People wearing protective masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, stand in front of cross walk in Tokyo on July 25. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Japan weighs plan for ban on hotel guests without masks: report

143 Comments

Japan's government is considering allowing hotels to refuse entry to guests who do not wear masks and follow other measures to control infection during an outbreak, Fuji News Network said on Wednesday.

The government will submit a bill at an extraordinary session of the Diet next month that would revise the law governing hotels and inns, allowing them more power to enforce infection measures, the network said.

The move would come at a time when Japan is expected to further ease its COVID-19 border controls, waiving visa requirements for certain tourists and removing a limit on daily arrivals.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is scheduled to debate border easing measures on Thursday.

Japanese Prime Minister, who departed on Tuesday for the United Nations General Assembly Meeting, may announce the border easing during a speech at the New York Stock Exchange, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Currently, the wearing of masks is not compulsory in Japan but is strongly recommended indoors and on public transport.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

143 Comments

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Presumably the hotel onsen, bar and restaurant are all no go areas too then? After all, these are public areas where masks aren't worn. The only difference being people spend fleeting moments in hotel lobbies, but extended periods, often in close contact with other guests, in the aforementioned areas of a hotel.

Otherwise it's just really silly. Completely unscientific. And embarrassing for all concerned.

Besides, no one likes to look like a fool, especially when they are paying to do so and are on holiday.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I will return to restaurants and other public places once the masks come off. I need to see the faces of the staff and the people. This is getting really old. If masks worked, why is the latest (not very dangerous) variant EVERYWHERE (and going down quickly) in Japan? Time to remove the masks and live normally. Five vaccines/boosters is enough.

If Five vaccines/boosters is enough, why is the latest (not very dangerous) variant EVERYWHERE?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow...these comments!!

You have been divided, now you are being conquered.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I will return to restaurants and other public places once the masks come off. I need to see the faces of the staff and the people. This is getting really old. If masks worked, why is the latest (not very dangerous) variant EVERYWHERE (and going down quickly) in Japan? Time to remove the masks and live normally. Five vaccines/boosters is enough.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Evidence of the tortured debates going on behind the scenes as Japan tries to move forward and open up borders. I would imagine they will put these sorts of rules in place to appease the cautious, mask-dependent public. Its all really nonsense, and i suspect they are fully aware of that, but they need to be able to point to concrete measures that they are taking to show they are taking the virus seriously.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

HEY FOLKS! It is just A MASK. Just Bring your favorite MASK!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Been seeing more and more people without masks outdoors in the past week or so around Kanto. A lot of people seem to be doing what I do and put a mask on just as they get in the train and remove it when alighting. Have a feeling there must have been some variety show with talents on TV who started a trend. It's the only reason I can think of.

The next stage is to get the talento doing skits on how to remove masks when indoors (and no, Izakaya don't count LOL).

Baby steps Japan.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Checked into a B&B when I had COVID last month to prevent the other family members from catching it. Check in and pay online. Number code given to enter through door. No masks needed and stayed away from people for 12 days. I still tested positive after 7 days, even though I felt fine. So, theoretically while standing in line at the nearby convenience store, someone standing behind me may catch it. So, wearing a mask may prevent some of the particles from traveling further away from me. So you can see there may be some benefits, but I think there needs to be some serious studies done on all the variables when using mask and maybe put to bed what is real and not real.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So the JGOV are easing entry conditions, but want to ramp up masking rules. Daft

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Polite foreign guest: “Do I have to wear my mask inside my room, too?”

Front desk staff: “I’ll have to check with the manager. Please wait.”

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Wearing a mask in public as much as possible even not during a major pandemic is a wise thing to do if your at risk or health conscious.

Covid 19 isn't the only communicable virus going around.

I don't enjoy wearing a mask very much but i do it anyway and even before the pandemic and especially on public transportation ,airplanes ,trains. Bus etc etc

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Masks or at least what the Japanese consider as facemasks are ineffective against Omicron BA.5. The proof is the recent surge of infections in Japan (

No, that is not evidence that masks are inefficient, for that you would need to compare with a similar situation in most other details except for the use of mask and show no difference in the number of cases. The increase of the numbers can be explained very satisfactorily because of the increased transmissibility of Omicron even if masks are effective, people are now relaxing the measures that complement mask use and with justification seeing how the risk after the infection decreased, but that is completely different from saying each of the measures became useless.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Where mask wearing as been part of it culture since the 80,s.

Again with this. Yes they wore masks when they were sick!!. Not all the time or you would have never seen a Japanese person's face. Why do people persist with that I'll thought out point.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The proof is in the pudding so to speak. Masks or at least what the Japanese consider as facemasks are ineffective against Omicron BA.5. The proof is the recent surge of infections in Japan (highest surge in the world). Why keep doing the same thing and expecting different result? Thats the definition of insanity.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Don't ask just mask

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Arigatou gozai MASK ya ?

Only Kishida would do this at the end of pandemic .

Better late than never.

Would this be directed only at foreigners staying at hotels ?

