Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
national

Japan decides to ease medical rules on COVID-19 on May 8

93 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

93 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

It is said in spring, May still spring? Just after golden week, does it really matters?

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Coronavirus/Japan-to-downgrade-COVID-19-as-seasonal-flu-in-spring

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

The government is also planning to lift COVID-19 regulations on events …. Attendees will be requested to continue wearing face masks.

Disappointing.

9 ( +39 / -30 )

Hope they drop the pcr test or the 3x vaccine requirement for entering japan too Iike most of the rest of the world has already

9 ( +29 / -20 )

Let's do it sooner! From March 1 please. And make wearing masks strictly voluntary.

13 ( +33 / -20 )

Elvis is here

You can regard Covid-19 as an empathy test.

And what do the empathetic immediately do once they step outside Japan?

They strip off their masks — just like the Emperor did last September while attending the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at London's Westminster Abbey.

-6 ( +24 / -30 )

“ Japan to downgrade COVID-19 category on May 8: gov't sources “

Does it mean that, from May 8, we can all stop wearing masks(?); I’m sick of wearing this thing…; (all of you, keyboard warriors, can say whatever you want, but social pressure is real(!))

7 ( +25 / -18 )

mask-wearing will likely be left to the judgment of individuals, 

That’s what I did since the start of this pandemic

4 ( +18 / -14 )

mask-wearing will likely be left to the judgment of individuals, 

That’s what I did since the start of this pandemic

That's what everyone did

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

I can see it coming even after May 8, which is basically summer, everyone will keep wearing those things anyway. Jeez, I knew it. Oh Japan, you are truly behind and stay behind.

-12 ( +20 / -32 )

And what do the empathetic immediately do once they step outside Japan?

I'm talking about the people of the world in general.

But now you mention Japan, the people of Japan really did and still are dealing with the pandemic in an empathetic way. Not a " me first, I'll do what I want, blow everyone else" mentally insight.

I like that about Japan and many people could learn a thing from that. It would make the world a better place.

5 ( +28 / -23 )

Just remember that this is mainly for economic reasons. As an article by a respected journalist in today’s Guardian points out, the next time you get Covid it could permanently disable you. Go on, hit the dislike button if it makes you feel better, it doesn’t change reality.

-12 ( +17 / -29 )

But now you mention Japan, the people of Japan really did and still are dealing with the pandemic in an empathetic way. Not a " me first, I'll do what I want, blow everyone else" mentally insight. 

I like that about Japan and many people could learn a thing from that. It would make the world a better place.

So why do these empathetic Japanese immediately take off their masks once they step outside Japan?

Do they care for the health of only their own people? Is that a selfish jingoistic mindset we want to emulate?

-1 ( +26 / -27 )

Why in kamisama's name would they wait until...May 8, if you're going to downgrade it, at least make it March 1? Like where is the logic in any of it?

9 ( +22 / -13 )

NewgirlintownToday  07:53 am JST

Just remember that this is mainly for economic reasons. As an article by a respected journalist in today’s Guardian points out, the next time you get Covid it could permanently disable you

This is the exact fear mongering people tried already and it didn’t work. No, next time you get covid could not permanently disable you. It’s the same as saying eating the next grilled meat can give you cancer, or the next cigarette. Sure, technically true, but higher than 99.99 change nothing happens.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

@Alan no logic at all here !

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Some of the comments above can best be described in a few words as "moral guilt tripping". Which has more or less been the theme of the Covid era - well, that and the rich getting richer while the little guy's wealth decreases and the government yet again further intrudes into his life due to meaningless policies.

As far as Japan goes, they have been exposed. Almost two years ago, the simple notion of hosting a spectatorless Olympics, in a period where not that many people were dying, was enough to ignite massive protests. Now way more people are dying, and as far as downgrading is concerned... No protests. Truly a testament to the duopoly of man.

