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Japan to set up coronavirus task force; no state of emergency yet

113 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg

Japan warned on Thursday of a high risk the coronavirus would spread widely as the government prepared a task force to handle the crisis but the economy minister said the administration was not thinking of declaring a state of emergency now.

Japan had 1,314 domestic cases of coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, separate from 712 from a cruise ship that was moored in Yokohama last month, broadcaster NHK reported. There have been 45 domestic deaths and 10 from the cruise ship.

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

Nishimura said Abe told him to "proceed swiftly with setting up the government task force" based on Kato's report.

But the government was not considering declaring a state of emergency at the moment, Nishimura said.

Under a law revised this month to cover the coronavirus, the prime minister can declare a state of emergency if the disease poses a "grave danger" to lives and if its rapid spread threatens serious economic damage.

Japan was teetering on the brink of recession before the virus struck and the epidemic has increased that risk.

A state of emergency would allow governors in hard-hit regions to take steps such as asking people to stay home, closing schools and other public facilities and cancelling large events.

Japanese shares tumbled on Thursday following three days of big gains after the rise in domestic coronavirus cases stoked worries of tougher domestic restrictions for social distancing.

Hitachi Ltd instructed 50,000 employees at its group companies in Tokyo to work from home and avoid unnecessary outings and 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.

Tadashi Matsukawa, Tokyo head of fixed income investment at PineBridge Investments, said while people were panic buying in fear of a lockdown, they were unlikely to buy big-ticket items and some products might not be available anyway.

"On the whole, I suspect there will be considerable damage to the economy,” Matsukawa said.

The decision to set up the task force - a necessary step to declaring an emergency - followed a sharp jump in coronavirus cases in Tokyo, making the capital the epicenter of Japan's outbreak. Tokyo had 212 cases as of Wednesday.

An increasing number of cases the origin of which cannot be traced has experts worried about a surge in the community along with more infections from people returning from abroad.

On Wednesday, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike warned of the risk of an explosive rise in infections in the capital and asked residents to avoid non-essential outings through April 12, especially over the weekend. She repeated her call on Thursday.

"The government and local authorities will cooperate based on the awareness that this is a very critical time to prevent the spread of the virus," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosihide Suga told a news conference.

Koike has asked the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa to ask their residents to refrain from non-urgent, non-essential travel to Tokyo, the Nikkei business daily reported. The governor of Kanagawa later asked residents to stay at home this weekend.

Abe has already told schools to close - although many are now preparing to reopen - and asked organizers to refrain from large-scale events, but his instructions had no formal legal basis.

Even if a state of emergency is eventually declared, experts noted there are no penalties for ignoring most of the local authorities' instructions.

"The government of Japan is getting close to declaring a 'state of emergency' but even if so, there is no penalty for defying requests to stay home," said Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute for Population Health at King's College, London.

A declaration would, however, put more pressure on people and businesses to obey.

On a sunny three-day break last weekend, crowds of people were out in Tokyo despite bans in some areas on picnics for the traditional spring cherry-blossom viewing.

On Thursday, tabloids blared “Tokyo Lockdown Panic” and “Tokyo Destruction."

But a long line of people waited at a chocolate croissant cafe in Tokyo for lunch, while subways were packed and people lined up before drug stores opened to buy masks and sanitary products that are in short supply.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

113 Comments
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Oh great.

Is this the same expert panel that decided just last week that all the kids can go back to school because everything is now OK?

40 ( +43 / -3 )

Typical of Japanese Culutre/ Business...think and discuss for a looooooong time, then react when it's too late.

39 ( +41 / -2 )

A government panel of experts on Thursday said new-coronavirus infections in Japan appear highly likely to be "rampant

And just like that...magically within a day after officially postponing the Olympics we have Koike urging Tokyo residents to avoid going out unnecessarily and Abe,s yes men " panel of experts" declaring the virus " rampant" after weeks and weeks of proclaiming that infection increase rate in Japan is minimal and Japan appears to be " controlling the outbreak.

Anyone who can not see that for the past month Jgovt prioritized the Olympic $$ over the health of its population is blind. Disgusting.

Can we now finally have the testing ramped up from a few hundred a day to the trumpeted 8000 capacity so we get the true picture of where Japan stands Shinzo?