There's never actually been a mask mandate enforced during the current pandemic that appears to be ending

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japanese guests as well as non Japanese guests?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wearing masks here indoors and outdoors is now in real danger of becoming a custom, just like taking off your shoes in the genkan. In 500 years' time, travel guides will advise foreigners to stock up on masks before their trip, just as they warn women to wear head coverings in Muslim countries. If you ask why it has to be done, the reply will be 'It's a cultural thing'.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

please come to Japan, but we hate you.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Masks are permanent in Japan, literally. It is never going to be possible to get rid of them, even if the govt wanted to.

They allow a depressed and stagnant population without hope for the future to hide from human contact. No smiles, no expression, just impassive dead-eyed resignation. A visit to literally anywhere else in the world is a revelation...life still goes on, vibrant public life exists, people talk and eat and laugh and make friends. Everywhere but Japan.

I think this only applies to the old men in charge. Japan needs some young leadership if it's ever going to recover from Covid and its falling Yen.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

you mean peer pressuring is making it compulsory, only scared people do wear theirs, other people live normally.

oyatoiToday  07:09 am JST

”Currently, the wearing of masks is not compulsory in Japan.”

Except we all know that it effectively is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They still assume Covid is coming from foreigners? Japanese can never grasp the concept that doing nothing is often the best policy. Everything is over thought, over controled and ridiculously complicated. Look what they have done at the airport. They have created a 1000 man jobs program. Just leave it alone Japan. If you had done that from the beginning your Covid problems would be finished by now just like everywhere else in the world but for China and you.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not really. This is what top health officials said in the US at beginning of the pandemic

What are they saying now?

What were they saying at the height of the pandemic?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The shots are working well, most people, like 99.9% of them, that get Covid are fine. At some point just about anyone than can get Covid will get it. I know someone that works at an old folks home. There was an outbreak in August there, 15 out of 80 got Covid. Their average age was around 80, no one died and they were all back to normal within about 10 days. The person I know got Covid while caring for these people, she was fine. Lets just throw away all the masks... the shots are doing a great job.

Nicely put.

But unless masks are ruled out to have contributed to the outcomes you mentioned, it doesn't make sense to throw them away.

Or to stop other measures.

Not prudent at all to assume everything is due to the vaccine alone

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@virusrex

The Japanese health authorities had the same recommendation as the CDC, WHO, etc. had at the beginning of the pandemic, for people to wear masks when symptomatic and dealing with symptomatic patients, specially in hospitals where the masks were to be prioritized. That is not a "different" approach, it was the same, which is understandable because that is what the scientific evidence at the time justified. No medical or scientific institution can responsibly recommend anything without having the scientific evidence to support that recommendation.

Not really. This is what top health officials said in the US at beginning of the pandemic.

"Seriously people - STOP BUYING MASKS!" "They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus Surgeon General Jerome Adams

"The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you." Anthony Fauci

"I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location." Anthony Fauci

4 ( +7 / -3 )

but those throwing tantrums over wearing a mask in hotels take it to a new level.

Pathological whining is as ingrained to some people as masks are to the Japanese

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The shots are working well, most people, like 99.9% of them, that get Covid are fine. At some point just about anyone than can get Covid will get it. I know someone that works at an old folks home. There was an outbreak in August there, 15 out of 80 got Covid. Their average age was around 80, no one died and they were all back to normal within about 10 days. The person I know got Covid while caring for these people, she was fine. Lets just throw away all the masks... the shots are doing a great job.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Should focus more on the decline of the yen rather than masks.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Stop whining

I’m a Brit and whining is one of our national pastimes but those throwing tantrums over wearing a mask in hotels take it to a new level.

You can take if off in the room.

Do these people just meander around the corridors for the duration of the stay?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

jimizo - well said.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If the government then came out and said "OK, you can stop hopping now", nobody would want to be the first one to stop. Everyone would keep hopping around everywhere on one foot for years and years to come.

This made me laugh because it's so true. They could have giant meetings where they discussed the absurdity of it and everyone could vote on stopping.....and then they would suck air through their teeth and look shyly around and hop on one foot out of the room.

Masks will be required for a minimum of 10 years. "Hito" might see and disapprove.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Not surprising but the most stupid idea I have heard to date form these clowns!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

No shirt, no shoes, no mask.

No service.

Simple.

When you get to your room, take it off.

Stop whining.

Your sense of exceptionalism stops at your country's border.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Completely pointless. I'm more likely to get COVID on a squalid, nasty old train with two carriages jam-packed with commuters and students than I am in a hotel.

The hotel is more likely worried about you spreading around the virus which you picked up on your nasty old train.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'm not really that negative about this because for me, the reason they are doing it is because they want to get the borders open with few restrictions - they know that the border restrictions are not at this stage contributing to controlling the pandemic, they are under pressure to remove them and that they are doing damage to Japan economically and reputationally. The problem is that most of the voters are old people, many of whom are misinformed and/or hold xenophobic views, the border restrictions do not really affect them and so they often strongly support them. This rule is basically to try to re-assure those voters when the remaining border restrictions are (hopefully) soon removed. We had a similar thing the other day when they said that they would introduce fines for people coming into Japan knowingly infected without informing the authorities - basically, nobody - it was just another thing to re-assure those voters and make it easier to remove the remaining border restrictions.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan doesn’t want tourists or to stop living in fear. Japan has always had a fear based culture. Fear or disappointing the family, the job, the burden of Japanese culture is too much for most humans. People are not going to flock to Japan for this. People will continue to go elsewhere and Japan will sadly decline until they realize they are too rigid in their thinking.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

‘Let’s visit Japan.’

