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Koike pressures Abe to declare state of emergency

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By Chang-Ran Kim

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warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession.

Sick people can't work, and the health system collapses, Mr. PM Abe. respectfully. Economy over health can't prevail.

32 ( +34 / -2 )

Why cannot Tokyo do the same thing while London and Paris can do? Is that because too many things and functions gather in Tokyo?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Imagine people cooped up in their tiny, microscopic condominiums with their "beloved" spouses and children (who can't go to school). I hope Koike has enough police on hand to deal with the WAVES of domestic violence cases (France is putting up abused women in hotels for free) and suicides! No work - No life. Free time will kill this city. At least, with me, I am on the mountain in my city, with the conservation area behind my backyard, and so I can go hiking anytime besides doing my garden. What can these people do?

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Every reason to resist declaring a nation wide National Emergency now as opposed to later, risks far greater damage in the long run.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

The ball is in your court, Abe. How many more deaths? How many more infections? It's a pity this virus doesn't aim more at stupidity and selfishness.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

Too late now.

Save the economy, no state of emergency!

-24 ( +6 / -30 )

This is why Japan needs political decentralization. If prefectures had the power to govern themselves, they wouldn't have waited for the central government to declare state of emergency or do anything to help them. Local governments would've acted in accordance with their own circumstances. Some prefectures don't have any cases, some have few, some have a lot. Local govts. are flexible, and more accountable as they are closer to the people. They are easier to follow and easier to change. Japan does need constitutional reforms, but not the kind of reform Abe wants.

25 ( +29 / -4 )

Just looking at the numbers.

The flu causes about 3300 deaths per winter in Japan. Or about 36 people per day assuming a 3 month flu season.

So far, over a 3 month period, the corona virus as resulted in about 63 deaths. Less than 1 per day over the same time frame.

Statistically speaking, the flu is much more dangerous, yet Japan never issued a nationwide shutdown during even the heaviest flu season.

Let's stick to the data instead of emotionally biased hypotheticals.

-34 ( +13 / -47 )

As suspected! Abe takes his orders from Keidanren, and they don't want any kind of shutdown, so we won't see one, even if it means risking all the citizens of Tokyo and Japan. But the sad thing is, nobody will blame Abe for this. Yesterday he made the same comment at Trump, that in Japan, there were many areas not hard hit by the virus, so there was no need to issue a state of emergency. Trump gets roasted, as he should, and Abe skates!

18 ( +18 / -0 )

"""Nobuhiko Okabe, director general of the Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health, said judging the timing for declaring a state of emergency was tough.

If issued too soon, it would have a big economic impact and have a serious effect on society, but if too late, the number of infected patients would rise, he said."""

Is't that what public officials were hired to do? make these tough calls!!!

Based on the what we see in Europe and the U.S. I don't think there is any doubt of the outcome of INDECISION, or as they say in Japaneses MAYOOOOOOOOO!!.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Please don’t encourage the use of TikTok.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

In high population areas such as Osaka, Kobe, and Tokyo I would say its better late than never and its needed. Ishikawa especially Noto we are already taking extra precautions to be better safe than sorry so its probability not needed in very rural areas such as here in Noto, Sado, or in other remote places.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Statistically speaking, the flu is much more dangerous, yet Japan never issued a nationwide shutdown during even the heaviest flu season.

Do you think the flu just stops dancing while COVID-19 is on the floor?

The country and the medical system are dealing with all the other issues they normally cope with PLUS all the COVID-19 cases. That puts a huge stress on the system.

No testing: no verified COVID-19 cases

No autopsies: no verified COVID-19 deaths

No data: no problem

20 ( +23 / -3 )

The cat is out of the bag, and the virus is spreading silently. Strangling the economy now will not slow that relentless spread...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Let's not forget that Koike is just as Nippon Kaigi as Abe and may even have designs on the Iron Throne herself.

Let's stick to the data instead of emotionally biased hypotheticals.

Totally agree. Why won't the government release the data on deaths from pneumonia this year?

27 ( +29 / -2 )

Do you think the flu just stops dancing while COVID-19 is on the floor?The country and the medical system are dealing with all the other issues they normally cope with PLUS all the COVID-19 cases.