I'm glad about the direction Japan is heading in though, truly. It's disappointing that they are going to wait until May. They need to stop assuming people will forget about Covid at a certain point, thus cushioning their poll numbers. The best time to make the right change is right now.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

Zoroto 07:14 am JST

Translation: the government wants to cut subsiding treatments and vaccines. Purely a cost measure that can be redirected to appease the US warmongers. This has nothing to do with health reasons.

Newgirlintown 07:53 am JST

Just remember that this is mainly for economic reasons.

Yep, Kishida's vaunted New Capitalism is actually cutting the budget for the protection of the public health and economic support for the worst affected, in order to fund the American military-industrial complex. Contemptible.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

May 8 - Why wait?

Will make a great T-shirt

4 ( +14 / -10 )

"The reclassification will be gradually implemented quickly"

Lol.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Most of them here, became active spreaders of disinformation. They will be surely be missed.

Ouch!!!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Why wait until a random day in May?

Kishida is keen to revise rules on wearing protective face masks, so mask-wearing will likely be left to the judgment of individuals, they added.

We're already there since there have never been laws enforcing mask wearing in Japan. After having 4 shots and the real thing I have already decided enough is enough.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

May 8 is of course totally arbitrary and because they want to say they were doing prevention during Golden Week. I imagine most folks will still continue with the masks - or take them off earlier. In restaurants I've been in recently nobody has been pretending to wear a mask while they're enjoying themselves, and they are - talking is at normal levels. So it's kind of silly to put the mask back on once you leave but....whatever.

I know that in most cases Covid is not serious, but I have a friend who got it a year ago and is still struggling, so that makes me a bit warier about it all. Though I also think at some point they may find that some people are simply immune no matter what.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Cause, you know, they wouldn't want to rush it or anything...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Good. Quit wasting everyone's time with this BS psyop.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

May 8…….who comes up with these random dates all the time?

Did they throw a pen at a calendar and it just so happen to hit May 8?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

What's the rush?

Sarcasm

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The current system is a massive waste of resources. Medical institutions wonder how much longer the gravy train can keep going.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Well why not may 8?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Very sensible, very responsible, unlike China which did 120% lockdown which failed and then sudden reopening, further causing millions of deaths.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

So why do these empathetic Japanese immediately take off their masks once they step outside Japan?

Do they care for the health of only their own people? Is that a selfish jingoistic mindset we want to emulate?"

would make sense if you're able to understand how these things are supposed to work

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Anyway, I guess the govt can't pay for covid treatments forever esp if they want to raise wages

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

I don't like that lion at all.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Japan is a very responsible country, so maybe I can't do it earlier than May. I will still have to live in Japan wearing a face mask.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

My sources in Kasumigaseki said they've timed it precisely to four days before the moon enters its third-quarter phase (May 12). On May 8, the moon, earth and sun will be in a peculiar gravitational alignment that will render the virus inactive. But changing the rules a day before that could result in a paradox that could shred time and space and remove the LDP from power forever.

Now you know why they've been so cautious.

1 ( +14 / -13 )

I'm very happy to be able to live without wearing a mask, but I'm a little worried about infection.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Such a peculiar (and typically Japanese) decision.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

About time. I will continue to lead by example, not wearing a mask under any circumstances other than while symptomatically infected.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Only a year late...

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Makes no difference really, we didn't get jabbed, haven't worn a restrictive mask for over 2 years and haven't had covid.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

I think Algernon LaCroix

Hit the nail on the head.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Make it so. The sooner, the better.

Does this include tossing the plastic partitioning and curtaining? Staff faces finally back in view?