’You might be expected to wear a mask in the hotel’.

’Oh. They are still doing that? No big deal. Buy a few packs of masks and chuck them in the case’.

’Ok’.

Sensible conversation as far as I can see.

Takes sensible people

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

How exactly have masks (and vaccines) helped Japan? It's not like Japan is a shining example of controlling COVID.

Nevertheless, I don't think wearing them indoors or on the train is a big deal.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I guess hotels that implement that rule hate money.

My family and I since the start of this circus vowed never to stay at a hotel until the mask nonsense is finished. I don't mind paying more for an Airbnb.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

People are hilarious.

Don't go to Japan (like you say nonstop) problem solved=)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

. She recently broke up with her 4 yr boyfriend( she’s 28, extremely smart and works as a manager pulling in more than 2000万per year) Her thought process was if you can’t be responsible and think of others, sayonara. This is an entrenched mindset. She even spent 4 years in a highly ranked American high school in Houston. You would think she’d acquire some of that American selfishness….

Agree she's really smart

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

‘Let’s visit Japan.’

’You might be expected to wear a mask in the hotel’.

’Oh. They are still doing that? No big deal. Buy a few packs of masks and chuck them in the case’.

’Ok’.

Sensible conversation as far as I can see.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

The efficacy of masks are irrelevant. If the societal consensus was that hopping around everywhere on one foot was the way to go, 95% of Japanese people would be hopping around everywhere on one foot. If the government then came out and said "OK, you can stop hopping now", nobody would want to be the first one to stop. Everyone would keep hopping around everywhere on one foot for years and years to come.

Covid could be eradicated like Yellow Fever and the masks will stay on. They aren't going away. For years and years to come.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

@Kuris

I know it’s not mandatory in Thailand (it is in Hong Kong) - my point was that the majority of local people still wear masks even though they don’t have to. Japan is not the only country doing this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I like going to a hotel buffet and you put the plastic gloves on take them off and then put them on again inside out and the are all sweaty ..I get new ones, but they don't like that and even try hide them now

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Stephen

It is not mandatory to wear a mask in Thailand.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They need to inform tourist of this before they book Flights and Hotels or your will have some upset people

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why are people so upset? Wearing a mask is no big deal.

It is when people are using it as a crutch for social anxiety or wearing it solely due to peer pressure. People communicate better when they can see the expression on people's faces and Japanese society is already lacking interpersonal communication skills; masks are only exacerbating this.

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

After 2.5 years how about maybe reviewing the healthcare system so it isn't so fragile when faced with a new sickness?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I thought Japan was wanting to open up and ease its Covid restrictions in order to boost its economy? This sounds like it's backtracking from all of that. How typical of Japan really - always one step forward and a hundred steps back. If they love masks so much, why not take a page out of The Human Centipede and just surgically attach them to their faces? Ridiculous.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

@Ricky Kaminski13 9.12 am comment

Japan is indeed unnecessarily and frustratingly dragging its feet with it's ongoing COVID measures and I'm glad to hear that Australia has got back to some sort of normalcy. But Australia has hardly showered itself in glory with its handling of the pandemic - it was only a few months back that the country looked more like a fascist dictatorship than a liberal democracy with people in some places effectively held under house arrest for long periods, borders closed and citizens not even allowed to return to their own country separated from their families. Even now many people are having to pay back thousands of dollars in fines for not complying with the draconian measures and after all that, Australia still came out of it worse than Japan where the majority of measures where entirely voluntary. Overall, I think I'd much rather have spent the pandemic in Japan than Australia.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I’m with most posters here regarding the absurd level of mask wearing in Japan but having come recently from Hong Kong where obligatory mask wearing (by law both inside and outside with a fine of ¥100,000 for non-compliance) is still going strong, this feels great in comparison. At least we mostly have choice. Also, places like Bangkok, Singapore etc still see the majority masked up - it’s not just Japan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If the masks were really doing much, then we'd expect to see some sort of difference between countries where mask-wearing is common and those where it isn't. We'd also expect to see an increase in cases when places went from wearing masks to not wearing them. At the beginning of the pandemic, those places where mask-wearing was common did indeed seem to do better - the masks probably did just about hold back the worst of it. But the later variants, omicron onwards, are much more transmissible. Omicron ripped through Korea infecting something like a third of the population in the space of two months. The BA5 variant has now done something similar in Japan - these countries have not done any better with these latest variants than other countries where masks were dropped months back. The simple explanation is that for the earlier, less transmissible variants, the masks could just about hold it back, but with the later variants (maybe 8 or 10 times more transmissible) they are just not effective enough. Maybe at most they give a very slight slowing of the spread, but in any case with a virus that is endemic, that most people will eventually catch, what exactly is the point of it?