Yes. In fact, flu cases are way down this year - primarily because of the closed schools and reduced travel and social interaction. Even the partial measures in Japan have an effect.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Northeast Asia should immediately unify digital health code, and track the virus at personal resolution.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

4/4 62 patients in icu across the whole country

I hope they recover soon.

Hardly a medical system at breaking point,though.

5,10,30 days ago we were told Japanese hospitals were going to be overrun in a matter of days.

They weren't

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Statistically speaking, the flu is much more dangerous, yet Japan never issued a nationwide shutdown during even the heaviest flu season.

Statistically speaking, flu has death rate of 0.1% while covid19 has 1.0%. So covid is more deadly.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Stop debating on the state of emergency issue. Start ramping up testing, promote social distancing, do more so called "National Containment Measures" or whatever you want to call it. Ask local governments and your citizens to use "common sense" to fight the spread.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Northeast Asia should immediately unify digital health code, and track the virus at personal resolution.

No thank you. China does not need the personal information of Japanese people. You can see if the Koreans may fall for that one, but this would just be the CPP being opportunistic and trying to extend their reach into other countries even further.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Let's not forget that Koike is just as Nippon Kaigi as Abe and may even have designs on the Iron Throne herself.

absolutely!!! And why is she now pressuring Abe to declare a state of emergency when a couple of weeks ago she was insisting that the olympics would be held?? While she is right to pressure him to declare it, I can't believe she's doing it out of a sense of duty, but more for political capital.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

More than 100,000 people die of pneumonia every year in Japan and yet no lockdowns have ever been declared. It seems to me that Koike is trying to score points for the upcoming Tokyo gubernatorial election in which she seeks a second term.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

4/4 62 patients in icu across the whole country

4/4 62 confirmed COVID-19 patients reported in icu across the whole country

With a testing rate of 313 tests per million people, Japan is in close to last place when it comes to testing for COVID-19. Albania, Thailand, Peru, Vietnam, Ecuador, and Costa Rica are all testing at higher rates than Japan. No other G7 countries tests at a lower rate than Japan. Japan currently ranks 96th out of 114 countries and regions when it comes to testing.

Autopsies in Japan are performed on only 1.6% of all deaths, the lowest rate among developed countries. Cause of death is almost always determined by simple visual inspection, as it was 100 years ago.

No testing: no verified COVID-19 cases

No autopsies: no verified COVID-19 deaths

No data: no problem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_testing

https://www.nature.com/articles/507306e

16 ( +19 / -3 )

A lockdown without enforcement but it will have a psychological impact.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There has to be a measured, balanced, economic/fiscal sensitivity in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decision to declaring a state of emergency. To potentially shut down Japan economy, prematurely, could set off a ruinous miscalculation of the outcome to maintain and semblance of Japans economic/fiscal stability.

As witnessed in France/UK. The UK is on track to lose a estimated 20% of its GDP and endure 15 years of unprecedented austerity. The scale is 2008/9 plus, plus.

When the occasion suited, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike spent a month holed up under her desk. Only to emerge, I suspect to engage in a shameful, cynical display of political points scoring.

The Government of Japan cannot entertain a valid or sustainable economic stimulus package, if the tax revenues triggered by economic shutdown cease to exist. The whole economic house of cards will come crashing down.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Stop debating on the state of emergency issue. Start ramping up testing, promote social distancing, do more so called "National Containment Measures" or whatever you want to call it. Ask local governments and your citizens to use "common sense" to fight the spread.

This sound right to me. Look at what the article says about a State of Emergency and how toothless it is.

Declaring a state of emergency would give regional governors legal authority to ask people to stay home and businesses to close, but not to impose the kind of lockdowns seen in other countries. In most cases, there are no penalties for ignoring requests, and governors' pleas would be dependent on voluntary public compliance - pressure for which would increase with an emergency declaration.

