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Japan to close all schools until early April to control spread of virus

60 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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60 Comments
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And... who are going to look after these School Kids whilst the Parents work ?

13 ( +19 / -6 )

I understand what they are doing but how you going to try to keep them in the house?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

BTW... I feel sorry for this Woman, and more anger/despair at the Government:

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13169040

0 ( +4 / -4 )

School's out! My morning commute should be a bit less cramped.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Well, whilst the Parents go to Work, the Kids will head off to be with their Friends - maybe big groups of Kids will meet up in Shopping Centers, or local Parks. I doubt the local Sports centers are ready to hold daily Kids events, indeed they may even start closing soon. So... after school care centers - which are few and far between cant cater for a whole School or more turning up at their doors every day... which either leaves the School to accept kids again from Parents who have to work - thus defeating the Governments efforts, or the Kids left home alone... (possibly illegally), or one of the Parents will have to stay at home, and I doubt that their Company would be happy at that - Women will undoubtedly take the brunt of this, and may be forced (given the extended period of absence) to resign their positions.... which will put the Country back decades, to the "Women's place is in the Home attitude of the 1950s America"... Dysfunctionalist and lack of foresight courtesy of Abe & Co....

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Goodbye japanese economy, such as it was. Many workers will now have to stay at home to look after their children for over a month. Nonsensical! Japan is going to suffer a deep Economic Depression.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I guess Abe doesn’t care about the working mothers (full-time or part-time) because they’re the ones who will have to stay home to take care of the kids. And not earn money at the same time. (Fathers will be exempt because they have a pen1s.)

Maybe, like Hong Kong, Abe will send everyone a month or two’s worth of pay so they won’t starve to death, fall behind on their medication, and be able to pay rent. I’m definitely holding my breath on that.

darknuts - it’s always important to think only of yourself. Like a certain US president - screw everybody else.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Are kids gunna be left at home on their own? This is huge. I guess it’s the only way to ensure many people stay at home in an attempt at containment. Bosses wont be able to demand staff come in if they have to look after kids, and if a large section of the workforce don’t go to work there won’t be the same stigma usually associated with putting yourself and family first. Just wow.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Gogogo,they say peppermint oil, is a natural anti viral remedy, you can make yourself some tea and add some peppermint oil too it or get you a Peppermint Mocha Latte Google Peppermint Health Benefits

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Just heard that after school centers (judokans) will open and accept large number of kids! So what’s the frikkin point!

Makes no sense at all. Just a huge burden on families. And it’s not kids who are most at risk, but elderly people. How do you protect them.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

mmwkdw,

So... after school care centers

They’re closing too.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Does this mean that 幼稚園 is open? They mentioned 保育園 (could be both nursery and day care) so does that mean basically Universities and private preschools are the only ones open? Color me confused.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is a massive decision made by abe and co. The economy will suffer severe effects as workers stay at home. There was already a worker shortage dur to the low wages on offer.

And I guess the vast army of ALTs will be let go or receive no pay for a month with all schools shut. Time to flee the country no doubt. Harsh times are here all right.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

J-Inc is going to have to learn to trust their employees to work at home.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

He's just following the Hokkaido governor's decision.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have no medical field education and can't opine on whether it's a good measure or not. I just want to say that news such as this proves me even further how vulnerable we all are as mankind. The 1918 Spanish flu seems to be so distant and at the same time so close. We've advanced almost nothing with some illnesses. Hope this ordeal ends soon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

they say peppermint oil, is a natural anti viral remedy

Yeah, sure. I also heard forsythia is good too...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXTfkNFrdUM

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe's performance announcing this today was copybook "saving grace with a, I care spin".

Since this whole calamitous situation eventuated, Abe has been outstanding in his lack of leadership.

He obviously instructed Minister of Health Kato (and his band of infectious disease experts - lol) to direct affairs these past weeks, so as to avoid any negative associations of himself with decision failures, bumbling, sickness, despair and sadly death.

Then lo and behold , the other day, the Sankei Shimbun - one of Japan's leading right wing nationalist newspapers published a poll showing Abe's disapproval dipping way below his approval rating for the first time in yonks. The hallowed walls of Abe-dom must have shaken.

Fast Forward to today and here we have The Man Abe, resplendent in an eyecatching vivid blue suit (soften, soften) amongst the ubiquitous sea of grey & black, making his mark at the helm.