If everyone wore tightly-fitting N95 respirator masks, you might see a more significant effect, but those things are horrible to wear for long periods - good luck getting the millions of people who have already had COVID and experienced nothing more than mild flu-like symptoms (myself included) to wear those things all day!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Why are people so upset? Wearing a mask is no big deal.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

My plan is better.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What a great "plan!" And just as people begin to debate when to stop wearing masks altogether: https://www.reddit.com/r/japanlife/comments/xkmm0p/maskless_yet/?sort=new

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wish they would add supermarkets to this list especially since there are items like fish, vegetables, etc.. sitting out in the open uncovered/un-pakaged.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

So, a ban on the non masked is instituted and what follows?

Does it become law with penalties?

Will it be a criminal offense?

Or like the myriad number of offenses, will it be ignored?

For those with pulmonary complications will there be exemptions?

Or will there be thousands of tourists paying billions of yen when nabbed by the ‘mask police’?

The politicos in Tokyo are quite pathetic…

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

@bob

aanyone in the filtration business will tell you that specified pore size and filtration capabilities are poorly correlated. First the particles are in droplets. You also have wetting of the filter media throughout it’s 3D structure which creates a non-linear and hydrophilic path for aerosols to travel through - i.el they get caught in other spit.

the real issue is everyone breathes around their masks. The aerosols and viruses travel elsewhere.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Steven McCarthy

Of course it applies to Japanese guests as well. But the timing, i.e. just when more tourists will be allowed in and the type of facilities, i.e. hotels, where guests, many of them from abroad, stay, makes the reasoning behind such as measure clear.

However, personally I don't have a problem with this as I think wearing a mask is the responsible thing to do anyway.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Most of the rest of the world has figured it out, so why is Japan doubling down in the opposite direction?"

Because its run by the LDP fossils to state the obvious.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

A step backwards.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Yet here in Miyazaki the 15 years I have lived here, Miyazaki Kotsu has always required masks on their buses and trains every year from October to March during flu season. As have many of the hotels when in common areas and the lobby. Many shopping centers and stores. Many prefectures still have mask requirements.

What Tokyo wants to do is have a national mandate so there is a consistent policy nation wide, not prefecture by prefecture.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I was a visitor in Japan Feb 26 - March 12 2020, and they without a doubt had a different approach than the rest of the world. At the time there was no action being taken in the rest of the world and I had friends asking me to bring masks & (good) hand sanitizer for their personal use, because supply was stretched.

Nearly every storefront had pink isopropyl alcohol in pumps at the door, and everyone wore masks. They collectively shut Tokyo down. None of it was based on guidance from anywhere… and of course they had the Diamond princess docked in Yokohama and the world was watching….

Unfortunately, that was the beginning of the end of my impression of Japan being any sort of leader in COVID prevention/education. But yeah, they were super-quick to put on masks and guidance or not it is still considering the right thing to do.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There’s nothing xenophobic about this idea ! It will include Japanese guests as well ! So what’s the issue ? Mask help !

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Why would anyone want to come to Japan?

-13 ( +11 / -24 )

This is fabulous and bold news ! The jgov is finally starting to take Covid seriously! Long overdue set of a proven scientific method to help mitigate the spread of diseases! Vax mandates next? happy to see Kishida and crew taking care of business here at home!

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

Japan considers showing again to the world that despite having one of the highest infection rates on the planet they are afraid of foreigners bringing and spreading something that is already here, and massively so.

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

*I’m

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I don’t agree with this but as I’ over over the age of 12, I don’t see it as worth having a meltdown over.

Some are so easily triggered.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

I am in Hawaii right now. MANY Japanese tourists. At least 90% are not wearing masks at all. It seems like the need for these types of measure only exists in Japan (and China).

I've been hearing the same think from japanese people for almost 2 decades, "I would do this if it was in America", "I would wear that if I was in Hawaii", "I feel so relaxed when travelling abroad" etc.

They know more than anyone else, in Japan, everyone is watching everyone, 24/7.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

@CrashTestDummy

Two and half years in, but here we go again...

Masks, just like vaccines, don't only protect the wearer or the person who took the vaccine but also those around. Both only decrease the likelihood of infection or severe symptoms.

By the same logic, if you're sober when driving, why do you worry about drunk drivers? If you don't have a knife, why do you worry about that guy stabbing people on the train?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

I am in Hawaii right now. MANY Japanese tourists. At least 90% are not wearing masks at all. It seems like the need for these types of measure only exists in Japan (and China).

19 ( +24 / -5 )

And this is going to do what? Don't many of these hotels have closed-in restaurants where the staff have no problem cramming as many guests to sit at tables side by side from one another? No one will be wearing masks while dining. We must stop the panic over Covid and get back to normal lives.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

It should be totally optional to wear a mask or not. If people are worried then wear a mask, if not worried then don't wear a mask. Not sure why the maskers are so concerned with other people masked when they are masked themselves. Just like the vaccines, if people are vaccinated and the vaccines are supposedly protecting them against COVID, then why do they care if anyone else is vaccinated. The hospitals are not overwhelmed. They were just working at a tiny fraction of normal because of the lockdowns.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

People are so indoctrinated that they still wear these masks out in open deserted streets at night or while driving their cars etc.

I once saw a lady, properly masked, walking under a 35ºC sun while pulling the mask off her face.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Currently, the wearing of masks is not compulsory in Japan but is strongly recommended indoors and on public transport.