My landmark will be when my local chain sports club (Renaissance Sports Club) removes the acres of plastic and the mask mandate. Oh, what a happy day that will be.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Has anyone here actually been outside of Japan recently? In other parts of Asia people are still wearing masks. Nobody just strips off their masks, at least not in planes or any mode of public transportation. Taiwan is actually even more annoying about the masks than Japan! Don’t know what everyone is complaining about, Japan is not an outlier about the mask thing.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

Since 2020, scientific basis has been lost from Japan's Covid19 countermeasure year by year, authorities don't prevent to increase domestic deaths at all, present pandemic 8th wave is worst ever in Japan.

Present Kishida regime prioritize political and economical circumstances than science or defending health and the lives of people, this date "8.May" also has no scientific basis about Covid19 virus.

Government just ​deceives as if Covid19 risk became equal to influenza by picking up only convenient ​numbers despite increasing deaths every year and insufficiency of PCR test system or medicines for Covid19 patients.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Does this include tossing the plastic partitioning and curtaining? Staff faces finally back in view?

Do the shops in your area use opaque partitioning? Mine have clear ones. Sort of like glass but made of plastic. You can see right through it to the person on the other side.

I'd like the option to have opaque partitioning though depending on what kind of spittley mouth breathers I have on either side of me.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

There is literally nothing I can do as a long covid patient to probably slow down this process and not sure if I really want to because at the end of the day even a 5% long covid chance (while devistating), it is much more devastating if the entire economy collapses.

Though I hope even with the change people will stop calling covid the flu and respect the idea that this is more of a change to help then economy than it is related to the actual severity of the disease, as mentioned previously there was 28,000 deaths in 2015 from the flu globally and in 2022 by august globally we have surpassed 1 million deaths.. This is actually verifiable data.

We still need socialite medical support for Long Covid, as under the ADA long covid is considered a disability in the US and they are also pushing for the same thing in New Zealand. We still need the public educated on the possible ramifications of catching covid to be best informed for the risks one decides to take in society...

Brian Meissner

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

GaijinjlandToday  11:21 am JST

Has anyone here actually been outside of Japan recently? Nobody just strips off their masks, at least not in planes or any mode of public transportation.

That's not what I saw! I have been on multiple trips between Japan and Europe/U.S. over the past few months. Once the Japanese arrive outside Japan and hit the entry processing line, the masks come off. Additionally, masks are not required on flights to Japan on U.S. airlines. Guess what happens on landing in Japan? That's right, the masks go on!

0 ( +14 / -14 )

We still need socialite medical support for Long Covid, as under the ADA long covid is considered a disability in the US and they are also pushing for the same thing in New Zealand. We still need the public educated on the possible ramifications of catching covid to be best informed for the risks one decides to take in society...

"Long covid" is another way of saying the vaccine side effects wreaking havoc on your immune system. They lied to you. And they will NEVER admit it on any mainstream source.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Has anyone here actually been outside of Japan recently?

Yes. To Australia only two weeks ago. On the flight they even announce that masks are not required on the flight. Barely anyone wore them. And maybe only like 5% of weirdos still wear them in Australia.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

-There is literally 0 verifiable data to back up this claim, though I will say the long covid impacts are strikingly similar to that of long covid... That does not mean though the vaccine cannot cause long covid. My long term symptoms did not start after I got the vaccine myself, they only started after I caught covid.

"Long covid" is another way of saying the vaccine side effects wreaking havoc on your immune system. They lied to you. And they will NEVER admit it on any mainstream source.

0( +0 / -0 )

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

“Has anyone here actually been outside of Japan recently? . . . . Nobody just strips off their masks”

Shame you missed the Japan phase of FIFA tournament last fall when that country’s fans were in the bleachers sans masks screaming their lungs out. Or, didn’t see Kashida recently gallivanting across Europe and North America without wearing a mask at any of his stopovers.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

As an article by a respected journalist in today’s Guardian points out, the next time you get Covid it could permanently disable you.