Abe closed the schools at the beginning of March by asking them. Hokkaido declared an emergency without a national emergency being called. Japan is a social pressure culture, most things here are enforced by people being obedient and fearing social judgements made by other people. The Japanese word for restraint, jishuku, features the kanji for self. Unlike "lockdown" (enforced by others), it is self driven. The state of emergency issue just strikes me as different levels of government trying to blame their inaction on each other.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

All these masks everyone is wearing are not working as well as everyone had hoped.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Hardly a medical system at breaking point,though.

April 2nd Japan Today article: In a recommendation released after their meeting, the experts said, even though the country has not seen an explosive increase in infections so far, the health care system in Tokyo and four prefectures of Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka and Hyogo is under increased strain and "drastic countermeasures need to be taken as quickly as possible."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Stop the ignorant comments about the flu! This is worse than the flu. No one.., repeat no one has any immunity to it. You are exposed and you will get it. Locking down large cities is the ONLY way to stop the spread, not government subsidies and do nothing wait and see policy.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Focus on the essential priorities, mega scale testing/tracing, and if necessary confinement of the infected.

Hammer home to the people, all must conform to stringent social distancing, frequent hand washing.

Be smart and sensible, bear the isolation, only go out for exercise and shopping for necessities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

koike had no problem and comment on a lockdown before the Olympics was postponed...DON'T forget that.

In fact it was business as usual until the Olympics were called off.

I don't trust any of these inept deceitful self serving cretinous politicians.

Some people suddenly have faith in Koike...wake up .

12 ( +14 / -2 )

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/03/coronavirus-uk-business-activity-plunges-to-lowest-ebb-since-records-began

We don't want the above.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike is a feckless political opportunist. Don't give Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike the opportunity to enact measures that could lead to unparalleled levels of indigence/penury

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It is recent memory that Abe insisted that the 2020 Olympics must go on when it was obvious to anyone with a brain that the ever-present threat of of the coronavirus made it impossible. He was in denial far too long and too close to putting thousands of people in danger. Well, he is at it again. He is denying the that there is a clear and present danger to our lives here in Japan from the pandemic unless he declares a state of emergency, as very practically all nations.

I do not care for Koike, but I think she absolutely right in telling Abe to declare a state of emergency now.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

360 cases today....thats triple that 2 weeks ago and double that a week ago ( and thats with still limited testing ) ...Its accelerating on the same trajectory as elsewhere. Get off your a..se and declare it already.

Nobuhiko Okabe, director general of the Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health, said judging the timing for declaring a state of emergency was tough.If issued too soon, it would have a big economic impact and have a serious effect on society, but if too late, the number of infected patients would rise, he said.

Another sit on the fence useless bureaucrat .... their typical thinking...Cant make any sort of a decision until my pants are on fire.

Stop finding excuses , the numbers are rising the whole time twit.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This panic is ridiculous. If you have a lock-down it will ruin the economy, cause huge unemployment, and give rise to massive social problems as families are cooped up in small apartments 24/7. The virus has killed 63 people so far in Japan, and for that number posters here want to invite a lockdown, the closing of the economy, and a huge increases in state and police powers over people's lives? Madness.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

koike doesn't know anything about anything..

It is too late to call an emergency.

OLD PEOPLE and those with medical conditions that could be exacerbated by COVID19 should self isolate.

If the government is prepared to pay us all our salaries at 80 % then sure lets all stay home and fester but Abe being a skin flint scrooge that won't happen..

It is ok for you to say lets shut it all down but how will we eat?!!!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I am self employed I have no company to bail me out or pay my bills when I stop working..

if you wanna pay my bills and feed me etc for a few months etc sure lets do this lock down circus.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

experts are worried about the rise in the percentage of cases that can't be traced.

Correction: A decision not to test people has caused a lack of crucial data, which will cause people to die. Now we have to save face for the oyajis with fingers in the Olympic pie who made that decision. Thus "We decided not to test" will be referred to as "cases cannot be traced".

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The tough decision will be maintaining economic activity, to stave off poverty on a scale that is unimaginable. This could require the acceptance that many lives will be lost to this pandemic for the sake of staving off a future economic catastrophe that could render millions to destitution and ultimately starvation.   A safety net will not exist.