Do you live in Japan or you get your information some alien portal? I can't walk in at my workplace without a mask.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Probably just some minister that needed to fill their yearly meeting quota.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nakanoguy01

Why stop at restaurants?! Why not make it mandatory everywhere? Like hotels are the only vectors for spreading covid. Smgdfh...

Pre-Covid- Ive been at a B&B in Niseko Hokkaido where the Australians were extremely (genki) boisterous in the morning at the breakfast tables. I skipped breakfast one morning to get fresh tracks and be on top of mountain first. My wife scolded me be saying, “ they were talking to me and asking me all sorts of questions and I couldn’t sit in peace and quiet and eat my breakfast” Previous mornings there was an obvious difference the way Aussies like to chat up everyone and showing their positive outlook and being friendly with all others and their friends in the B&B. Japanese pretty much sit quietly and eat their meals. These days this loud talking may be frowned upon by the locals in many establishments and especially if they are not wearing masks. Especially if they are using many H words, Hi! Hello! How are you? LOL

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

More and more people (Japanese and otherwise) feel comfortable not wearing masks. Given there have been very few severe cases and how long the pandemic has been going, it's understandable many have a sense of security.

As for this measure though, it's obvious. The xenophobic LDP needs to appease its xenophobic base by putting in a measure clearly aimed at non-Japanese tourists as those are the ones that will be staying in hotels and, clearly, need to be told to do the right thing. No surprises there.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Hotel Management to the staff:

“We need more tourists/customers. Get them in here, paying. I don’t know how, but just get them in here.”

Japanese Government:

“We want the Japanese public to stop wearing masks in public and move on from the pandemic. But if you’re a foreigner tourist, you need a mask. But we still want your money, but go home.”

Foreign Tourist:

“Wow! We waited almost 3 years to get to Japan! What a wonderful place! Vending machines are every where, and everyone is so kind!!! Why is everyone still wearing a mask? It’s September 2022.

Hotel Staff when foreigners arrive:

”Hi, welcome to the hotel. Please check in and pay now. Thank you. Oh I’m sorry, you have to wear a mask while you stay here.”

Confused foreigner:

”Why? It’s not a law is it? I figured the rest of the world has moved on from corona.”

Hotel Management to Tourist:

”it’s new rule in Japan. Just passed last week. Put on mask or get out.” We keep money either way.”

-5 ( +17 / -22 )

Not such a big deal to just wear masks in the lobby and corridors of a hotel.

If you don't wish to wear one while on holiday - just spend all your time in the bars, Cafes, restaurants, gym, at the pool, beach etc. where masks aren't used.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

this is how it looks like when we say you are welcome but in real you are...not.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

Just more thinly-disguised appeasement of the xenophobic voters. Oh well, if it helps make it politically easier for them to get the borders open with no restrictions then so be it.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Don’t want to wear a mask then don’t come to Japan . Problem solved.

-18 ( +8 / -26 )

Yet a couple of weeks ago a bus company was disciplined after throwing off the bus a maskless passenger.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/bus-company-disciplined-after-driver-orders-maskless-passenger-off-bus

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan should wake up, face up and/or be educated that the TRUTH is that masks do not prevent COVID contagion unless they are N95 K95 medical masks! , The size of the actual droplet is less that 1/100 of the size, ( 5–10 μm in diameter), in a regular mask hole - it's like trying to stop grain of sand to go through a chainmesh fence!

If you can fog glass by breathing outwards through the mask, it will not stop COVID infection!

FULL CLAIM: Pores in the fabric of face masks are larger than viral particles and aerosols expelled when breathing, so they don’t block their passage; Face masks don’t prevent the transmission of COVID-19; “The science itself debunks the use of face masks to stop viruses like COVID-19”; “The CDC admitted they don’t have any randomized control trials that support face mask mandates for COVID-19”.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

The first thing to say here is that some kind of mask exit strategy is needed. I don't know what the absolute best one is, but something needs to be done. A road back to normality is needed because it's not going to happen on its own.

Allowing hotels that want to refuse the unmasked refuse them would at least create some refuges for people who are mask-obsessed. As an example scenario, the Hilton hotel could allow in everyone and APA Hotel (who put fascist books on the bedside table) could refuse unmasked people. In that scenario, anyone who doesn't want to wear a mask (some foreign tourists included) can stay at the Hilton and the "urgh dirty foreigners" people can stay at the APA hotel with their masks on. Note that they are talking about hotels here, not public transport, or museums, or amusement parks, or anywhere else that is likely to curtail your liberty. Refusing unmasked people on them would be a far bigger issue. With hotels, it's easy, just go to a different one.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

STRANGERLAND

Links to studies- one must be aware of who funds those universities, or study locals because in many cases if you don’t follow the narrative or whatever they would like, they suddenly won’t fund new studies. This has been documented as happening before from fundings coming from NIH, etc.

