People walk on the Shibuya pedestrian crossing in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko
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Japan reports record new coronavirus infections for 3rd straight day

134 Comments

Japan confirmed a record 1,578 new coronavirus infections on Friday, marking the third straight day fresh cases have surpassed 1,000, while the Tokyo and Osaka governments said they will consider making stronger requests for some businesses to shorten their hours or even temporarily close.

The figure exceeds the previous record of 1,305 new cases reported Thursday, with the rising trend extending to urban areas across the country.

The country's cumulative total now stands at over 37,000, including some 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. The death toll stands at 1,026.

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Friday that more business types may be requested to shorten their operating hours after the capital confirmed record new infections for the second straight day at 463 cases.

The figure topped the previous single-day record of 367 marked Thursday, adding to concerns about further economic and social impact from the new wave of infections after the country fully lifted a state of emergency in late May.

The metropolitan government on Thursday again requested that establishments serving alcohol and karaoke parlors close early to prevent further spread of the virus, effective from Monday through the end of August.

Koike said Friday that while the metropolitan government may ask other types of businesses to also close early, rather than a sweeping request similar to the one made during the nationwide state of emergency, it would "pinpoint" certain sectors and areas.

"If the situation gets worse, we'll have to declare a Tokyo-only state of emergency," she said, urging residents not to let their guard down during the summer.

The cumulative total of infections in Tokyo stands at more than 12,000, over half of which were reported this month.

The daily figures announced by the metropolitan government reflect the most recent totals reported by health authorities and medical institutions in the capital.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed concern Friday that the pace of new infections is increasing in some regions but stressed that the percentage of serious cases remained lower than in March and April.

"During its peak Tokyo reported 105 serious cases, but today the number dropped by six to 16," he said. "Assessing the situation as a whole, we don't need to declare another state of emergency and scale-down all economic activity at present."

Amid rising cases, the Osaka prefectural government will request establishments providing alcohol in Osaka's Minami entertainment district to temporarily shut or shorten their operating hours from Wednesday through Aug. 20, Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said.

Businesses without virus-prevention measures will be asked to close, while those that have taken sufficient measures will be asked to shorten their hours, Yoshimura said during the central government's meeting earlier in the day to discuss COVID-19 response. The prefectural government and Osaka city will jointly provide 20,000 yen per day ($191) to businesses that have taken such measures.

"We should focus our measures on the area where (the virus) is spreading the most. We will provide as much compensation as possible," he said.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

134 Comments
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eh?! Wha~aaT?!

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Said it before, say it again and waiting for those to deny everything again:

that fat Lady saying proves to be true!

More than 400 after the 4-day-weekend.

Just wait and see what will happen during the summer vacation and Obon time!

37 ( +47 / -10 )

400!!! Next are we heading towards the 4 digit mark?

Really wanted to go out during the Obon holidays, but now doing so is like playing with fire...

Can someone recommend some good ways of enjoying the leisure time at home?

21 ( +28 / -7 )

Not surprised at all, everyone knows what the next step will be, I already mention it few times. Let's have a faith in Shinzo Abe and Koike San to crush it before it will get worse.

-50 ( +4 / -54 )

Statistically insignificant rise. Abe-san's plan to keep sick people at home in self-quarantine is paying off in spades.

-43 ( +6 / -49 )

Hey Guys...

400 cases among a population of 14.000.000 in Tokyo is 0.0028%

Let us say the reported number is wrong and it is 10x higher. So 4000 cases.

4000 cases among a population of 14.000.000 is 0.028%

Let us say this number is also wrong and it is 100x higher. So 40000 cases.

40000 cases among a population of 14.000.000 is 0.28%

Even it would be 40000 cases, it is lower than 0.5%.

And that after 8 months pandemic.

Everyine can decide by themselves to go into a panic or not.

Me, by myself, will continue like I do since 8 months, do my best personal prevention and live my life.

-52 ( +25 / -77 )

Me, by myself, will continue like I do since 8 months, do my best personal prevention and live my life.

or become asymptomatic bring it home and infect the rest of your family, so many so blase until they become infected or a family member becomes infected.