And what was that mark? Well the health, safety and security of our nations children. How magnanimous!!!

The nation's been calling out for quality decisiveness and leadership for weeks, and now we get a blast of comandeering, that in reality shows just how out of touch he is with real Japan.

Close every school with minutes notice and "The people will understand - the companies, the schools, the parents, the children". I'm doing this for them.

Well if all goes to his plan those ranking points should be Back to the Black in no time at all - as will the suit.

Take care all. I mean it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@umbrella Good points regarding ALTs. Without pay, nothing to do and worry about the virus why stay?

Come April a lot of newbies won't be making their flights to Japan too.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But wait... if they were a mask, they are safe.. no? Just wash your hands.. but not too much...

What a circus.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I'd dug into this a bit more... seems it only impacts Public Schools. Private Schools are unaffected. So those Parents who can "afford" a Private Education for their Kids can still go to work, whilst those who cant have to suffer more.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is false information. All schools are not closing until early April. Abe suggested it. However, some schools are not. Hokkaido will only close their schools for a week. Osaka will close their schools for two weeks. Some areas will not close schools at all.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@ brownie

well said mate!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If my high school closes, I will ask to work from home. I can do lots of preparation anyway, and I’ll be available to look after kids in my neighborhood if there’s an emergency.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@borscht et al... yes, Public ones are closing... private not at the moment, so anything Public should be considered fair game for being closed for an extended period in order to avoid promoting the circulation of the Virus.... so worst case, all those who can afford Private things, will get infected - and in true Biblical terms... the Meek shall inherit the Earth!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe needs to shut down all offices and factories too for this work.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@jj jetplane

I work for the Osaka city public school system. We are closed until the 13th. But teachers still have to go in. Students are off from the 2nd to the 13th. Its only elementary school and junior high school. High schools are still having their normal schedules.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Samit Basu - can you imagine how difficult that can be to do within "Democratic Societies" ? Which is why... this is todate, the most perfect Biological Weapon coming out of China. I best Russia wished it had thought of it earlier, but even in Russia, people are valued to some extent by their own Government.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So obviously many of you aren't parents. About less than half of school-aged kids go to something called gakudo after school finishes. It's like a community center where kids can study and do extra curricular activities. this is where these kids will go if their school is affected by this measure.

The remaining kids have moms or grandparents that look after them after school. So it'll be a bit of a burden for these people but the rest of the kids will be fine

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With such a well-thought out plan,you'd think just do a China and shut down the whole country.He's looking to save the Olympics and his premiership at all costs.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@maxjapank - very honorable - though... will you become a super spreader ? Who then infects the Kids of those you're caring for, and who then go on to infect their parents and others whom they work with...and their Kids, others like you, and so on.... Chain Reaction.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@nakanoguy01 - yes you are right, but you're also wrong. Those Public day care centres are also mostly "Public" and will more than likely be subjected to the same rules as "Public" Schools - otherwise there's no point in the Governments actions - right ?

Also, as a Parent, you should know that those public day care centers - Gakudo's, have limited capacity, and the older kids can come/go as they please... right ?

Afterwards, they do remain as focal points for kids who've grown up within the area - so .. as I suggested Kids will naturally gravitate to where-ever they normally meet up with their friends of the same groups when not at school... which again defeats any quarantine efforts....

Furthermore... Grandparents should not be circulating with GrandChildren - that is the quickest way to get your inheritance these days as they are the most likely to die from this current virus, whilst the Kids get off with a sniffle.... as a Grandparent, you may be advised to rewrite your Will in the name of your GrandKids to avoid your Children dumping their potentially infectious Kids upon you as a route towards a quick buck (Sorry for being bluntly abhorrent - but think about it) - It's mainly people in their 80's who are dying at present...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Right decision!!

If the companies implement work from home well, it could work well!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And... who are going to look after these School Kids whilst the Parents work ?

Are you serious? The parents will take the day off and watch their kids or make other arrangements. The kids are yours to take care of. Don't expect someone else to take care of your responsibilities.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Well, my kids are facing a 3 months school closure in HK (end January to end April at the earliest). A kind of de facto quarantine.

The full learning timetable is maintained with on-line tele-learning (recorded YouTube lessons, group VC and individual VC, ...) starting 8:00 AM till 3:30 PM. Even PE teachers hold VC to promote physical exercising.

I must admit this is a bit a stressful situation at home and we force them to spend at least one hour outdoor activity alone or with friends (a bit of a taxi job but maintaining good mental health is crucial).

Last but note least: cough/sneeze in a tissue to be discarded properly right away and wash your hands regularly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Expert say mask should be worn by infected, then again people that wearing mask may be carrier of the virus, South Korea ,has had spike in the virus, they have testing station for anybody, who want to be tested, anybody with a mask on, l avoid

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nationwide huh. watching on tv and just as expected ... ( the kids ) : trying to pretend they, re worried when in reality they, re happy and excited. well, let,s be happy for them but ... how about their parents ( in many cases they were not expecting this and don,t know what to do ) ... Abe needs to be reminded of something ... those days when 90 % of mothers ( housewives ) were supposed to stay at home ( with the kids ) are over ... in most cases these kids will not stay at home ... they will be going somewhere ... with other people . . . . . . . . .

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Emergency case needs emergency policy. Abe govt has the ability to survive, with chameleon characteristics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The nearby McDonald's will be ecstatic for the extra business, because any time school is closed, for typhoon or influenza, it is always packed with people the government and schools have "urged" to stay home.

gogogo: "I understand what they are doing but how you going to try to keep them in the house?"

Well, when I talked with a woman in my condo tonight, who is a teacher, and asked her this and made the same crack above about McDonald's, she said, "No, because any time the kids are to stay home due to illness at school (like class closing from the flu), we have to go door to door to every student's house and give them homework in all nine subjects." In other words, a teacher could catch it and spread it to each and every single house they visit, or get it from one and spread it to all others... you know, because of this airtight plan of Abe's. It won't stop diddly squat, but what it WILL do is ensure that parents cannot go to work. In fact, supposedly an hour or so after Abe's big declaration (which some say he only did in response to Osaka City's mayor issuing a similar declaration for the city alone, and Abe has been criticized of his sloth-like speed in reaction to this whole thing) it was then stated by the government that kids that cannot stay home or have no place to go can... you guessed it... go to school. This popped up in Twitter as I was talking to said teacher still and she just shook her head and said, "Great. So, now I'll have to go door to door AND stay at school to take care of the kids that come, but we won't be able to follow the curriculum in full because of all the absences." And I added, "and I bet you a million dollars you'll be the ones who have to disinfect the schools, too." She frowned and said, "Yup."

It is going to be chaos tomorrow, boys and girls, and I am genuinely curious how Abe is going to backtrack on this without sounding even stupider than he has already. Schools in some areas do need to close, without a doubt -- particularly ones involving a long commute on crowded trains, or at least those students be allowed to study from home -- but he threw this out as a nation-wide thing WAY too quickly.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not that the government can do much about it either.

We must remember that in Japan there are no martial laws. As a state of exception or national emergency. There is no such legal status in the current constitution. And the government could commit a serious crime if it tries to implement the same degree of quarantine as in China. I'm talking about shutting down entire cities, factories, movement restrictions and so on.

Abe and the current government could be charged with crimes against the constitution. And that could lead to harsh prison terms like life imprisonment. The problem is that doing nothing is also a serious problem.

This problem also occurred with the Naoto Kan government in 2011. He was forced to enact unconstitutional laws for the sake of the Japanese people. As a result of the disaster that occurred that year and which we all know.

That's the big problem with having a constitution that's never been revised since 1947. Which was also drafted on a provisional basis. Because emergency laws like these simply don't exist. And the government is forced to improvise through re-interpretations, which go to extremes bordering on illegality.

If the constitution were updated to incorporate cases such as the current coronavirus. Perhaps the government could act in a very different and much more effective way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nursery schools and daycare facilities will be allowed to stay open...

Yes, because everyone knows the youngest are immune and never spread it to others, including the day care workers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nonsense even counter-productive for the crisis. Most updated data reveal that kids and teens are LEAST infected with the Covid-19, having bigger and faster chances of recovery. Working adults and parents could endanger their kids at home, outside schools by closer contacts. If parents are medical professional, their absence at work due to own child-caring could risk negligence or malpractice for infected patients, mostly aged ones under real life-threatening conditions. A serious prioritizing mistake. Perhaps it is still meaningful to close local schools at most affected areas such as Hokkaido... but it may end up serving merely as a political gesture, with such nationwide policy effect being far from substantial.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's only an extra two weeks coz school finishes mid-March anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are kids gunna be left at home on their own? 