Instead of forcing masks, how about removing air (exhaust fans) from certain indoor premises where larger numbers of people congregate? The government could throw in some money to help businesses install them. The idea of when you eat mask down, get up and mask up. Sit down mask dow, etc. is ridiculous The trains would be a good start. 3 strong exhaust fans on the ceilings of each carriage in addition to cracking the windows. Since the trains are packed shoulder to shoulder then by all means wear a mask. But, when they are not packed you should feel comfortable to remove your mask and not get the stink eye from anyone on the train.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All along, its been mostly paranoid elderly hotel and shop owners worried about all the maskless foreigners coming into their establishments. They seem to have a hotline directly wired to the government policy makers.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Japan hasn't seen mass delusion of this level since WW2. If people want to wear masks for whatever reason, there's nothing stopping them. But to enforce it is insane, given how marginally effective they are at preventing this virus's spread. I'm wearing one less and less indoors and on the train, and nobody is batting an eyelid.

Most of the rest of the world has figured it out, so why is Japan doubling down in the opposite direction?

-3 ( +21 / -24 )

Tokyo_m

Bingo! Be careful of that rationality though matey, shhhhh!

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

Striking that they would only think of this just as borders are opening and foreign people will he bringing 'gaikoku viruses' into 'pure Japan'. I would have thought (if masks were at all effective - cough, cough). that this would of been done before the go to travel domestic campaigns. Maybe science again? Lol

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Did the Emperor wear a mask at the Queens funeral? Is Kishida wearing a mask in New York? Yet tourists (who are much less likely than Japanese people to have covid) have to wear a mask in Japan. Hypocrites.

-6 ( +21 / -27 )

Pandering to the overly-delicate Japanese so worried about foreign travellers. Gosh, move on for crying out loud. This Covid thing is over. If you really don't want non-domestic tourism then just keep the stupid entry restrictions and nobody will come.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Why stop at restaurants?! Why not make it mandatory everywhere? Like hotels are the only vectors for spreading covid. Smgdfh...

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

It was so good to see peoples faces again back home in Australia, you make eye contact with people and they say, “ How’s it goin mate?” and “Hey brother”. Big smiles , lots of banter people very happy to be back to normal and functional.

Felt the life seeping back into me almost immediately. Energized and flowing.

Then back here, where masks are here to stay, and governments and people obviously care little for connection. The dude at customs when I renter Ed the country sign languaged to me to do me what to do. The finger print thingy, take off your cap. All done with gestures. Wouldn’t say a single word, cold, unfriendly, dull eyed and distant.

Some were saying tourists may be the catalyst for masks coming off?

Yeah, naaaa.

Enjoy being awkward Japan, yaz do it so we’ll. Good luck with this current generation of kids living the maskland dream too. Let’s see what sort f adults they become. Bravo ya mugs!

Sorry folks, just over it!

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Related to my previous post, I left out

boyfriend didn’t always want to wear a mask

0 ( +4 / -4 )

To control the masses, it helps to keep them in fear, a measure which has been successful for centuries. Restrictive face masks, distancing and of course, the gaijin bogeyman.

-8 ( +20 / -28 )

I had a jr high school student tell me she is fine with masks being permanent. The mental conditioning is almost complete. It’s lunacy at its best. People walking around outside and not a soul around them and still wearing masks. Another story from wife’s friend. She recently broke up with her 4 yr boyfriend( she’s 28, extremely smart and works as a manager pulling in more than 2000万per year) Her thought process was if you can’t be responsible and think of others, sayonara. This is an entrenched mindset. She even spent 4 years in a highly ranked American high school in Houston. You would think she’d acquire some of that American selfishness….

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

The masks are not working..

And then back in the real world:

* https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/09/surgical-masks-covid-19.html

* https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449

* https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Whatever j government decides to allow hotels do, I would probably wear mask inside hotel/inn, but I don't wear it outdoors. I always wear mask in train. Wearing mask depends on how crowded there.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Five vaccination shots. Never tested positive. Never had symptoms. Always socially distanced. Always masked when appropriate. Willing to pay 75% higher airfare so I can spend money there. Don't make this needlessly difficult.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Japan where incompetent government failed to overcome Covid19 increases new deaths per pandemic year by year unlike other countries.

It was worst this summer.

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

All anyone has to do to see how backward mask wearing is, is to look at news and videos from all over the world. Only Japan and certain other Asian countries continue wearing the confounded things.

Though technically there has never been a mask mandate in Japan, effectively, there is. I have yet to see a store or other public place that doesn't have a sign on their doors asking that you wear a mask. I have only had one place tell me they no longer wanted my business because I wasn't wearing a mask. So, I took my business elsewhere. Their loss, because I went there every day. But not since.

Can you tell I despise masks?

-2 ( +19 / -21 )

Who would want to go anywhere on Vacation or tour wearing a stupid mask???

5 ( +18 / -13 )

This is ridulous...The masks are not working...Japan has had more covid cases per day in the last several weeks, wearing masks, than all of the USA not wearing masks...I thought authorities are planning end of OCT to completely open up...visa free arrivals reinstated, NO covid test,,NO mandatory tour groups, NO having to buy tickets thru agent,,,,so ok...open it all up and lets keep mask on...I can then visit..

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

Great way to create more fear and step further backwards compared to most other Western nations.

Take a moment this Saturday night to watch 100,000 AFL fans celebrating the grandfinal and try to find more than a handful of people wearing masks. Australia is down to Hospitals, Aged Care facilities and visiting jails where masks are still required.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

It would only serve mask producers and PCR test firms, not hotels. Even China under zero-covid stupidity might want to tease it.

China should not be a model on how to encourage tourism.

A senior Chinese health official recently warned people on social media not to touch foreigners as the country reported its first case of monkeypox.

China health chief warns against 'skin-to-skin contact with foreigners' amid first case of monkeypox

https://www.yahoo.com/news/china-health-chief-warns-against-163708337.html

Wasn't China complaining that people around the world was "wrongly blaming" the Chinese for spreading COVID-19?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

And Japan took a different approach, with its medical experts advising the general public to wear masks,

Not a different approach again, as easily proved as again you fail to bring those "medical experts" that supposedly said it was wrong to prioritize the scarce masks to hospitals, meaning it is something you know only you believe happened.

And it is a well-known fact that Japan's containment measures it took at the beginning of the pandemic came earlier than in Europe and the US, but later than some other Asian countries.

An island nation doing better than countries with much higher movement of people? how does this in any way disproves that there was no scientific evidence to recommend mask use for asymptomatic people on the street? that is what you need to say it was a mistake to recommend the masks for symptomatic patients, are you recognizing finally this evidence was not available?

The reality is they can and do. Anyone in the medical field can attest to that. 

Calling your own personal opinion "reality" do not make it so, do you have any reference that says scientific authorities can recommend things without scientific basis? or is it again you making an appeal to yourself as an authority? how come "anyone in the medical field" understands this, but you can't bring any example where a professional says scientific authorities can do recommendations without scientific evidence to support them?

Japan already had the strategy to use masks in case of influenza outbreaks, along with studies and the practice advocating the use of masks in the other coronavirus SARS outbreak

Yes, for symptomatic patients, which is again what the WHO recommended, you are proving yourself mistaken by repeating how Japan originally used masks as the WHO, CDC, EMA, etc etc recommended. You are saying the scientific authorities of the world were right at making these recommendations.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

This is a smart move. Other countries have removed mask mandates as Covid was beginning to get more under control and as a result the numbers went up, not down.

Prior to the pandemic masks were quite common for PM 2.5 and Yellow Sand, albeit voluntary.

Covid is here to stay and adapting to such measures is needed- by the government or, in this case a hotel, shouldn’t need to enforce wearing masks. Common sense should, but since most of you seem to lack common sense enforcement seems to be required.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Been decades already, what makes you think they would stop?

No

... he says, following up to agree with what I said:

Japanese have been wearing masks pre covid when they have a cold themselves to protect others when they cough

1 ( +8 / -7 )

This reaction is due the the foreign business people refusing to wear a musks. Don,t bar them from hotels but deport them and never to enter Japan again.

-25 ( +4 / -29 )

What’s your problem? Elsewhere all women have to cover their hair, another place men have to put a little round Kippa on their head and here you are expected to sometimes wear a face mask for not infecting others. Different places, different expectations, and of course it’s not always making sense, but as a guest , tourist or citizen you should abide or cooperate a little bit.

-17 ( +6 / -23 )

Been decades already, what makes you think they would stop?

No, Japanese have been wearing masks pre covid when they have a cold themselves to protect others when they cough. That it vastly different than wearing a mask when they are healthy as a shield against the world. Don't conflate two different things.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Whatever happened to following and respecting the local rules and customs. Looking at the discussions, it’s the very reason why the Japanese are reluctant to open their borders to the “I know better crowd so let’s make everyone feel uncomfortable around me crowd of tourists”….. If you don’t like it. Stay out. You are not welcome.

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

The Japanese health authorities had the same recommendation as the CDC, WHO, etc. had at the beginning of the pandemic, 

And Japan took a different approach, with its medical experts advising the general public to wear masks,, as anyone in Japan at the time can contest. And it is a well-known fact that Japan's containment measures it took at the beginning of the pandemic came earlier than in Europe and the US, but later than some other Asian countries.

Another example where Japan took a different approach to the "recommendations" of the CDC and WHO was with its testing, and its aim to contain clusters. This is all very basic knowledge.

No medical or scientific institution can responsibly recommend anything without having the scientific evidence to support that recommendation.

The reality is they can and do. Anyone in the medical field can attest to that. And at the start of the outbreak, Japan already had the strategy to use masks in case of influenza outbreaks, along with studies and the practice advocating the use of masks in the other coronavirus SARS outbreak, so SURPRISE!--these medical experts rightfully advised the public wear masks at the start of the Covid 19 outbreak. The WHO corrected its mistaken advice later.

Gotta listen to the experts.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

I wonder the study conducted to conclude the viability of this policy. Oh right, they can just pull policies out of the place where the sun don't shine.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

Japan, always playing the “precious” card...

Even if the dollar is strong to the yen, no one wants to participate further in this “mask” madness, or is blind to its implications:

Bring your dollars and wear a mask.

As others have said, if you can’t open without these restrictions, don’t bother.

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Japan medical experts advised people to wear masks to prevent infections even at the time when the WHO was advising the general public not to wear masks:

The Japanese health authorities had the same recommendation as the CDC, WHO, etc. had at the beginning of the pandemic, for people to wear masks when symptomatic and dealing with symptomatic patients, specially in hospitals where the masks were to be prioritized. That is not a "different" approach, it was the same, which is understandable because that is what the scientific evidence at the time justified. No medical or scientific institution can responsibly recommend anything without having the scientific evidence to support that recommendation.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

Lol

hilarious!! Japanese people really living in a bubble yes. Living in fear of a virus that’s now like the flu. Everyone gets it eventually. This is a step behind. Have they not been looking at international news??? There was the whole funeral of the Queen without masks. The Wireless Concert globally with no mask…. Smh.