March data indicated the steepest downturn across the UK service sector for more than two decades. The slump in activity was almost exclusively linked by survey respondents to business shutdowns and cancelled orders in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Survey-record fall in service sector activity amid emergency measures to slow COVID-19 pandemic

https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public/Home/PressRelease/61f043b216da42618ff2559dd8435bc6?s=1

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stop the ignorant comments about the flu! 

And your area of expertise is...?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Burning BushToday 07:31 am JST

'Just looking at the numbers.

The flu causes about 3300 deaths per winter in Japan. Or about 36 people per day assuming a 3 month flu season....'

I'm sorry Burning Bush, but comparisons to the flu are simply not appropriate. Covid19 is more comparable to SARS. It is true that symptoms can be 'flu like' but the disease caused by Civd19 is more unpredictable than Flu, it is a new thing. Thankfully it seems most only get mild symptoms, but you cannot ignore the speed of spread which has overwhelmed many countries who failed to take pro-active measures.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Bruce Chatwin. Can you please post each day. Keep me updated :) as We are clearly on the same page. You can’t account for what’s not made accountable. These figures are an utter sham. And Mrs ‘Olympics’ Koike is a utter disgrace playing this emergency card now when she clearly prioritized the Olympics above people welfare just 2 weeks ago.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Dan Lavender

I don't trust any of these inept deceitful self serving cretinous politicians.

Some people suddenly have faith in Koike...wake up .

I don't think people have forgotten - nor trust her. But what she's saying is correct. We shouldn't dismiss the correct message simply because we don't like the source.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Guy jin yeah ...she didn't care a less the day before the Olympics was postponed.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Pachinko car part on my street is already full. We had a local cluster identified not 2 days ago. Idiots. If only corona virus infection was limited to those idiots who ignore all of the health advice... Alas

5 ( +6 / -1 )

TheRat is spot on.

China clamped down hard and avoided the NYC debacle and now economy bouncing back. Japan needs to choose which way: Wuhan or NYC. I live in Tokyo and am not prepared for the worst. Can't wait to get out if here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As soon as we are spared daily press conferences from local mayors and doctors and daily updates on the number of cases, the virus will mysteriously disappear and we can all go back to a normal life.

If flu data was reported in the same way, we would have the same panic every year.

Wash your hands, wear a mask if you need and stay home if your sick, same as every flu season.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful day, I am going to for a picnic.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

They don't declare state of emergency coz Japanese lack the courage. They will, tho, get their heads off the sand when it's already too late and the virus is everywhere.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

If flu data was reported in the same way, we would have the same panic every year.

This is not the flu and won't go away like the flu simply coz it's not winter anymore. This is very unlike the flu.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Tick, tick, tick ...

What is that ticking?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It baffles me that the same people are still pulling out the tired old "it's less deadly than the flu" argument. The ignorance is astounding. Interpretation of "statistics" is dangerous when people don't understand statistics. Not only is that factually incorrect, it also completely ignores an important difference between the flu and covid, namely, hospitalizations. 1-2% of people with seasonal flu will require hospitalization. Up to 20% of people infected with SARS-COV-2 will require hospitalization.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This panic is ridiculous. If you have a lock-down it will ruin the economy, cause huge unemployment, and give rise to massive social problems as families are cooped up in small apartments 24/7. The virus has killed 63 people so far in Japan, and for that number posters here want to invite a lockdown, the closing of the economy, and a huge increases in state and police powers over people's lives? Madness.

The only reason why the death rate is so low is because if you die before being tested, your death is not included in the tally. If you can find this year's deaths by pneumonia, you might see a different story. Apparently, the government hasn't realised these numbers this year..... I wonder why.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

5,10,30 days ago we were told Japanese hospitals were going to be overrun in a matter of days.

Yes, that's how it happens. A matter of days.

The two options are to take steps to prevent it happening. Or for hospitals to be sufficiently prepared and receive sufficient support to handle the wave of patients.

In reality, the second option is almost impossible to implement if the first option is ignored.

Japan could have behaved more like South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore or Hong Kong, but it opted not to. Instead, with piss-weak measures in place (like the 48-hour "please don't go out until Monday" request), it has opened the doors for this disease to do its thing. It almost certainly will, because the brutal fact is that masks and obsessive handwashing are not enough to prevent it from infecting you.