Well, yeah - the Guardian along with the rest of the authoritarian left have been the biggest proponents of restrictions all along and obviously some of them still won't let it go - apart from right at the very beginning of course, when Trump wanted to stop travellers coming to the US from China - that was just racist.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Let’s hope May 8 is D-Day - Down with Covid D - after all. Maybe they need these few months to remove all the plastic shields accumulated.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

what I meant to say was, that long covid impacts are very similar to long term complications from the vaccine.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Kishida is keen to revise rules on wearing protective face masks

What rules? I haven't worn one for almost a year with zero repercussions. Even on flights I just wear a sponge one on the chin while having an eternal coffee and nobody cares. Nothing will make me wear those things again.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Instead of taking simple and effective actions – proper (N95) masks in public places, filtration in shared spaces – we have steadily normalised a mass disabling agent. It’s likely, eventually, to reduce the number of quality years for almost everyone. Those who suffer the extreme version of this disablement, long Covid, are treated as an embarrassment we would prefer to forget.

You need only gently propose that we might return to wearing masks on public transport to provoke hundreds of people on social media to bray “freedom!” and denounce you as a tyrant. Against their tiniest of freedoms – keeping their faces uncovered on trains and buses – the trolls weigh freedom from disability and even death, and decide that their right to breathe germs on to other people is the indispensable liberty.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Now there are even fewer excuses, as we have become more aware of the costs of inaction. One of the justifications for selfishly refusing to wear mask was that liberating the virus would build herd immunity. But we now have plenty of evidence suggesting that exposure does not strengthen our immune system, but may weaken it. The virus attacks and depletes immune cells, ensuring that for some people, immune dysfunction persists for months after infection.

We also know that, with every new exposure, we are more likely to suffer adverse effects. A massive study in the US found that the risk of brain, nerve, heart, lung, blood, kidney, insulin and muscular disorders accumulates with every reinfection. The impacts of long Covid, according to health metrics researchers, are “as severe as the long-term effects of traumatic brain injury”. Now that we know how the virus attacks our cells, “traumatic brain injury” looks less like an analogy than a description. The outcomes can be devastating, ranging from extreme fatigue and breathlessness to brain fog, psychotic disorders, memory loss, epilepsy and dementia.

We are all playing Covid roulette. The next infection could be the one that permanently disables you.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Assfgts@

I 100% agree with you, though it seems no matter how much verified data you throw at people they will still decide to do what’s in their own selfish interest instead on focusing on what’s actually good for society.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Hope they drop the pcr test or the 3x vaccine requirement for entering japan too Iike most of the rest of the world has already

Yes, that would make sense. Be very strange to keep the entrance requirements. Maybe that will come sooner.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

You need only gently propose that we might return to wearing masks on public transport to provoke hundreds of people on social media to bray “freedom!” and denounce you as a tyrant.

Well, here in Japan, that didn't happen - wearing of masks on public transport, public buildings, workplaces etc. is probably 99.9% (I don't think that is an exaggeration) of people even now. Yet here we our in the middle of the 8th and worst wave of infections, just as bad or worse than anywhere else that ditched mask usage months ago. Masks might have just about held back the much less transmissible earlier variants, but against the latest variants it's like building sand castles to try to stop the incoming tide.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

3 more months of useless masks but at least its a year earlier than I predicted.

Now that the govt has declared over what the rest of the world has long since declared over, there should be a great reckoning for the complete failure in leadership that politicians were guilty of, the medical community for their cowardice and even more alarming incompetence, and all those friends and neighbors who panicked and who so quickly turned into fascist thugs demanding the unvaxxed lose everything and worse.

NEVER let them forget.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

all the non mask lovers like it nama.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

3  more months of useless masks but at least its a year earlier than I predicted.

You assume that the masks will be put away once the government makes the downgrade. I'm not so sure about it myself - I imagine that most businesses, workplaces, public transport and public buildings will continue to recommend people to wear masks on their premises regardless of the change. And even if they don't, the vast majority here will continue to wear them anyway.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

3 more months of useless masks but at least its a year earlier than I predicted.