We were left at home when we were kids every year. Over 2 months a year of summer holidays, and guess what?...our parents worked! They'd leave us with house keys, sandwiches and something to drink, while we spent the days outdoors, exploring, socializing, playing sports, skateboarding, meeting girls, hanging out at the candy store. If it rained, we'd gather at one our of houses to read comics and watch TV. Oh, the horror!

If this is no longer possible, the bigger question is, "Where did we and our society go wrong?"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In my school the teachers are still required to attend, so If I catch this just before the spring holiday with minor or no symptoms I'll be back after the holidays to infect the students who will have been free in the meantime anyway, and some will infect the teachers. Top plan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

mmwkdw

I'd dug into this a bit more... seems it only impacts Public Schools. Private Schools are unaffected. So those Parents who can "afford" a Private Education for their Kids can still go to work, whilst those who cant have to suffer more.

Not entirely accurate. Many Private Schools will close, as they have been directed to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are they closing day cares as well?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No matter what Abe does you guys will complain. lol.....I love watching the left go into overdrive with their hysterics.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Looks like Abe hit the defcon 5 button after weeks of inaction as soon as the olympics were threatened.

Most children traveling to school will be traveling locally on foot or by bike. Salary men filling up cramped trains and travelling back and forth across the entire city to commute to work seems to have a much more serious risk of spreading the virus.

Abe's so out of touch that I don't think he knows that single parents or families with 2 working parents exist to be aware of how much big of an issue he's just created.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe should shut down his government, a high risque age group anyway, instead of schools. Then technocrat professionals who are qualified to manage this calamity can take over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If he is going to shutdown schools he needs to shut down everything to be effective...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm sure some English schools will close as well, and try to get out of paying the teachers since they are not working. I would bet this could turn into a major problem for some of the posters on this site. Best of luck to all of you.

If you are in a company that you think would do this, you may want to be making plans to get out ASAP, in case it goes bad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm no fan of Abe, or the Japanese government in general. But what would be the response if they did nothing?

What actually IS the appropriate response to a situation like this?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And... who are going to look after these School Kids whilst the Parents work ?

Grandparents, neighbours, friends? In this modern isolationist society, sadly there is little neighborhood/village society anymore. Many do not have anyone who they know and trust like previous generations.

Think back to your own childhood, if such a school closure happened, what would have happened? I know the the double income neighbour's kids would have hung out at my house, my mother would have offered without hesitation. If my mom worked, my grandparents lived nearby.

My own neighborhood in Japan, luckily is small and tightknit, I can already guess which mother will be be looking after which kids. Its a good neighborhood. It's a shame not everyone especially in big cities has that community.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Abe govt has the ability to survive, with chameleon characteristics

Sure, Abe just needs to go into hiding like Xi!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think this is the right thing to do. Just a few days ago I was talking with my wife about potentially pulling out our youngest, who is asthmatic, as a precaution.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

KniknaknokkaerToday  11:01 am JST

I think this is the right thing to do. Just a few days ago I was talking with my wife about potentially pulling out our youngest, who is asthmatic, as a precaution.

I didn't think about that aspect, I was reading about how those with comprised lungs were really getting hit hard by covid19. Many deaths is from China were middle aged smokers. That was the biggest demographic. I am now curious if there is correlation to other conditions or demographic. Anyway take care with you boy Kniknak.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My wife was starting the freak out because she has plans next week, but luckily my company is allowing us to telework next week (and maybe beyond that). Actually we have the choice of telework or come to the office at different hours than usual (11 am to 8 pm!). No-brainer, lol.

Abe should put pressure on more companies to follow suit, as having kids home will no doubt pose problems for many households.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Capuchin:

Looks like Abe hit the defcon 5 button after weeks of inaction as soon as the olympics were threatened.

If you are trying to say he raised the alert to max, you probably meant Defcon 1. Defcon 5 is the lowest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just wait for the other shoe to drop when they cancel schools in APRIL too! THAT will be VERY interesting. I guess, we can postpone things until late May or June and have everyone teach and go to school seven days a week to make things up, and go into August and September as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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