39 ( +42 / -3 )

Better late than never I guess.

34 ( +35 / -1 )

Now that the number one priority has been put on the back burner, good to see they're finally starting to admit this instead of patting themselves on the back.

32 ( +35 / -3 )

Wonder when we’ll get the first ‘regrettable’.

30 ( +32 / -2 )

They waited for the Olympics and hence testing was minimal. The number moved from 1000 to 1500 in the last 1 month exluding diamond princess related cases, which is completely false. Now that Olympics have been postponed, now they talk subtly about lockdown, explosion of infections and cases now increasing suddenly. Very disappointing! When billions are under lockdown, people in JP are enjoying sakura, K1, lunches etc!

29 ( +31 / -2 )

You'd think they'd have waited a bit longer so it wasn't so obvious!

I wonder if Japanese people are going to put 2 and 2 together

29 ( +31 / -2 )

This must have JUST started after the Olympics were postponed, because there was certainly no spread before that, and in fact, if you suggested there were you were asked to be quiet or leave. Hmmm... perhaps if they had put health first instead, Japan wouldn't be about to become the next US.

25 ( +36 / -11 )

It's not all on the Olympics, Abe really wants a legacy and a pandemic just wasn't seen as enough to deny him that. It's just so embarrassing that just one day the Olympics were deferred the pandemic is suddenly a priority? By the way where is he? Preparing for his premium Friday?

22 ( +22 / -0 )

I have been saying for weeks Japan has to do more testing, self quarantine, keep the school's closed, have social distancing, and have everyone stay home from work if their job is non essential. Can't anyone in Japan see what's going on all over the world!!!

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Just after the Olympic Games have been postponed. What a surprise!

Duh.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Abe Koike and all those politicians lying to the public should step down now!!

20 ( +22 / -2 )

This is, sincerely speaking here, one time I wish I wasn't right. I noted on numerous occasions that when the Olympics get postponed or cancelled, there would be a spike in numbers, its coming and everyone should be pointing a finger at Abe!

19 ( +20 / -1 )

If given orders, Japanese are very efficient.

unfortunately those orders are almost always given too late. Viruses don't obey orders.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

For foreigners (so, most of us), observe and obey Japanese customs. Playing the "gaijin card" and ignoring inconvenient niceties of Japanese society is always a bad idea, but is an extremely bad idea now.

funny you should say that , there were thousands at the cheery blossom last weekend and most were Japanese

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Seriously...all of a sudden after the Olympics are postponed, we now here this disease is rampant throughout Japan???

Government needs to do some serious jail time for lying to the public.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

But if they are rampant, where is the concomitant death toll?

Buried under Japan's testing and incidence statistics.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

The legacy of Abe and Koike will not be the Olympic games.

The legacy of Abe and Koike will be of 2 politicians who in their selfish efforts to save the Olympics allowed Covid-19 to fester and spread throughout Japan.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

The lockdown is coming soon. Probably early next week, I think. It should happen tomorrow, but even if Abe's govt. decides to do it right now, it'd take them 4 days to implement. Only when the famous get it will someone like Abe move.

He must have been totally shocked when Ken Shimura got it. 'What? Not just the run of the mill citizen, someone important is sick! We must do something, now!'

14 ( +16 / -2 )

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

The same minister last week yes last week issued a report also written in English where they claimed that based on science, Japan was not seeing any large scale propagation and that the Japanese decision not to test a very large number of people was more than adequate. They even went as far as claiming that 80% of the people infected in Japan did not infect anyone else in contrary to all epidemiologist studies of the virus which have found a high contagion rate. But now we are told that there is a high risk of coronavirus spreading widely. They are just pathetic.

It seems that we are discovering that the Olympics have the power to quickly change the Japanese science.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Japan's handling of this is worse than the US. I understand Abe doesn't want the economy to crash but I would rather that than thousands of deaths considering the age population of Japan!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

And here come the skeletons... tumbling out of the corner closet. The coming days and weeks will make it very clear how poorly Japan has handled this crisis...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Wish there was any site giving us the correct number of people infected in Japan.

But maybe that's asking for too much. I mean, this is Japan, not some European country or the US.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

a few weeks to set up the headquarters, and at least another few for them all to decide on the plan of action.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

If they don’t test, the the death isn’t attributed to Corona.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

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

Isnt he he same guy who few days ago arrogantly said that having testing capacity doesn’t mean we have to use it, they are monitoring the clusters carefully and there’s no widespread infection.