You assume that the masks will be put away once the government makes the downgrade. I'm not so sure about it myself - I imagine that most businesses, workplaces, public transport and public buildings will continue to recommend people to wear masks on their premises regardless of the change. And even if they don't, the vast majority here will continue to wear them anyway.

what other individuals do with masks is not my concern.

I predict it will be 50/50 once the OK is given and drop steadily in the coming months.

As for businesses, they can recommend I wear garlic around my neck as well, but I ain't gonna do it.

I've already been going maskless for the past few months. Its not an issue.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

May the 4th would be better.

May the force of reason be with you.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

400 people a day dying. And the govt says its just a flu.

And people trust the govt?

I trust my doctor.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

You need only gently propose that we might return to wearing masks on public transport to provoke hundreds of people on social media to bray “freedom!” and denounce you as a tyrant. Against their tiniest of freedoms – keeping their faces uncovered on trains and buses – the trolls weigh freedom from disability and even death, and decide that their right to breathe germs on to other people is the indispensable liberty.

These people display certain traits associated with antisocial personality disorder such as lacking concern, regret or remorse about other people's distress, irresponsible behavior and showing disregard for normal social behaviour. They seem to lack basic human empathy and compassion for others.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Great news!!! About time and way over due!! sayonara MASKS! Dont ever want to wear another on ever again in my life. Sick of breathing in cotton and sick of people hiding behind those mask looking afraid of everything.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The reclassification of COVID-19, likely effective May 8

So, saying that they agree to downgrade COVID, in realty means that they agree not to downgrade COVID this winter/spring.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

For some of you posters above, mask wearing for Japanese in general is not about thinking about everyone's well being, it's about not sticking out and fitting in. If everyone started wearing a mask on their elbow tomorrow they would do so as well. I have been here so long my mind works the same so I'm no different, kind of feel good with my mask, would be nice to skip it in summer though.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

These people display certain traits associated with antisocial personality disorder such as lacking concern, regret or remorse about other people's distress, irresponsible behavior and showing disregard for normal social behaviour. They seem to lack basic human empathy and compassion for others.

That might be an issue if the virus were a serious concern for all but a small percentage of the population. But it's not, and everyone is responsible for their own wellbeing. If someone feels like they need to wear a mask and take a jab to feel safer, that's up to them. But to expect everyone to do the same when the general risk is miniscule isn't rational, especially when the masks and jabs are of marginal benefit and there are serious questions about the jabs' safety.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

We can regard Covid-19 as an empathy test. Who was prepared to suffer disruption and inconvenience for the sake of others.

I can think, of many people who denounced lockdowns, vaccines and even masks as intolerable intrusions on our liberties, while proposing no meaningful measures to prevent transmission of the virus.

Most of them here, became active spreaders of disinformation. They will be surely be missed come May.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Only a year behind the rest of the world. Covid is here to stay. Numbers have not spiked in countries that lifted the restrictions a year ago.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Why not just make it tomorrow? Lol

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

“Protective face masks” a clever phrase to encourage mask wearing into infinity

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Had it. Nothing special. My current cold is worse.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Wow,look at that brave person not wearing a mask, I wish I had the guts to do that. That’s what most folks think when they see me.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Numbers have not spiked in countries that lifted the restrictions a year ago.

Because testing has been stepped down.

This comment is all my own work.

People have been conveniently ignoring that

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That was all the rage not too long ago , how many tests

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

But that's part of downgrading

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Anyway let's see what will happen first, people losing their masks or govt stopping support for covid treatments

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A mask is supposed to protect others from your exhalations so it shouldn't take much courage not to wear one.

But if you believe that masks protect you from getting infected and you don't wear one then you are brave indeed

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I thought they wanted to boost Japan's economy. Classifying it the same status at the flu before a big holiday makes more sense, financial wise anyway but it seems as per usual, they need to hum and haw needlessly before actually making a move.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites