is hardly a surge." That's what they said in NY. In a week's time that number could be 3,000.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

"it's insane that for nearly 5 months this virus has been killing thousands of people and only now japan decides to create a corona virus task force." As has been said many times before, in Japan it's never too early to take a "wait-and-see" attitude...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Abe and Koike deserve a spanking, and should be voted out at the next elections , here comes the grandstanding, task force should of happened the day the ship of the dammed docked they are business people

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wishing everyone the best

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Even the German embassy in Tokyo thinks that Koike/Abe have been lying through their teeth for weeks about the coronavirus...

Yikes!!! The damage control patrol is going to claim the embassy probably works for Korea lol

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Surge in Tokyo? No surprise to me, Tokyo is the largest city in the world. You gotta use your heads here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yet another photo of people NOT social distancing, worse of all, these two should be setting an example. TWO METRES APART.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The number of deaths from this new virus is small in comparison to usual death rates from other things, and yet governments around the world are busy using it to grab unprecedented powers and control over the lives of citizens, and trashing the global economy.

That kind of dismissal thinking and lax attitude is always what gets people killed in the end. Always better to overreact, save lives, prevent or minimize death as opposed to no reactions or not willing to take action and making light of something the entire medical academia takes deadly seriously and the Anarchists throw new world order junk conspiracy theories, come on!

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan, so far spared the mass spread of coronavirus that has hit Europe and North America

I think ignored is a more appropriate word since experts believe it is already 'rampant'

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200326/p2g/00m/0na/048000c

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The number of deaths from this new virus is small in comparison to usual death rates from other things, and yet governments around the world are busy using it to grab unprecedented powers and control over the lives of citizens, and trashing the global economy.

If governments did nothing, the death toll would already be in the millions from this just in China alone. This isn’t flu or smoking or car accidents, leave it unchecked and it will kill a huge number of people.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

So is the government going to upgrade their alert level from Request to Urge to Plead? What comes after that?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The number of deaths from this new virus is small in comparison to usual death rates from other things

You know that other deaths aren't "on hold" because of coronavirus, right? Coronavirus deaths are on top of heart attacks, cancers, broken bones, organ trauma etc. You can't send a text to a brain aneurism that says "lol srry got covid, can u hit me up nxt mnth? xxx"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Locking down one city for just two days isn't going to solve anything.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I was sitting on the subway today in Tokyo. By the time I got off the train had completely filled, and everyone standing was touching a handrail or hanging ring holders. I highly doubt anyone washed their hands once they disembarked.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Regardless of what the real numbers may or may not be, the government and companies need to start taking it seriously. Japan is a top down society. So if companies and the government don't seem to be taking it seriously and taking proper precautions, then the people won't take it seriously. They want people to stay in doors during the weekend but cram them together during the work week. It's only natural that people want to get out on the weekend.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Dr Kentaro Iwata, an epidemiologist who earlier reported on the cruiser ship situation, has just commented on the issue of testing (Japan' lower testing number as well). It's published only in Japanese, though....try it with Google translate.

事実に誠意を

https://georgebest1969.typepad.jp/blog/2020/03/%E4%BA%8B%E5%AE%9F%E3%81%AB%E8%AA%A0%E6%84%8F%E3%82%92.html

Overall, I think that his commentary is comprehensive and balanced. It's simply interesting with more updates around other countries' cases. Worth reading.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the virus has now according to politicians been rampant for weeks, doesn’t that mean a large number of people have already caught the virus and have now built up a natural immunity to the virus?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

If the virus has now according to politicians been rampant for weeks, doesn’t that mean a large number of people have already caught the virus and have now built up a natural immunity to the virus?

No it doesn’t. That isn’t how this has unfolded anywhere. Immunity will take at best a couple of years to develop among the population.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Asahi Shimbun newspaper also carries an interesting article on PCR testing.

正しく知るPCR検査 「非感染の証明求め病院へ」ダメ

www.asahi.com/articles/ASN3S4J20N3CULBJ005.html

Although the liberal daily is often more critical to the Abe government, campaigning for aggressive testing, the story above is informative, balanced and reasonable.

Another note on active, universal testing (with focus on its downside)

誰でもPCR検査」の弊害 

https://blogos.com/article/444803/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can't wait to see all those people who were spouting out on and on about "Cases are so low because social distancing is a norm in Japan" "Japanese people are very obedient and follows the rules strictly when their government tells them not to go out" "Japan is very clean and people are hygienic so they don't get the virus" etc.

Olympics are finally postponed. People are finally getting tested. Numbers have finally started to move. Coincidence? Highly doubt it.

It really takes one to live in the country long enough to see all those textbook views of Japan - the country is beautiful and I still love the people here but it's no where near to perfect and completely different when you live here versus visiting here or just reading about the place from the web.

Honestly, at this rate, I wish we were on lockdown especially Tokyo, as a reality check and wake up call to everyone. It's important at times like this for people to realize that self-restraint and responsibility is important.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I saw an interesting story about Japan and testing.

Lack of testing doesn’t explain why Japan has so far escaped the worst of the coronavirus

It has been suggested quite widely that the relatively low number of known cases of COVID-19 in Japan is mainly due to the low number of tests for the disease that have been carried out. But looking more closely at the maths shows that this is almost certainly wrong. 

http://theconversation.com/lack-of-testing-doesnt-explain-why-japan-has-so-far-escaped-the-worst-of-the-coronavirus-134569

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

But since then Japan has averted the widespread transmission that has seen Europe and North America hit by thousands of new cases per day.

It would help the rest of the world learn what measures Japan took so they can implement the magical Japan measures.

Has this country fallen below the CCP as regards transparency. It looks like everybody is scared of speaking up or asking critical questions or has the virus affected everyone ability to think or reason.

The deceit is so monumental, It is really scary.

God bless us all as our lives depend on a bunch of people whose priority is not caring for the populace.

I will have a very hard time believing any data released in this country, it is delusional having hopes on mainstream media run by yoshimoto and Johnnys jimusho comedians and singers without the necessary education, when all they do is read a prepared script.

Shame that they do take all of us minions as fools.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The really alarming thing is that we are not reading anything about the government taking measures to rapidly expand the number of hospital beds, ventilators and other health care needs that they will be short of if this explodes. This is now what the coverage is all about in other countries, but it seems all that is being discussed here is still voluntary measures to encourage people to stay home more if they don’t mind, but if they do it's OK too. And even on that they are still dragging their feet.

This country is really going to be screwed if the don’t get their act together right now.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My family members in Italy, Britain and America asked me about those low virus figures in Japan and all suggested the true figures were hidden because of the Olympics. That view is now world spread.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

A landmark department store in Tokyo's Shibuya district - popular with young people, many of whom have continued to go out to play and shop - said it would close on the weekend. 

Ok I got it the virus is only active during the weekend and hibernates during the week. Why should a minion like me doubt those in charge.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This country is really going to be screwed if the don’t get their act together right now.

Yet you choose to live here

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

But but Japan is special......

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Ian

Are you talking about those dust masks? It's an issue and I fear it's getting to the stage where you'll be looked upon with disdain if you don't wear one when out and about.

Remember they do nothing to actually protect you from catching the virus. A dust mask only reduces the chances of the wearer from spreading it. You could just use a scarf or bandana.

Yes , I'm well aware of that. It's also the reason I always say that the Japanese mask wearing habits could be a significant reason for the low numbers, they could have helped a lot in preventing contagions from being on air from non symptomatics and of course also symptomatics tested and untested who mingle in public.

What I'm more concerned though is the lack of masks (maybe PPE in general) even for healthcare providers

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

"it's insane that for nearly 5 months this virus has been killing thousands of people and only now japan decides to create a corona virus task force." As has been said many times before, in Japan it's never too early to take a "wait-and-see" attitude...

It’ll be called the Corona Fighters and they’ll only tell you to wash your hands.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yet you choose to live here

Yeah, I choose to live here which is why I get so mad seeing these huge mistakes being made. Because I choose to live here I DON’T WANT BAD STUFF TO HAPPEN TO JAPAN, the country I have lived in for almost 20 years and the country my children were born in and are citizens of.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Caliboy

Yes, that was certainly interesting. It should be intuitive and obvious that there should have been a more explosive increase of cases here in Japan because of less testing as compared to those countries who have done far more testing.

And that is what many people here maintain. Only they are being hidden precisely by limiting testing.

But even if not tested, infected people will be sick. So in light of the limited testing our yardstick for the extent of spread should be the number of serious cases and deaths.

I haven't followed the story closely but thats what may have been happening now in Tokyo

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For March 25, the number of confirmed cases was 47 in Tokyo. The number of tests was 108. Ca. 45% of the sample were tested positive.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10906000/000613916.pdf

From February 23 to March 23, the total number of confirmed cases 154. The number of test was 3,359. Ca. 4.6% of the same were tested positive.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10906000/000611604.pdf

Although the number of tests is extremely low and the NIID hesitates to publish the data, this simple comparison shows that the ratio of confirmed cases to tests in Tokyo was increased by a factor of 10 (45/4.6).

This is why now Japanese politicians take it seriously.

It is still puzzling that the Japanese media does not mention this kind of simple comparison, making Japanese grasp and prepare for the crisis better. I searched and made the comparison by myself.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

47 is just Tokyo. Japan has 94 yesterday. Not to be taken lightly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You people who keep saying there is not going to be a crisis, really really need to get serious and consider getting out of Tokyo soon if you are in that area.