What a team of crooks

12 ( +12 / -0 )

no state of emergency yet

Japan method of dealing with problems:

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Panic and over-react.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

My house is near a university rowing clubhouse that is shared by three universities from Kobe and Osaka. A little beyond the clubhouse there's a big park with soccer fields, tennis courts, gateball pitches, basketball courts, etc. This morning there was a group of over 50 people at the rowing clubhouse. The soccer fields, basketball courts, baseball fields were filled with what appeared to be high school clubs as the kids were wearing team uniforms. Many groups of people were having BBQs in the park too.

It seems a bit counterproductive for all these clubs and circles to continue their activities schools are shut down and universities are cancelling their classes due to health concerns related to COVID-19.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should declare a state of emergency for 2 weeks.

Malaysia already extend from 31st mar. to 14th April.

Why JP Govt. waiting for ???

11 ( +15 / -4 )

@marcelito

And just like that...magically within a day after officially postponing the Olympics we have Koike urging Tokyo residents to avoid going out unnecessarily and Abe,s yes men " panel of experts" declaring the virus " rampant" after weeks and weeks of proclaiming that infection increase rate in Japan is minimal and Japan appears to be " controlling the outbreak.

Anyone who can not see that for the past month Jgovt prioritized the Olympic $ over the health of its population is blind. Disgusting.

Can we now finally have the testing ramped up from a few hundred a day to the trumpeted 8000 capacity so we get the true picture of where Japan stands Shinzo?

...and because of this, what I've gathered, many young & middle-aged Japanese don't trust the Japanese news & Abe anymore, especially regards to the virus. I have acquaintances who are organising events in Tokyo, declaring in social media platforms that they don't want to be pushed around by Abe and other loons, that because of their ambivalent actions they don't believe in the dangers of the virus anymore, thus they will not cancel their events next weekend. They think it's dangerous only for the elderly, and that checking the temperature of the guests is enough to prevent the virus spreading. ....uhhh. I'm at a loss.

I'm actually really hoping for strict measures for Tokyo, immediately: official orders to cancel events, official orders to work remotely (for the professions that this doable), official orders to stay home.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

An absolute disgrace. Shame on you. Absolutely disgusting. NOW this “realisation”. The Japanese govt put the international communities health at risk. Some of humanities greatest athlete at risk. An absolute disgrace.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

What a big surprise that is, NOT! When you have tens of thousands of people ignoring social-distancing rules and a passive government making ‘suggestions’ and ‘urging’ people to stay home it is inevitable there will be a major increase in cases in Japan. Unless Japan takes strict action against the spread of the virus it will quickly be one the new Italy.

They didn't even really urge last week, that is the problem. Only the Osaka governor did and that was his own personal decision.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Bad outcome... Japan's healthcare system will be overwhelmed because Abe and crew were sooo sloooow, and in such denial about the reality of the situation because, OLYMPIC GLORY!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

There was a run on my local supermarket and conbini today. They are both almost cleared out. They both also 24hrs. The hit could have started last night!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A government panel of experts on Thursday said new-coronavirus infections in Japan appear highly likely to be "rampant"

That is so surprising ... It is not like for days/weeks WHO is going round and round asking countries to do test, for one reason, because that pandemic can go undetected for a while before exploding. The whole world will be stunned to hear of that.

I guess time to sort needed thing out, do not hoard (regarding other countries even if they mass quarantine they should not dare go stronger than Occident, so supermarket will stay open and supply chain working so do not mass buy and if you are at risk it should be better to wait until the hoard get out of supermarket to shop).

10 ( +11 / -1 )

No, that can't be true. Japan boasts the lowest infection rate among the major nations and that's based on our trusted govt figures. Is our govt trying to go rogue on its own reporting?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

@thegourou

Just the idiotic actions of the past week

Are you trying to go for the move : not the national government fault. It is someone else fault ?

@YeahRight

Oh, and be sure to buy lots of toilet paper, instant ramen, feminine products, masks, and hand sanitizer for the coming lock down.

Thanks to not push people into doing mass buying. As said before, even in the event of a mass quarantine, the supermarket are most likely to stay open. You do not have to mass buy.