What we're left with is the forlorn hope that hospitals can do a good job in the face of a deluge of emergency patients: that they have bed spaces, ventilators, ICU faclities, and PPE in abundance.

In the absence of strict measures (very rigorous Taiwan-style tracking, isolation, quarantine; or everywhere-else style total shutdown), this disease will continue to establish itself in the general population. Why anyone would think that is a safe strategy at this stage of the game is beyond my comprehension. Or why they think it would be a cool idea to sit back and wait for the health system to get walloped, then run around like headless chickens when it does.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Statistically speaking, the flu is much more dangerous

According to the CDC, so far this flu season, about 1% of people in the United States have developed symptoms severe enough to be hospitalized.

In a recent study, considered the largest on COVID-19 cases to date, researchers from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Protection, analyzed 44,672 confirmed cases in China between Dec. 31, 2019 and Feb. 11, 2020. Of those cases, 81% were considered mild, 14% severe and 5%  critical. "Critical cases were those that exhibited respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure," the researchers wrote in the paper published in China CDC Weekly. A recent study of COVID-19 cases in the United States found that, among 4,226 reported cases, at least 508 people, or 12% were hospitalized.

The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1% in the U.S. Though the death rate for COVID-19 is unclear, most research suggests it is higher than that of the seasonal flu. In a study published Feb. 18 in the China CDC Weekly, researchers found a death rate from COVID-19 to be around 2.3% in mainland China. Another study of about 1,100 hospitalized patients in China, published Feb. 28 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the overall death rate was slightly lower, around 1.4%.

So, the flu results in 1% of patients developing symptoms severe enough to be hospitalized.

COVID-19 results in between 12 and 19% of patients developing symptoms severe enough to be hospitalized.

The death rate from seasonal flu is typically around 0.1%

The death rate from COVID-19 appears to be between 1.4 and 2.3% which is at least ten times higher than the flu.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

@Burning Bush I am sure you are correct with your statistics. And I believe Koike and Abe san are both selfless people doing their best for the Japanese population.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Tweet to @abeshinzo and @ecoyuri, and give them a piece of your mind. I tweet them everyday now with news articles and youtube videos to emphasize the seriousness of this disease, and how it could affect Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is a theory that the BCG vaccination (a 9-prong needle (!) that leaves a mark to prove vaccination) that basically all Japanese get as babies may help to prevent infection. Interesting as the US has never used it, Italy also, Spain did until 1981, France until 2007. South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia also use it so if you think about the death rate of Covid-19, one wonders if it's a coincidence.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Koike should hold a press conference and "order" Abe to declare an emergency for Tokyo. She should tell him that if he doesn't he will be blamed for the excess deaths that an unmitigated outbreak will bring. With the popular leader of Japan's biggest city standing up against him, Abe will cave in and declare the emergency. Of course Koike doesn't have any real authority to "order" Abe to do anything. But, it will strongly emphasize her point. If Japan does not take strong action to limit 81% of social contact for the next month Tokyo could easily become the next New York or worse since Tokyo has much less overflow hospital capacity than New York.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The problem is that any/all available laws have no teeth/penalties. The ability of central/regional government to forcibly compel people to comply with laws like the ones they require were removed post WW2 as part of the constitutions for fear that they could be used again for nefarious purposes.

In simple, there are no penalties for businesses or individuals for ignoring any/all requests to stay indoors and self isolate. All they can do is issue 'requests' and hope people comply. You won't see the military on the streets nor police enforcing the rules.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A major reason that Japan is failing so poorly is because they don't want to lose face like many Asian cultures. It could be argued that as a culture, it is a sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This explains partly their failure to learn English properly and some of their rules of law like the Ghosn situation, or paternity leave.

This prevents them for working with other Asian countries because they believe themselves to be better than other Asian countries and sometimes other Western countries.

Except for individual cases, Japan as a country doesn't work well with others. If Abe wanted to maintain the confidence of the people and trust his decision to not call a state of emergency then he would send some investigators and researchers to reach out countries that are dealing with pandemic properly like Singapore.

Instead, he is just waiting to see what tRump and Johnson are doing because he think that they are cool.

Singapore has done a better job than Korea (less than 200 cases and no deaths), and they have not called a state of emergency. Once again, it will call for collaboration with another Asian government probably using English!

Unfortunately, Japan is not good at either.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Interesting vid from CNN.

Is Tokyo the next New York?

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/03/asia/tokyo-coronavirus-japan-hnk-intl/index.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

the government has so far been reluctant to pull the trigger, warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession.

This is disgusting. They are prioritising the economy over the health and safety of everyone who lives here.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is disgusting. They are prioritising the economy over the health and safety of everyone who lives here.

But the economy and people's wellbeing are linked. Calling a lockdown and destroying the economy means destroying jobs and incomes. I'm not saying that this new virus isn't dangerous, it's just that imposing a lockdown (ruined economy, job losses, more powers to the police and state, social problems, etc) is more dangerous than the virus itself.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

every other country is able to move in the same direction except...

Sweden....

Not every country in the world is in lockdown you know.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Japan has so far been spared the kind of explosive surge seen in parts of Europe, the United States and elsewhere

Any country will be spared if they don't test and pretend it is not there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Read the article a couple of times and the take I get is a political strategy from Koike placing full blame on Abe if things go south. Well played politically. Question remains if there are businesses that are not closing and knowingly as most of do there is an important issue with COVID 19 can the business be sued later for "knowingly" continuing to conduct business despite mass media warnings posted. For example, from the article states "Declaring a state of emergency would give regional governors legal authority to ask people to stay home and businesses to close, but not to impose the kind of lockdowns seen in other countries. In most cases, there are no penalties for ignoring requests, and governors' pleas would be dependent on voluntary public compliance - pressure for which would increase with an emergency declaration. While there would be no penalties a lawsuit filed for "negligence for the publics well being" does equal an opportunity. Furthermore Starbuch's and others limited business hours is a recognition of such of an existing ongoing threat, therefor their steps places a reduction of punitive damages if sued. Afterall Koike does provide an interesting comment " "If the country makes a move, it would send a strong message to people," Koike said at a news conference. "If that is coupled with the economic stimulus package being prepared, it would give Tokyo a big boost" in dealing with the epidemic, she said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But experts are worried about the rise in the percentage of cases that can't be traced. 

I am not an expert but I am more worried of the number of undetected cases roaming the country and spreading due to the lack of testing.

I have lost faith in these government mouthpiece called experts.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Antibody tests alongside better be conducted alongside lockdowns. Those who get positive would be allowed to leave lockdowns with a test result certificate. Such "wayout" plan has already been proposed in UK as well as some others. That may be able to avoid full paralysis of local socioeconomic life. "Comeback" immunized healthcare professionals can engage in virus warfare at the frontline.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

oldman-

Save the economy, no state of emergency!

Spoken like a true oldman....Shinzo, get the heck moving already...shut the joint down and compensate employees and businesses.... every other country is able to move in the same direction except the impotent LDP clowns running this island.

0( +0 / -0 )

6 ( +6 / -0 )

every other country is able to move in the same direction except...

Sweden....

Not every country in the world is in lockdown you know."

Nitpicking....for every advanced country ( u know the ones Japan likes to compare itself to ) thats not in lockdown ..there are a dozen that are. You know that well , right?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am not an expert but I am more worried of the number of undetected cases roaming the country and spreading due to the lack of testing

One eye-opener came from an Italian expert who has posited that up to 20,000,000 Italians, a third of the country, have been infected if we include asymptotic cases. This has led some to ask ‘Why are we locking down?’.

Of course, you can find other experts who refute this idea and see lockdowns as the key to flattening the curve.

As a main point is that as there are so many unknowns, it is better to err on the side of caution.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@nunan

Agreeed. The lack of English ability is HUGE. I have been watching the parliamentary sessions where I can, and noticed the briefs and information being passed around is days or even weeks out of date. Policy is then formed on this old information, but meanwhile the rest of the world has moved on. Couple that with the fact that much of the translations authorities are provided with could be wrong, or come from misunderstandings or fake news, then there a potential for even more mishaps. Its a game of catch up that they can't hope to win.