And go where?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How could they wait so long to impose a travel ban from countries that are absolutely reeling from cases of the Wuhan flu? Abe and his cronies were so hell bent on trying to save the Olympic games that now the deaths of Japanese citizens falls squarely on them. This token action in Tokyo is too little and way too late.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“Spared”! Yeah, we were “spared” the truth so the good we meant cod avoid postponing or cancelling the Olympics. I like how this SUDDENLY started the same day as the announcement to postpone. No, what happened is they simply stopped denying that a problem exists. Now they are pretending it’s all because of people returning to Japan from abroad, or visiting... all at once, of course.

they have literally wasted time and will have cost people their lives.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Every country every hotspot say "We should have acted earlier" while every place that hasn't been hit yet says, "But we don't have to act now because it's not a problem here."

Xi, Trump, Abe, and Johnson included. Male leaders don’t like to look like they’re wanting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@expat

"47 is hardly a surge." That's what they said in NY. In a week's time that number could be 3,000.

The number can not exceed 150, as the capacity of tests in Tokyo is less than 150: https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/

The culprit of the extremely low capacity of testing is the Japan Medical Association (Nihon Ishi Kai, JMA). The JMA actually monopolize the Japanese medical industry. The JMA considers that coronavirus mass testing would require a lot of efforts of Japanese doctors, but is not profitable at all. Money matters the most here. This is why the number of tests is so low but the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, under influence of the NIID and the JMA, seemingly tries to suppress it. Remember that this kind of bureaucratic selfishness once started the Pacific war (WWII), destroying the entire Japan. Actually this coronavirus fiasco tracks back to the WWII and the Unit 731:

https://dot.asahi.com/wa/2020031100065.html (in Japanese)

https://togetter.com/li/1476075

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just checked the worldometer, first in a long while, and Japan now is way way down the list, despite the big outbreak in Tokyo. People should now seriously reexamine all available facts to get clues on the real reason/s.

Is this simply a case of hiding the numbers? (Although doing so wouldn't have been simple)

If this is not the real reason but we just keep on insisting it simply is and don't look for the.real one/s then we are just waiting time and lives. The reason could help many others if we can find out what it is.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Complete mishandling of this whole emergency by abe. I hope the Japanese electorate remember his lack of leadership at the next election..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The first line of defense against virus is your masks. That is my professional advice to those who believe truth.

I absolutely agree that masks are essential. With asymptomatic people and cases of infection where the symptoms are so mild people are unaware of them or simply ignoring them, it's your duty to wear a mask.

But professional advice? A week ago you were claiming the Japanese are immune to the disease. This is not completely inaccurate (and disproven by the wave of infections and death), it's also dangerous misinformation. The government needs to streamline testing and start providing facts, so that people don't end up believing dangerous urban legends such as: Japanese immunity; it's less important than the flu; going to the hospital to get a test actually spreads the disease; staying at home without treatment is the best course; you can't catch it in the open air, etc etc. All of these myths are prevalent on the internet and some have even been repeated on television by respected individuals.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A bit of perforated paper, not really a shield. Japan is way behind every other industrialised nations, as far as action goes. And where is Abe? I know it's a premium Friday but still shouldn't he say something? Something? He can only pine for an Olympics gone for so long.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just by way of comparison..

On March 20th Australia was testing 4473 people per day per million head of population and Japan was testing 117 per million.

Australia only has 20-25% of the population of Japan with 13 deaths reported from Covid19 and is at a stage 3 lockdown with stage 4 days away like in New Zealand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you want professional advice it's ubiquitous elsewhere in the world. They all say the same things.

Wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Wash frequently, especially when arriving home or work, before touching food/eating, after using a tssue etc

Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw it away then wash your hands. If you haven't a tissue use your elbow.

Don't go out unless it's for essentials. Keep at least two metres from others when you can. Work from home if you can.

If you have a persistant dry cough and/or a fever self isolate immediately and call your local heathcare for advice. Do not go to a hospital, doctor, clinic unkess advised to do so.

It's not rocket science. Why the Japanese government is not rolling out this advice is criminal. Stop pretending this crisis is something happening elsewhere, stop lying to people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it has been suggested quite widely that the relatively low number of known cases of COVID-19 in Japan is mainly due to the low number of tests for the disease that have been carried out. But looking more closely at the maths shows that this is almost certainly wrong.

Last sentence in the paragraph, which for some unfathomable reason, was omitted: "Japan has experienced a slow growth in the disease relative to other countries despite limited testing."

Last paragraph in the article, which for some strange reason, was omitted: (In Japan, COVID-19) "cases continue to grow and despite the collapse in the number of foreign tourists, groups of Japanese are still gathering to enjoy the seasonal cherry blossoms. It is hard to look at such cheerful gatherings without feeling a slight sense of dread for the months ahead."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Jim Harper: Where do I buy a mask? I arrive at work at 7:45 before drugstores are open or deliveries have taken place and I'm lucky to leave before 7pm at night.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You talk as if there is a blueprint for dealing with this. Of who? Italy? US? If Japan is dealing with this in such a horrible way, how come the hospitals are not overrun and there are no dead people on the streets. Restaurants are open, country is running it's business. You all do know that rest of world is locked down and probably will take years to recover the economy? If ever. All you do here is complain about your addopted home. Japan can take a serious punch and come back, it is one of most resilient people in the world. Two a-bombs, huge part of infrastructure gone several times last 100 years but they always come back. Now you sit there and panic, like your home countries do.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I wash my hands every half hour whilst in the office, before and after every meal and have stayed off public transport for a month. I don't like being told its my duty to wear a mask when I can not obtain one.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan have a bad attitude, do not tell the truth until the last mimute. japan always make up it's own story , always thinking they are different in Asia. Unfortunately, things are not like that and corona v do not spare amy countries except the antratic. lets see , how all of U from abe is going appologzed this time ???. The same moshiyake gozaimasen ???.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The governor of Kanagawa later asked residents to stay at home this weekend.

There is a lot of information here in above sentence, about how the Japanese really feel about this virus.

Stay inside this (weekend.) Whats a joke. (weekend.

But do not worry. Monday business must go on. 黒岩 祐治, honto baka guy!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@zichi

My family members in Italy, Britain and America asked me about those low virus figures in Japan and all suggested the true figures were hidden because of the Olympics. That view is now world spread.

Exactly. Heard the same from my relatives&friends in Europe too. Hidden because of Olympics & economy.

Japan (i.e. Abe, Koike & Co.) tried so hard to 'save face' and being a model country by covering up the cases and not doing any drastic actions to fight this virus. Now the whole world is questioning.

If (=when) the cases blow up, Japan will not just loose face, but have a forever stained blot on it for its' lackluster and dangerous attitude towards this. Reading how people with severe symptoms have been refused testing, just because they a) can't name the person who could've given the virus to them, or b) haven't been to Italy/China, is getting close to human rights violations imo.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Bruce Chatwin

Thanks for the links.

I was told this morning that Abe Akie, wife of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attended a hanami party event earlier this week in the company of several celebrities. I said I couldn't imagine this to be true as no-one could be so tone deaf as to go cherry-blossom viewing right now, but the person swore blind it was true. I haven't been able to find any corroborating evidence anywhere either. Has anyone heard anything?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes , I'm well aware of that. It's also the reason I always say that the Japanese mask wearing habits could be a significant reason for the low numbers, they could have helped a lot in preventing contagions from being on air from non symptomatics and of course also symptomatics tested and untested who mingle in public.

Then how do you explain Skoreans with a tradition of wearing mask having a high infected rate. If you cannot figure out that they have a higher rate because of massive testing and until Japan carries massive testing any assumption for the low number of infections is nothing but baseless assumption.

Son offered to provide one million free test and was discouraged, why is the country so against testing is mind boggling.

One doesn't need to be an expert on health to know that testing massively is necessary to control and keep the number of deaths low.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fast forward to 6 months later... Japan "analyzes" the situation and finds "inadequacies" in the way the coronavirus crisis was handled. The people responsible call a press conference, make a statement of apology, bow for 60 seconds and leave the room. They continue to hold on to their jobs with no legal or social consequences. End of story. Life moves on. The country looks forward to enjoying the autumn colours and counts down to Olympics 2021.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have medical worker friends in Italy, Spain and New York.

I hear horror stories of immense proportions.

I strongly recommend to get a 2-3 months worth of food and medical supplies.

Do whatever it takes to avoid infection because very soon the hospitals ARE going to be overwhelmed, and you really want to avoid going there.

Don't let the false sense of security here fool you.

BE SMART, don't be a part of the herd.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Son offered to provide one million free test and was discouraged, why is the country so against testing is mind boggling.

Indeed., crazy.. ..but I,d say its not the country but Abe govt that was against it due to Olympic ¥¥¥.

@Ani....lol..great post & very accurate .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was told this morning that Abe Akie, wife of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attended a hanami party event earlier this week in the company of several celebrities. I said I couldn't imagine this to be true as no-one could be so tone deaf as to go cherry-blossom viewing right now, but the person swore blind it was true.

Sounds about right... the after party dinner was probably paid for by our tax ¥ too ...of course there would be no records or receipts as per standard LDP procedures :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was told this morning that Abe Akie, wife of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attended a hanami party event earlier this week in the company of several celebrities. I said I couldn't imagine this to be true as no-one could be so tone deaf as to go cherry-blossom viewing right now, but the person swore blind it was true. I haven't been able to find any corroborating evidence anywhere either. Has anyone heard anything?

Photo apparently taken 'in the grounds of a private restaurant'. Note the social distancing, it seems Akie's 2 metres are a lot smaller than yer average 2 metres.

https://www.news-postseven.com/archives/20200326_1550908.html?IMAGE&PAGE=1

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Furinkazan: I want to give you 100 thumbs up. For many reasons.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Then how do you explain Skoreans with a tradition of wearing mask having a high infected rate. If you cannot figure out that they have a higher rate because of massive testing and until Japan carries massive testing any assumption for the low number of infections is nothing but baseless assumption.

The cause of the initial explosion of cases in South Korea is well known, maybe you should read past news. In any case, wearing masks, even by a100% of the population cannot stop the virus.

Massive testing logically leads to lower infection rates but of course higher number of positive cases, and vice versa.

You are looking for the high number of positive cases, which may or may not come with high infection rates.

Also, the low rate of infection people mention is not absolute, its usually in context relative to other countries.

And you may want to look up the meaning of baseless assumption although it seems self explanatory to me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lived in Japan for 14 years and lack of testing was most definitely about the Olympics. The fact the media doesn't seem to have been relentlessly questioning the government about it would be frustrating if it wasn't just one of those things I've come to expect about Japan.

The thing that has me really confused is why the hospitals haven't been bombarded with critically ill people like overseas. They can cover up the numbers by not testing, but they can't cover up the number of people requiring critical care.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

 Reading how people with severe symptoms have been refused testing, just because they a) can't name the person who could've given the virus to them, or b) haven't been to Italy/China, is getting close to human rights violations imo.

That’s a new low. It’s not enough that you have to have high fever, it has to be 4 consecutive days, but you also have to name the person who infected you? If you’re trying to get a test, act like you’re about to die.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Japan is dealing with this in such a horrible way, how come the hospitals are not overrun and there are no dead people on the streets. 

Overrun with what? People who don't believe they've got the disease because the government says it's under control? People who think they've just got a cough (or a worst a mild does of the flu) and would rather go to work than a hospital?

Why would there be dead people in the streets? If you don't test the living, you're unlikely to test the dead, so all you've got is a bunch of primarily old people who seem to have died from pneumonia or the flu, just like they do every year. Since Japan isn't testing the dead, we'll never really know how many people have died from coronavirus.

Coronavirus is rarely a fully incapacitating disease, so people are more likely to stay in bed or carry on as usual than go to hospital. Especially when the government maintains there is no disease problem.

The logic is easy. Other countries are in a dire state because they are doing mass testing. Japan is not doing mass testing. This does not mean Japan doesn't have a major problem with coronavirus. It does mean, however, that they're dealing with it badly.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Alfie Noakes

You are more than welcome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is from a letter to German citizens in Japan posted on the Embassy of Germany’s website.

Translated by a German Scholar:

“The [stated] risk of infection [from coronavirus] in Japan cannot be believed. A high number of non-reported cases can be expected, due to the low rate of testing. The possibility of being tested for the coronavirus continue only to be available for those who are very sick (four days of high fever) and for persons with other risk factors (contact to others infected, [those who have stayed] stay in high-risk areas.”

I encourage all residents to be vigilant, this weekend and beyond.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@cleo

Not to worry, all the glitterati in the picture have surely been tested...

Thanks for posting the link.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm glad Japan has been spared. I will follow Koike's and Abe's "urge", "request" to stay indoors this weekend. I will tie one on from this evening to Sunday night, and reluctantly get out of bed Monday morning to get back to work, commuting on the over-packed trains. The virus will surely have disappeared during my self-isolation. And when I come down with flu-like symptoms, will resist the "urge" to visit a clinic or drug store for treatment after 4 days of a 38 degree fever. Then "reluctantly", will get on a train to seek treatment at my nearest hospital, only to be told that I don't "fit" the criteria to be tested for Covid. I will go to the supermarket and buy toilet paper, masks, and cup ramen on my way home to make myself feel more at peace while waiting for my symptoms to get so bad that I need to call an ambulance.

Thank you Abe. Thank you Koike.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Big

They can cover up the numbers by not testing, but they can't cover up the number of people requiring critical care.

Can you explain why you think it is not possible to cover up the number of critical cases ?

How do you expect to now when it is the ministry of health total control of data and hasn't been transparent at all, making the CCP look more transparent.

The onus is on the authorities to show that the whole process is transparent and not have people suspect and question the figures.

Don't you find it strange that despite Japan's low infection rate. Everbody out of Japan including the WHO is instead pointing to S.Korea which 7 times the infection rate of Japan as a model to fight the corona virus.

What does that tell us, out of Japan, nobody trust Japan's figures.