Even if you aim to stock for a month or so just do it slowly in the course of a few weeks, please. There is nothing bad about being a prepper moreover in a country with natural disaster but it is something which is done thought time. Starting doing it at last minute in hoard can put other people in difficulty as they will not find what they need now. So in this kind of situation, please be considerate and aim at a lower rate of overbuying to stock and you can also adjust to stuff which are not now in high demand but are as good if not better : soup for one (but still without mass-buying, please).

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Hong Kong's been locked down since start of February.

New Zealand locked-down yesterday.

Japan?

Let's post low numbers whilst we work out the olympics. Best not to test people, write deaths off as as "existing condition," and let the people watch K1 and go to hanami, travelling amongst us all.

It's been sorely mismanaged, like we knew it would be..

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Why am I not surprised they don't have a task force yet, let alone they are only thinking of forming one to talk about what they might do if they form a panel to act on it after initial thoughts on it are sent to a committee to vote on making a decision to put forward legislation to debate doing something about it?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Test Mori, see if he has been spreading it all around town after being exposed.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's not just the lack of testing, though. There is literally no policy, - national or local - to deal with those domestic workers who are reporting cold and flu like symptoms. Unless you have been abroad recently, the expectation is that you will turn up for work. Of course the virus is rampant! How would it not be?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Test Mori, see if he has been spreading it all around town after being exposed.

Mori already looked like he was on his last legs. If he had the virus, he'd likely be dead already.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Welp, Japan is now off to the pandemic control races! Late to the effective starting line most unfortunately. Yep, too many people here were calling it for what it was quite a while ago. Now that the Olympic glory has FINALLY been postponed.... After I also mentioned the same thing quite a while ago.... Japanese politicians are too damned slow on the uptake. Dragging their feet like their lives (and deaths) depended on it.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Japanese officialdom’s reluctance to acknowledge and accept reality and disturbingly Orwellian preference for airbrushing unpalatable facts comes as no surprise to those of us here on the forum who refuse to be taken in and instead insist on honesty and accountability. It’s been instructive to observe too the deafening silence of that small and fast shrinking cadre of myth peddling true believers whose wide eyed gullibility the government has shamelessly exploited and who are now left to fend for themselves as the narrative switches to panic stations and the masses adopt a save yourself and to hell with the rest fatalism.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Governor of Kanagawa prefecture just made the same announcement as Koike did yesterday about non-essential outings. Chiba and Saitama should soon following since these four blocks make up the 37.4 million Tokyo metropolitan area.

They’ve been muzzled like that Chinese doctor who later died. Coronavirus rampant everywhere in Japan could not be said of because the world was about to visit for the Olympics.

Japan is dreading to go into lockdown mode for its effect on the economy, which has replaced the Olympics as the sacred cow. There is no concept of cutting off the hand to save the arm but rather just wait and hope that you don’t lose your arm.

The US Senate has passed a bill to support its people: $1200 per adult and $500 each children during this crisis. This means $1200 for students over 18 as well. $2 trillion dollars.

¥220,000,000,000,000. How much are you willing to support the people of Japan Mr. Abe?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

No kidding... Abe is scared to test because literally 50% of the population will be infected.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is, sincerely speaking here, one time I wish I wasn't right. I noted on numerous occasions that when the Olympics get postponed or cancelled, there would be a spike in numbers, its coming and everyone should be pointing a finger at Abe!

Nothing to do with the Olympics. Just the idiotic actions of the past week, opening amusement parks, allowing K-1 event to go ahead, and people seeing that on the news and following suit, with no strong advice to avoid such actions.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

(some country) claims to have zero new infections, (some country) claimed to have slight increase in numbers every since the cruise ship fiasco. The rest of the world has seen exponential increases. Makes my blood boil the government in charge. Only other country to claim zero infections is probably N. Korea. Triple axis of evil? As for supermarkets, just limit 2 per customer and all should be well. During the typhoon last year, shelves were emptied and long lines at the registers...that's panic buying and the same thing is going on here.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Quercetum, I don’t believe anyone got the memo. Just got back from my jog and wound up using alternative routes as my normal route was packed with Hanami viewers and large groups of people having picnics, and the very large groups for high school kids practicing rugby, baseball, soccer and so on.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I don't have anything to add. For once, we are all in agreement.

BB??

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Just a coincidence that this happens just a few hours after the announcement of the 2020 Olympic being postponed? I for one believe in Gibb’s Rule #39.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Health minister Katsunobu Kato submitted the panel's assessment to Abe ......

Sure let’s use him. He did such a great job with the Diamond Princess.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@ memoryfix

Exponential grow is a proportional grow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth

Exponential grow :

taking a R0 of 5 and a 4degree chain :

degree 0 : 1 =1

degree 1 : 1+(1x5) =6

degree 2 : 1+(1x5)+((1x5)x5) = 31

degree 3 : 1+(1x5)+((1x5)x5)+(((1x5)x5)x5) = 156*

degree 4 : 1+(1x5)+((1x5)x5)+(((1x5)x5)x5)+((((1x5)x5)x5)x5) = 781

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have been saying for weeks to people around me: "Wait until the Olympic Games are postponed. Then "suddenly" there will be more cases. Then finally some drastic measures will be taken, like in Western Europe."

JapanToday.com published an article a few days ago reading that testing in Japan was just a fraction of its capacity.

Odd.

What has been done for the last few weeks? Only anticipating the end of the school year.

I am shocked to see that people in Japan don't seem to get it. Alas, life should not be as usual these days.

I hope so much that I am wrong. But I am afraid this is a time bomb. It is really scary.

If, indeed, we get to a situation like in Italy or NYC, the Japanese government will have a lot to answer ...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

But if they are rampant, where is the concomitant death toll?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Things will only get real serious with the public under martial law or when people start dying in droves.Neither is happening as of yet.When you have 800 people dying in a day in Italy and Tokyo saying 40 got infections.Not deaths,just infections,you're not going to move the needle much in stopping people viewing blossoms or going out.Plus Corona fatigue has started settling in!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My understanding of exponential growth is the increase of something at a consistent rate

Exponential growth is when the rate of growth becomes ever more rapid in proportion to the growing total number. It doesn't have to square the previous number, just to grow at a consistently faster rate.

What happens with the coronavirus isn't strictly speaking exponential growth, but near enough I suppose to make no difference. The trend is increasingly upward.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Just 2 points for now.

1: Abe maybe hates Japanese people because they don’t want to let him change the constitution, declaring Martial Law may fit into his psyche?

Still no nationwide testing? Closed schools 1 month ago. In one month we can make 50 million test kits.
5 ( +7 / -2 )

Wait until after the hanami parties are finished!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

On the whole, I suspect there will be considerable damage to the economy,” Matsukawa said.

This is why these boys get paid the big bucks. A rapier insight.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ah yes, the typical Japanese government response to a crisis; make a taskforce, have meetings, create a think-tank and then...deny any wrongdoing and make a halfhearted apology after many people have died.

Well done, Japan!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Deat certificates lie if gov asked. No autopsy and you know it.

Japanese are not naturally immune (although I believe my Japanese wife had hardly no symptoms while I got the serious case).

I home Japanese little contacts and standard social distance can help limit virus spread.

If given orders, Japanese are very efficient.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

TheLongTermer: "Then it slowly spread globally, later became a pandemic. Still puzzled why Japan declined or flat lined in numbers."

Nope. It's because they weren't testing. You do know that if you never test, you never find people with the virus. Amazing how that works. Isn't there an African nation that also declared they have no cases that is suddenly declaring an emergency?

"Maybe the people have an immunity due to generations of tough life here?"

What on earth are you on about?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a big surprise that is, NOT! When you have tens of thousands of people ignoring social-distancing rules and a passive government making ‘suggestions’ and ‘urging’ people to stay home it is inevitable there will be a major increase in cases in Japan. Unless Japan takes strict action against the spread of the virus it will quickly be one the new Italy.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Watch this space.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They seem to be crawling towards declaring the emergency that would allow a total lock-down.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-headquarters/japan-to-set-up-coronavirus-hq-possible-step-to-emergency-declaration-media-idUSKBN21D0A1

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the govt. guarantees a percentage of salaries, as is happening in other nations, things will change. Until that happens they can request that people stay home till they're blue in the face; folks will still go to work.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We wait for what? What is the emergency trigger factor? After 50-100 people die in a week? Sounds like a real strategy Abe cut out. I just have a pessimistic feeling the doo doo is going to hit the fan hard on this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too late.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

could risk of paving the way for a totalitarian regime. Its declaration should be super-carefully made with thorough update info, inquiries and consultation with experts.

Clearly been reading the Mills and Boone edition of how to behave.Abe has never shown any propensity to listen to anyone in his decision making.He's married,but childless,so has nothing at stake in what he decides.His ultimate mission is constitution change and this virus is clock-blocking that and the Olympics.I detest the jokester,but have refrained from critiquing his handling.It's a crisis that no-one would want.But he wanted to stay in power longer, so it's his problem and I have real low expectations going by his record this long.And if you look at other major G-7 countries leaders,they ain't covering themselves in glory either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Exponential is like 2-4-8-16.. .Like that. Please understand and don’t panic. The numbers are high, but they are in line with the numbers they are climbing from. And I’m speaking of international. Japan is much slower.

Remind me of how many cases there were in the USA a month ago.

And cases do double - once only 2 people had had it and now 480,00 have it, so that's a fair bit of doubling in the number of cases. It does not mean doubling daily.

But for the record, on March 21 , 300,000 had been infected. Today it's 500,000.

At this rate, we will get to a million in a week or so. I don't understand why people keep on playing the implications of this down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let’s just say, there’s an outbreak in Japan on the same scale as Italy, does anyone honestly think they have the capacity and fortitude to fight this on an aggressive scale in all honesty?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is nothing better Abe would like than to assert his authority on the population, to save us from the crisis...

Well, here’s the last chance to sit under the blossoms before the cops are called out...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@ noriahojanen

The key figure is the death toll alongside number of critically ill patients. Japan's number continued to remain low at 45 (+2 newly confirmed), with no exponential increase.

How do you know that ? The number we have is just the positive tested people. We have no idea for the untested people.

In a country were the average daily death is more than 3000 person, how big an increase is needed for people to notice something is going wrong ?

https://countrymeters.info/en/Japan

And I think you are over-estimating the power linked to the state of emergency in Japan.

A state of emergency would allow governors in hard-hit regions to take steps such as asking people to stay home, closing schools and other public facilities and cancelling large events.

[...]

Even if a state of emergency is eventually declared, experts noted there are no penalties for ignoring most of the local authorities' instructions.

Just have government bear some responsibility about the situation instead of having as for Tokyo&co and Hokkaido case, the governor asking with 0 legal basis so no enforcement, penalty, incitement, ... just having people/company fend for themselves and bear all consequences.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@TheLongTermer

So where are the sick people? Its been 3 months now

It all comes down to how deaths are recorded. Did they die of covid-19? Or was it pneumonia, or sepsis, or organ failure? I've been curious to see if there is an upward tend in these other causes of death, but I read recently that these statistics are only released to the public every three years, most recently in November last year... guess we'll get our answer in 2022.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese officialdom’s reluctance to acknowledge and accept reality and disturbingly Orwellian preference for airbrushing unpalatable facts comes as no surprise to those of us here on the forum who refuse to be taken in and instead insist on honesty and accountability. It’s been instructive to observe too the deafening silence of that small and fast shrinking cadre of myth peddling true believers whose wide eyed gullibility the government has shamelessly exploited and who are now left to fend for themselves as the narrative switches to panic stations and the masses adopt a save yourself and to hell with the rest fatalism.

Why do you think other countries had to implement large-scale lockdowns in the first place? Because that is the only way to get through to them. So stop pretending this is something unique to Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yesterday Wednesday saw 41 infected. Today a Thursday 45. It’s not exponential (1600) but it’s here or has been here.

Koike is meeting with Abe tonight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Exponential is to square a number but I could be wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The last 3 paragraphs sums up the attitude of people in Tokyo! They don’t take the initiative to be safe and yet will go out all guns blazing by blaming the Government or others when this infection spreads out of control... a bit of sacrifice by avoiding social gatherings is needed by everyone to overcome this pandemic!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TheLongTermer: "So where are the sick people? Its been 3 months now"

You mean the more than 1500, when it was only like 500 a few days ago, and not including the Diamond Princess figures? You do realize that you're asking this about a nation that refuses to say there might be any correlation to the spike in kids' cancer rates in Fukushima with the plant meltdown, and that doesn't say suicide from overwork is the company's fault in pretty much all cases, right? They're going to mark down any death from pneumonia brought on by Corona as death by pneumonia, not Corona, as much as they possibly can.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From a PR standpoint, this is going to absolutely blow up in Japan Inc.'s face.

Once some of the little warriors at the Washington Post and the NYTimes start to get tired of writing about how Covid-19 is all Trump's fault, one of them is going to stumble across the story about the country that spent a month sweeping pandemic victims under the rug to protect their Olympic hosting slot... only to have it explode later on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

LOL. China and Japan doing a good job of suppressing infection rates. Nippon Ganbare.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan to set up coronavirus task force;

I am always critical about the predictable 20/20 hindsight comments ("should have done earlier, bla bla..."), but in this case, come one! We all saw this coming for a whole month at least, and they set up a task force to coordinate measures NOW? Someone pinch me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is NOT exponential.

Exponential is like 2-4-8-16.. .Like that. 

My understanding of exponential growth is the increase of something at a consistent rate.

Watch, "Arithmetic Population and Energy" by Al Bartlett. He gives an example of bacteria, doubling in numbers at a steady, fixed rate in a finite environment, and the consequences.

It's on YouTube.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Man the quotes in this blurb read like a  real SICK DARK Comedy!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't think anyone needs to go patting themselves on the back for predicting what most everyone thought would happen concerning the virus.Scared money doesn't make money.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's a rumour going around that while many countries are offering cash to its residents to help cope with the situation financially, the Japanese government is hoping to offer people wagyu beef coupons!!!!!!! Don't know if it's true, but really???!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's a rumour going around that while many countries are offering cash to its residents to help cope with the situation financially, the Japanese government is hoping to offer people wagyu beef coupons!!!!!!! Don't know if it's true, but really???!!!!

I'd say this is the smartest thing the J-gov has done this whole time if true. A cash gift will wind up in savings accounts wasting away. Vouchers for things people can consume will keep people employed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Virus and stupidity are dangerous mix.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To Thelongtermer : they have either died or at home or working sick. Some people infected have little to no symptoms but the are carriers and can pass the virus on to many people who can then pass it on to many other who could be elderly or have a an underlying medical condition. Hate to say it but Japan's numbers are going to explode in the next couple of weeks. Everyone take care wash your hands, do social distancing and stay home unless you absolutely have to go out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Akie, Are you "trying" to say that I'm disappointed that Japan's numbers aren't higher? You are so mistaken. I have friends all over the world I keep in contact with them, I hear and see what's happening in their countries. I see what's happening right now where I live, Canada. A very large country with 6 1/2 times less people than Japan yet we have 3 times the covid 19 rate. The reason for that is "testing" Canada started testing early Japan for some strange reason isn't testing as many as it can. I think it had a lot to do with the Olympics. I love Japan and my wife who is Japanese. I have visited Japan 9 times and had a great time on every visit. I wish you, you're family and friends and Japan only the very best. Stay healthy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Captain, I wouldn't be too sure.

WaPo and NYT will never get tired of blaming Trump. If they follow their pattern of ignoring China's response in order to focus their hatred on Trump, they'll have no trouble ignoring Japan. Especially now that the Diamond Princess is out of the headlines.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lockdown now! Somebody please have the guts to enforce this.

Some of my relatives have to practise social distancing, including when lining up for the supermarkets. This needs to be done here too.

China and Japan doing a good job of suppressing infection rates.

Infection rates aren't the only thing they've been suppressing!!!! And some other countries too! Out of curiosity, I'd love to know what the situation is like in North Korea.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapanToday  12:53 am JST

TheLongTermer: "So where are the sick people? Its been 3 months now"

You mean the more than 1500, when it ......

was thinking the exact same. Clearly you have been living in Japan for a while.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has taken herd immunity approach and will now be in this for the long haul. Compare it to Taiwan who have handled this well. As has Korea. Gonna be a nasty summer locked in your little rabbit hutches with no aircon. Abe out!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just after the Olympics were postponed? O: What a coincidence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get this bunch of clowns out of parliament ffs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pukey2:

Out of curiosity, I'd love to know what the situation is like in North Korea.

With a long pourous border to China, an undernourished lower class, big forced labour camps, and an abysmal health system, make a guess.

But this is a case of "what we don´t see does not exist". Shows you how important information control is and why I dislike our current mainstream media so much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I personally think a herd mentality is dangerous. You have so many people running around doing things and reacting out of the herd. It kinda sapps away necessary things for an organic ecosystem and people just hoard away things and it creates waste. I feel their reaction is not real in this situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@flute

Are you trying to go for the move : not the national government fault. It is someone else fault ?

both share the blame. read my comment about only the Osaka governor speaking up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The key figure is the death toll alongside number of critically ill patients. Japan's number continued to remain low at 45 (+2 newly confirmed), with no exponential increase. "Late-comer" US has to date reported more than 1,000 deaths (not confirmed cases!)....things are more worrying :(

The state of emergency is the last resort, could risk of paving the way for a totalitarian regime. Its declaration should be super-carefully made with thorough update info, inquiries and consultation with experts.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese officialdom’s reluctance to acknowledge and accept reality and disturbingly Orwellian preference for airbrushing unpalatable facts comes as no surprise to those of us here on the forum who refuse to be taken in and instead insist on honesty and accountability. It’s been instructive to observe too the deafening silence of that small and fast shrinking cadre of myth peddling true believers whose wide eyed gullibility the government has shamelessly exploited and who are now left to fend for themselves as the narrative switches to panic stations and the masses adopt a save yourself and to hell with the rest fatalism.

> Why do you think other countries had to implement large-scale lockdowns in the first place? Because that is the only way to get through to them. So stop pretending this is something unique to Japanese.

Think I misread the post I was quoting but if it was about government official's, the same thing applies. Other leaders acted too late and then had to apply drastic measures.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The government of Japan must let people go out and spend their money and work or give the people money to stay at home - can’t have it both ways...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

runner3 said "..but Japan's numbers are going to explode in the next couple of weeks."

Well, Japan disappointed you in the last three months, and you will be disappointed in next three months.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh, and be sure to buy lots of toilet paper, instant ramen, feminine products, masks, and hand sanitizer for the coming lock down.

Prepare, certainly, but only buy as much as you need. Buying more than you need and hoarding means that someone else who does need food or toiletries will go without. The rush on stores we're seeing is a result of that thinking.

If your nearest supermarket is out of what you need, think about other places near you that might be able to help: does a nearby liquor store also stock ramen, for example.

Stay inside this weekend. Stay inside as much as you can in the coming weeks.

Give to your neighbours if they are in need and if you can.

Stay inside this weekend.

For foreigners (so, most of us), observe and obey Japanese customs. Playing the "gaijin card" and ignoring inconvenient niceties of Japanese society is always a bad idea, but is an extremely bad idea now. In times of stress like this, the last thing anyone needs is to stoke an "us vs them" attitude, when we should all be in this together.

Stay inside this weekend.

Let your friends and family back home know you are safe and taking precautions.

And finally, STAY INSIDE THIS WEEKEND.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Fanny Greene

If they don’t test, the the death isn’t attributed to Corona.

we don't know that unless we can check the death certificates. Even someone tested positive can die from an underlining cause like bad heart.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

On Thursday, tabloids blared “Tokyo Lockdown Panic” and “Tokyo Destruction".

and the media accepts no responsibilty for its over the top headlines ?

Shouldnt it be held accountable? Should it not be permitted for making stupid headlines ?

Create panic fear and heart attacks, so long as we sell more papers and instill more hysteria and fear, who cares right?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Initially, it was Japan that was 2nd only to China with infection rates, and most of those were from the Diamond Princess. Then it slowly spread globally, later became a pandemic. Still puzzled why Japan declined or flat lined in numbers. Maybe the people have an immunity due to generations of tough life here?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

So where are the sick people? Its been 3 months now

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

This rise is strong, but it’s proportionate.

It is NOT exponential.

Exponential is like 2-4-8-16.. .Like that. Please understand and don’t panic. The numbers are high, but they are in line with the numbers they are climbing from. And I’m speaking of international. Japan is much slower.

So, I for one, am happy to be here in Japan.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Just get TESTED!! Testing is the only answer! Just get TESTED!!!

Oh, and be sure to buy lots of toilet paper, instant ramen, feminine products, masks, and hand sanitizer for the coming lock down.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

"WOLF!!! WOLF!!!"

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

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