Having said though, even though some politician such as Koike do have a decent command of English, they are unwilling to to rock the boat and take a leadership role. This not only due to the fact that she is a woman, but she just doesn't seem to get on with ANYBODY, including Abe. This animosity and power struggle is stiffing the response to this even more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Before the pandemic Koike and Abe were more the same than different, Koike, perhaps, being more to the right. Come the pandemic. Koike saw everything has changed while Abe went into denial. I don't care about the psychology behind all this. I am more concerned about how to convince Abe to implement a state of emergency before Japan is turned into an Italy or a New York. You might recall that it was the Olympic athletes who first raised the hue and cry. Well, we have nothing quite like that now. In fact the trouble is that the Abe government is taking a laidback view of the pandemic and the populace has to a great extent remained complacent. The mobs going to view the cherry blossoms is one example. It disturbs me that Koike has been so far relegated to a Cassandra role. That has to change not quickly but immediately.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

To help spread a sense of urgency, Koike said Tokyo would begin using social media such as YouTube and TikTok to announce daily infection numbers, with celebrities dispensing public-service messages.

Does it really have to use 'celebrities' to get across the message? It's so annoying to watch stupid comedians speak on behalf of the government and make money out of it.

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@Tokyo-m

Sweden....

Not every country in the world is in lockdown you know.

And because of the decisions Sweden made (and the lack of nearly any kind of restrictions), it's in big trouble now with sudden surge of serious covid-19 cases. This week saw a rise of 500+ cases in one day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is a theory that the BCG vaccination (a 9-prong needle (!) that leaves a mark to prove vaccination) that basically all Japanese get as babies may help to prevent infection. 

I got the BCG vac in England as a child, as did everyone else in my school and as far as I know, every school in the country. It doesn't seem to have helped prevent infection in the UK.

Any country will be spared if they don't test and pretend it is not there.

I think that's true but only up to a point.

Not testing keeps the number of confirmed cases down. What it means is that only those with severe symptoms get tested, so logically there should be a much higher death rate since only those who are seriously ill are being counted in the first place. That doesn't seem to be happening in Japan.

With 2617 confirmed cases and 63 deaths, Japan has a death rate of around 2.4%; in Italy, with 119,827 confirmed cases and 7144 deaths, the death rate is around 12%. If Italy is testing extensively and Japan is testing as little as possible, surely those figures can't be right.

'But in Japan people are dying and it isn't being attributed to CoVid19 because they don't do autopsies,' I hear people say. But Japan is not setting up makeshift morgues or asking for refrigerated trucks to store bodies in, as is happening in New York.

Testing works to pick out and isolate those who are infected but showing only mild or no symptoms, so that they do not infect others. It can help slow the spread of the disease. It does not provide a cure for the illness, and not testing doesn't mean the dead people become invisible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese government has not shown such indecisiveness since 1945. We can now only hope and pray that we will be spared the dire consequences of Abe's gamble: lives or livelihoods.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sweden and Holland have no lockdown, and the Corona rates are not higer than in the countries that take the draconian response. Just saying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sweden and Holland have no lockdown, and the Corona rates are not higer than in the countries that take the draconian response. Just saying.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommended on 17 March that secondary schools and universities use distance learning, with schools following suit all over the country.

On 11 March, the same day as the first Swedish death to COVID-19, the Swedish government passed a new law, limiting freedom of assembly by temporarily banning all gatherings larger than 500 people, with threat of fine and prison. The ban will apply until further notice. On 27 March the government announced that gatherings of more than 50 people were banned.

Sweden has the lowest per capita testing rate of any of the Scandinavian countries. It has a correspondingly low per capita case rate. On the other hand, with 333 deaths in 6,078 confirmed cases, Sweden is struggling with a mortality rate of almost 5.5%. Sweden has the highest per capita COVID-19 death rate of any of the Scandinavian countries.