Even small Luxembourg that had it first case not long ago has a higher case of infection than Japan and this has been the trend. This a War against an invisible enemy that is wrecking havoc across the globe and not some-feel good competition. It is plain self deceit

The virus has shown that it is very contagious, not affected by heat nor stopped by mask as shown by the high number of medical personel casualties in Wuhan and Italy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Calm down everyone. This virus kill people. But why this sudden concern for the old of Japan? Or are you worried it is gonna take your own life? Not to worry. Let the cherry blossoms remind you of how fickle and fragile is life. You might be crushed like a gokiburi tomorrow by a truck. It will too be the fault of Abe? Destroyed system and panic is far more dangerous. The stone that is called globalism and capitalism was forced upon the world for the benefit of 1%. Now it will show its true weakness when the world crumbles from a cough.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ian

The cause of the initial explosion of cases in South Korea is well known, maybe you should read past news. In any case, wearing masks, even by a100% of the population cannot stop the virus.

Massive testing logically leads to lower infection rates but of course higher number of positive cases, and vice versa.

You are looking for the high number of positive cases, which may or may not come with high infection rates.

Also, the low rate of infection people mention is not absolute, its usually in context relative to other countries.

What you wrote makes no sense to me making it a waste of time trying to respond.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The thing that has me really confused is why the hospitals haven't been bombarded with critically ill people like overseas. They can cover up the numbers by not testing, but they can't cover up the number of people requiring critical care.

Thia is something that is conveniently just ignored by many for some reason.

People shouldn't be arguing just for arguments sake in this issue, lives are at stake.

Anyone could be wrong because everyone knows differently and understands things differently. But everyone should reevaluate one's position depending on emerging trends and information.

The goal must be to find the real situation and reason.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The thing is out there of course, and with 14-day incubation period without symptoms, we have now idea how widely spread it is.

Several companies have developed test kits that give an answer within the hour, once those things are widely used, we understand the sitation, until then we can only guess.

Until then, the only firm numbers we have are the hospitalization and death figures, und how you read them depends on what you assume is the infection rate.... so right now everybody is just guessing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thia is something that is conveniently just ignored by many for some reason.

People shouldn't be arguing just for arguments sake in this issue, lives are at stake.

Anyone could be wrong because everyone knows differently and understands things differently. But everyone should reevaluate one's position depending on emerging trends and information.

The goal must be to find the real situation and reason.

This is wisdom. Thank you. Everyone just calm down. This makes me think some of you relishing this kind of events. You want to see panic and populist decision making like Europe?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The thing that has me really confused is why the hospitals haven't been bombarded with critically ill people like overseas. They can cover up the numbers by not testing, but they can't cover up the number of people requiring critical care

What is age distribution in Tokyo? In the countryside, Japan has a huge overrepresentation of old people, in Tokyo much less so. Not claiming anything, but that has to be one factor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@caliboy

A task force, what a brilliant idea, and perfectly logical to wait all these weeks before setting it up. Silent obedience is not always the solution

4 ( +4 / -0 )

tokyo-m:

The number of deaths from this new virus is small in comparison to usual death rates from other things, and yet governments around the world are busy using it to grab unprecedented powers and control over the lives of citizens, and trashing the global economy.

True, as far as it goes, however the usual death rates from other things do not come in a a gigantic spike all at once. What do you if you break your leg and your entire hospital is clogged with Corona patients? It is the ripple effect that creates the problem, which is why flattening the curve is so important.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Any Statistics upon the number of Deaths this year compared to Last - regardless of cause ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Son offered to provide one million free test and was discouraged, why is the country so against testing is mind boggling.

Not mind boggling at all. The reason given then is the same now: The Japanese health care system could be overwhelmed by such a huge influx of people with light symptoms. To me it makes sense. If it doesn't make sense to you, why not dispute this idea instead of spewing out the same old conspiracy theories.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I feel now, from celebrities to some politicians in japan might actually say they have caught the virus,...why? because everyone else is doing it, so we have to do the same. like a boom. Especially now that the Olympics has been postponed anyway,..their motivation to be a 'safety' haven is put to the side.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tests were not being conducted because the government knew that if they did the number of infected would spike tremendously, seriously damaging the possibility of holding the Olympics.

So they basically didn't take the necessary action to keep it from further spreading all to save the Olympics.

Why didn't they make the decision to postpone until next year earlier? By doing so, and starting prompt testing they could have prevented a lot more infection and death.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have been saying for months that Japan has not been testing enough and that the only reason the numbers were low was because of the Olympics and Abe’s concern for his political legacy. I’ve have commented as often as possible about my concern as an EXPAT living in this country for more than 3 years. I have been attacked for my statements and pulled aside at work because of my seemingly “unwarranted” anxiety and concern for my health and safety.