1 ( +29 / -28 )

allowing hotels to refuse 

They make the xenophobic rule and then wash their hands. Let me ask, what about the non-tourist gaijin? Do we must wear the mask at hotels? Or everywhere else? How would we be differentiated from tourists? A headband or something?

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

I'm predicting plenty of signs in English in the hotel lobbies, elevators, dining areas, toilets . . .

Genius. Like they aren't already. A serious nothing post from the painful rash.

I'm predicting a painful rash of trolling messages and comments with the soul purpose to inflame a discussion.

Down-vote that for your approval.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

This nothing more than a nod from the LDP to their aging voting base who hates non masked gaijin.

no hotel manager in their right mind would kick out people for this. They are desperate for guests and should t be out in the position of masks police.

21 ( +28 / -7 )

Before you all get too worked up, the media in Japan is literally the mouthpiece of the LDP.

Explaining their defunct ways and trying to control propaganda is what they are trying to do. There is a lot of people who watch TV and walk off thinking its reality.

20 ( +27 / -7 )

Not a smart move, tourism might be Japan’s only move to get out of this economic quagmire.

17 ( +25 / -8 )

The move would come at a time when Japan is expected to further ease its COVID-19 border controls, waiving visa requirements for certain tourists and removing a limit on daily arrivals.

Japan has always taken a different approach to this crisis in comparison to the West.

Japan medical experts advised people to wear masks to prevent infections even at the time when the WHO was advising the general public not to wear masks:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html

The government will submit a bill at an extraordinary session of the Diet next month that would revise the law governing hotels and inns, allowing them more power to enforce infection measures, the network said.

I'm predicting plenty of signs in English in the hotel lobbies, elevators, dining areas, toilets . . .

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

that should boost the tourist business!

It would only serve mask producers and PCR test firms, not hotels. Even China under zero-covid stupidity might want to tease it.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

If all we’re down to for me finally visit Japan again is that I have wear a mask while I am passing through a lobby, then no problem. Let’s get going on that so I can go to a Harbs Cafe. That being said one thing the science has finally determined is that regular masks along with lockdowns are ineffective in preventing the spread of Covid. I’ll even wear an N95 mask that does provide some limited protection. Let’s get going though on reopening.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

How long is everyone going to wear these masks

Been decades already, what makes you think they would stop?

-4 ( +17 / -21 )

How long is everyone going to wear these masks, Going in to the 3rd year now for a so called virus with more than 99 percent recovery rate.

The only outbreak is the constant testing of a virus that has never been isolated. Even experts in the field of virus and infections around the worldall state that masks do not do anything.

New Zealand has ditched the masks and so have some other countries also. If anyone is infected with anything, it is just the normal Flu. After all, what happened to the Flu statistics that used to be reported ?

People are so indoctrinated that they still wear these masks out in open deserted streets at night or while driving their cars etc.

12 ( +34 / -22 )

Yep and so the regulations come. Expect them thick and fast, and expect authorities to introduce compulsory tracking apps when flying next and other permanent measures to control "possible" spread of future outbreaks of whatever else they deem to be threatening. All to protect YOU.

This is has been planned all along.

-4 ( +17 / -21 )

Gaman shinasai!

-19 ( +3 / -22 )

The hysteria continues, I see

21 ( +42 / -21 )

What a BS!

Show me one hotel who will ban you or kick you out if you don't wear a mask.

Hotels need guests, Hotels need the guests money. They will never ban or kick you out.

The only thing, that they will probably do is to remind you friendly to wear a mask please.

34 ( +47 / -13 )

Completely pointless. I'm more likely to get COVID on a squalid, nasty old train with two carriages jam-packed with commuters and students than I am in a hotel. I suppose it's more difficult for the government to think of anything to do about that so they're not going to bother.

37 ( +53 / -16 )

This is a joke, seriously, don’t bother opening till you grow up and stop embarrassing yourselves Japan

12 ( +59 / -47 )

Currently, the wearing of masks is not compulsory in Japan.

Except we all know that it effectively is.

13 ( +40 / -27 )

Talk about mixed messages, weren't the government trying to ween the Japanese off their masks last month, now we are back on this. Or is this just a stunt to reassure the xenophobic that travellers will be forced to wear masks.

11 ( +38 / -27 )

that should boost the tourist business!

34 ( +56 / -22 )

This is kinda mental.

Japanese people do love their masks. Bets are they are here to stay, long after covid.

As if interpersonal communication wasnt already hard in this place.

13 ( +55 / -42 )

Japan weighs plan for ban on hotel guests without masks: report

How will they enforce that? You want visitors then adapted.

BTW That doesn't sound like a non-plan approach. Whoever says otherwise is not paying serious attention to the situation.

Not a good plan, but a plan non the less.

8 ( +23 / -15 )

to control infection during an outbreak

What is the definition of an "outbreak"?

25 ( +44 / -19 )

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