In late March, the government of the Netherlands (Holland) announced strict social distancing rules. All events and gatherings of three people or more (that are not from the same household) are banned until 1 June. Furthermore, in public space a distance of at least 1.5 meters (five feet) between people not from the same household must be observed, and stores and other venues are to enforce this distancing among their visitors. Fines will be issued to those not complying with the new rules. Companies may face a fine up to €4,000, individuals risk a fine up to €400.

Just saying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sweden and Holland have no lockdown, and the Corona rates are not higher than in the countries that take the draconian response. Just saying.]

Everyone is missing the point. Lockdown can be avoided if the correct procedures are put into place. The problem is some of the most powerful countries in the world are currently ran by incompetent and corrupt individuals(ie. Boris, Donnie, Xi, Putin). Like these powerful countries, middle tier countries have been following these countries leads and getting their buts kicked too by this pandemic.

However, Singapore has not locked down their country, but they have taking proper precautions by collaborating with experts all around the world to keep the people safe. SK took some pointers from Singapore and is also doing better.

Singapore was also recognized by the WHO because of their accomplishments(ie. English and collaboration)!

There are reasons why science uses English as a Lingua Franca.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The government is already late in their response. It is never to soon but longer wait for the strong preventive measures will result in exponentially more infections, highest cost to the health care and higher delay to return to normal. With a few initial hotspots it was easier to contain the spread and compile the contact information, by now that chance has been wasted. For every case recorded there is tenfold of unrecorded cases made trough contacts and it grows daily because most of those infected do not know that they are infected. It seems as if there is a plot by big countries governments, all of them reacting in a same fashion, as soon there if first cases thy start talking about economy and refuse to do anything practical. Instead they start talking financial intervention and which big business will get what, while letting the virus spread to the extent to where bailout packages are now not only justified but even insufficient. Instead of burdening your population with yet another wave of long term debt why not jump on the problem and make it short lived, Save lives and that will save the economy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Im a single mother of 3 kids from hiroshima. And my parents is already in their 70s. My mother is in hospital with heart failure. As a single mother im not just afraid for my daugthers to go back to school im afraid to go back to work as well. Im afraid of whats happening right now. Last march there is no cases in hiroshima but the school is cancelled but with the cases increases this past few days why they still not doing any action about the school cancellation/suspension. And in 2 days the class will resume, i just dont understand. My life and my families life is important. We can still go back to work after this COVID 19 issues, and earn money. But if someone dies can they bring the life after all of this. Im a law abider but if my life and my families life is at risk do i need to follow the law that my children have to go to school and i have to go to back to work. Is it only tokyo that the government worried about? How about other cities?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tresmarias, E we can sympathise with your dilemma, firstly put your self first, sod the rules, for you and your children safety is paramount, 90% of the world is in the same position as you, my son was laid off from his work and has no money coming in, also my work has stopped. this is going to be a problem for a short time, take as a Holliday have a rest, dont send your children to school, here in the UK ALL schools are closed! you can always home school your children, as the school for work assignments so they can do that work at home. a lot of home school work ca be done on the computer, via the internet. spend time walking and exercising with you kids, I hope things go well with your family you must be concerned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If a State of Emergency is declared, does the Government then have to pay compensation to Businesses that close down ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@TresMarias Estrella

Just be careful. Teach your kids to wash their hands and faces more than regularly with soap and water, and to avoid being close to other people when / if outside.

Public Schools are sadly opening again, particularly for new entrants to visit and collect materials. I'd suggest, if you can, exposing as little of yourselves as possibly practical, hand gloves, etc. And washing each upon return to home.

As for yourself, having to work on site, may be, the only option you have, and in that case, the same rules apply to you too. If you don't have a face mask, then a headscarf will help you when travelling, and not look too embarrassing. Cleanliness is Key, more so than ever! Suggest you also immediately shower when returning home and wash your clothes before doing anything else within your abode - since if your clothing had picked up the virus, you don't want to transfer that around the place.

These times are scary, no one can give you 100% solid advice. I'm simply offering advice that's available elsewhere. So, just be careful, decide what you can / can't do, given your situation, and do your best. You've already started that journey by admitting that you are concerned... which is great! (And very Brave) .

Be Positive! Be Proactive, make it a fun thing for your Kids to wash regularly - and do take care of your Kids! Good luck.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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