I am pleased to see so many others share the same feelings and thoughts that I have had for some time: the Olympics are over and cases have spiked; one weekend isn’t goin to do anything; a lackadaisical do nothing government; and shock at the city parks being full while schools are closed.

Now my own government is preventing me from leaving a country I fear doesn’t have the capability to care for its people at the level of the US.

The arrogance of government, people and editorials saying Japan is somehow better, cleaner, genetically superior that’s the world is disgusting, but not surprising. It’s the part of Japan I don’t want to remember when I am able to leave this country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Ani yes!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Examples of total tests performed per country with the accompanying dates of testing in brackets.

Japan 14,901 (Mar 19, 2020)

Italy 206,886 (Mar 20, 2020)

South Korea 316,664 (Mar 20, 2020)

Australia 113,615 (Mar 20, 2020)

United Kingdom 64,621 (Mar 19, 2020)

For full information, go to:

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have been saying for months that Japan has not been testing enough and that the only reason the numbers were low was because of the Olympics and Abe’s concern for his political legacy. I’ve have commented as often as possible about my concern as an EXPAT living in this country for more than 3 years.

And the authorities didn't drop everything to listen to what you had to say?

Stop the presses, and call the UN. This is a travesty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s good to see so many people have similar thought and feelings about what’s happening or not happening in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It’s good to see so many people have similar thought and feelings about what’s happening or not happening in Japan.

Good that everyone believes in a conspiracy theory with no proof? Japan method of handling this virus is similar to what Sweden is doing, and hasn't changed after the olympics were canceled.

Last weekend more people went out. You could see it all over the news. As a result, more people got sick. As a result, there were more people meeting testing requirements. End of story. Abe and/or Koike don't have a special button to deny or accept a test. If there was a conspiracy, thousands of people would have to be in on it. I find that far fetched.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Claiming patients dying in hospital of coronavirus are dying of flu because they haven't been tested for the virus and thus can be said to have died from coronavirus is utterly amoral, and putting the population at risk to protect the reputation of the government."

What evidence is there that this is actually being done? There have in fact been numerous statements that the influenza count is much lower than is typical for this time of year.

There are thousands of hospitals in Japan, many of them private. The idea that there could be a general cover up is absurd.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL Spared mass outbreak??? Says who??? What kind of monkey business is this? There's no testing and now that the Olympics are canceled there's a mysterious outbreak??? Yea right. Is this China or Japan or is there a difference anymore? Nippon Ganbare.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not mind boggling at all. The reason given then is the same now: The Japanese health care system could be overwhelmed by such a huge influx of people with light symptoms. To me it makes sense. If it doesn't make sense to you, why not dispute this idea instead of spewing out the same old conspiracy theories

Look no far, South Korea has been testing massively yet its medical system as not been overrun. And they are being referred worldwide as a model to fight this virus. Why because they are transparent.

You make it sound as if everybody testing positive mild or not will forcefully force themselves into a hospital admit themselves and take up a bed, it is nothing but and stupid and flimsy excuse put up by those with the mentally to portray a good image of the country at all cost, when on the contrary they are doing more harm to the reputation of the country abroad as people are suspicious and questioning Japan's numbers.

One of the richest and densely populated cities in the world cannot be doing only 100 pcr test a day. It is simply unacceptable.

Fear of overruning the medical yet no action whatsoever to prepare for the worst like converting closed down hospitals, hotels to receive the infected, producing more respirators etc. It is criminal not testing and allowing the infected unknowingly running around infecting others. What excuse can you give us for the government being unable to address the acute mask shortage that has been going on for more than two months now.?despite proclaiming 15.3 billion had been allocated to address the shortage.

The global fight against this virus is not a global competition to show which country is least infected.

Well maybe the inaction is that the government has given up and waiting for the community to gain immunity or for it to run its course.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Look no far, South Korea has been testing massively yet its medical system as not been overrun. And they are being referred worldwide as a model to fight this virus. Why because they are transparent.

Yet not many have succeeded at emulating South Korea. USA tried to set up drive-through testing sites and they've been closing left and right. It's been a total mess. South Korea was prepared because they had a MERS outbreak a few years ago, other countries were not.

You make it sound as if everybody testing positive mild or not will forcefully force themselves into a hospital admit themselves and take up a bed, it is nothing but and stupid and flimsy excuse put up by those with the mentally to portray a good image of the country at all cost, when on the contrary they are doing more harm to the reputation of the country abroad as people are suspicious and questioning Japan's numbers.

I don't know if they'd take up a hospital bed (but I've been put on a bed and a drip just for a stomach virus in the past..) , but at the very least they will put other (including previously non-infected) people in harm's way. And for what? Just so you can see some more accurate numbers? Who cares what other people think? Many other countries were already talking about letting it play out and "herd immunity", etc. This is probably why their responses were slow. Unfortunately, now they have bodies piling up.

One of the richest and densely populated cities in the world cannot be doing only 100 pcr test a day. It is simply unacceptable.

So far that is working, so why change it? But wait, I thought they dramatically increased the tests since the Olympics were canceled? At least that's what many here would like us to believe. But I know that isn't true. The number tested and confirmed in Tokyo actually went down yesterday. Hardly an exponential increase. Most likely, as I said, due to many people getting complacent and going out and about last weekend.

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

Fear of overruning the medical yet no action whatsoever to prepare for the worst like converting closed down hospitals, hotels to receive the infected, producing more respirators etc. It is criminal not testing and allowing the infected unknowingly running around infecting others. What excuse can you give us for the government being unable to address the acute mask shortage that has been going on for more than two months now.?despite proclaiming 15.3 billion had been allocated to address the shortage.

There are several areas that you are right could be improved. I never denied this. Just because you disagree with how one thing is being handled, doesn't mean you have to disagree with everything. I'm simply saying there is no Olympics conspiracy theory, and testing everyone won't necessarily help. They've been working diligently to track clusters, but it is getting more difficult which is why you see several prefectures asking people to refrain from going out now. Why bother testing non-serious cases if you are just going to implement blanket lockdowns (or de-facto lockdowns), anyway?

As for the mask shortage in particular, in my neighborhood I see the same old people queuing up to buy masks every day. So they need to do a better job at getting masks to medical workers and those that need them, not old people that stay inside and hoard their money, anyway.

The global fight against this virus is not a global competition to show which country is least infected.

Well maybe the inaction is that the government has given up and waiting for the community to gain immunity or for it to run its course.

I think it's the opposite. Experts already said most people will get infected anyway so the first choice is to try to gain herd immunity. In many countries, this failed right off the bat and they had to implement drastic measures. So far Japan has avoided such measures but we'll have to see how things play out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese get the TB shot when young, wondering if this has any effect on providing some immunity?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let’s test everyone and see the results and watch the numbers go up.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk

Let’s test everyone and see the results and watch the numbers go up.

The figures in America are no better.

Japan 12,919 tests. 102/million people.

USA 19,744 tests. 110/million people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The figures in America are no better.

Japan 12,919 tests. 102/million people.

Not nearly close to what the US is doing. Not to mention, they don’t do autopsies and people are still out as if everything is normal. No curfew, people not distancing themselves on a wider level.

USA 19,744 tests. 110/million people.

And doing everything they can to slow the progression of the disease.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bass4funk

you said

"Let’s test everyone and see the results and watch the numbers go up."

I showed you both Japan and America are making the same number of tests. So if America tested like South Korea the cases would go up.

The keywords you used "test everyone" which would be impossible for any country.

people are still out as if everything is normal. No curfew, people not distancing themselves on a wider level.

Also true of many cities and towns in America.

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As I mentioned before, Sweden's approach seems somewhat similar to Japan's. Of course, there are doubts on how it will work out, but all we can do is wait and see. Here is another recent article on Sweden.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/in-the-coronavirus-fight-in-scandinavia-sweden-stands-apart/ar-BB11P8lh

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I showed you both Japan and America are making the same number of tests.

We have more people in the States, I also said to you that Japan doesn’t do regular autopsies and don’t see a long of people being tested or ordered to stay home.

So if America tested like South Korea the cases would go up.

Probably, but they’re doing it already and more of it, so I hope and pray that they do.

The keywords you used "test everyone" which would be impossible for any country.

But Japan could do a lot more and it’s not and I don’t think it’s even close to being ready should a massive outbreak occur and it just might.

Also true of many cities and towns in America.

But we’re we live, we are on complete lockdown as well as the majority of cities that are hardest hit.

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Meanwhile in the real world my employer is insisting all staff go into work tomorrow mid holiday for a meeting about (ironically) coronavirus. And so we can get ready to reopen to students next Monday.

They really haven't understood the basics of self isolation and reducing contact. And unless the government takes charge and prevents employers' making stupid thoughtless decisions, like calling meetings of staff together in one room, the virus is guaranteed to continue to spread.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But since then Japan has averted the widespread transmission that has seen Europe and North America hit by thousands of new cases per day.

Averted how?,

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@zichi

The figures in America are no better.

Japan 12,919 tests. 102/million people.

USA 19,744 tests. 110/million people.

How are you getting your US data?

The US has well over 100,000 confirmed cases... but with only 19,744 tests???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

divinda

I think the America testing figures I quoted were outdated. This site gives a much more accurate data. Total tests 831,351.

https://covidtracking.com/us-daily/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The figures in America are no better.

...

Total tests 831,351.

Which is about 2,500/million.

So then the figures in America are better... much, much, much better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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