32 ( +49 / -17 )

If you look at the breakdown of cluster locations, they are mostly places where people remove their face masks, to eat drink, sing, shout, when under closer human spacing conditions.

Karaoke joints, night entertainment spots, restaurants, families at home, etc.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Don't worry everyone.

We still have our "cool biz" and "go to" campaigns happening.

What are we concerned about?

18 ( +26 / -8 )

Monty,

You are looking at numbers on one day.....Expand those cases over three or four weeks and you exceed the number of hospital beds In Tokyo available not just for severe Covid cases, but also for people suffering from other diseases or trauma.

37 ( +44 / -7 )

@Wtfjapan

Please give a suggestion! What should I do according to you?

Quit my job?

My wife also quits her job?

My son stops going to school?

We lock down ourselves at home for the next 2 months, and then we can sleep in the park and eat garbage because we have no money for rent and food?

Like I said before. If you do your basic personal prevention, washing hands, wear mask, use sanitizer and keep social distance as much as possible, the risk that you get infected is almost zero!

And me, my family and everyone around us are doing these prevention since 8 months.

-13 ( +24 / -37 )

@iraira

Do you read and understand my post.

I count with 40000 cases. Probably we have in 3 weeks. But even with 40000 cases we are just 0.28%.

I agree with nandakandamanda, most clusters are, where people dont wear a mask!

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

Positive rates are increasing everyday while death rates getting lower and lower. What does this mean?

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

@Tom Doley

I dont understand what you are talking about!

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Monty

My point is keeping the numbers down so as not not saturate the hospitals. The number of patients the hospitals can take care of is difficult to increase. The numbers of infected, the true rate of spread, and most importantly, the remaining portion of the population who are susceptible to severe symptoms is not able to be calculated at present. That’s the problem.
14 ( +18 / -4 )

Please give a suggestion! What should I do according to you?

Quit my job?

My wife also quits her job?

My son stops going to school?

We lock down ourselves at home for the next 2 months, and then we can sleep in the park and eat garbage because we have no money for rent and food?

@ Monty - Here's another option. Move out of Tokyo and go south. Tokyo is overrated, over crowded, and too expensive. Japanese are nicer further south.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

@chico3

I lived many years in Tokyo, then moved to country side for a few years, but now I am luckily back again since a few years in Tokyo.

I love Tokyo!

Yes, maybe you are right, south Japan is nice, but sorry I prefer Tokyo, even the Corona Numbers increase.

And I am not young anymore, so moving again is hard.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

Living with the virus is the “new normal”. We have learned to live with other even more dangerous viruses, we will do it again with this one.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

I could care less about these new figures, I’ll take my chances. This morning, the government explicitly also said there is no need for a new lockdown as these figures, and the situation, is a different ballpark to late March.

-17 ( +10 / -27 )

I’ll take my chances

Mind you, it's not just your own chances.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

The virus itself seems to be attenuating, hence the low death rate. The virus is slowly burning itself out. The rise in numbers is concerning but not massive given Japan's population.

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

All those who say they will do as they like and/or take their chances, don't be so selfish please.

It's not all about you.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

But. Koike announced a "special" emergency yesterday. So we're all fine. We're "special"...

Positive rates are increasing everyday while death rates getting lower and lower. What does this mean?

It means the death rates are a lie. And we won't see the death rates for May/ June yet. The only deaths we see stats for now are up to April/ May. If a Covid-19 death causes the official death as pneumonia or respiratory failure they are probably recording them as that. Olympics 2021 and all that.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Akika.

During the winter and spring, the virus was running around in the general population, so it was hitting more people who were susceptible (Ie., older people and people with comorbidities). Therefore you saw a higher fatality rate. Those people are not outside among the general population the people who are getting the disease now (ie., a younger group of people much healthier much more likely to survive the disease) which is not indicative the general population. Therefore now you see a lower fatality rate.

if you have a peer reviewed even a non-peer reviewed article from a source such as biorxiv or medrxiv, indicating the attenuation you suggested please post a link.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sorry....Akula....autocorrect

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not again.....sigh....

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Not again.....sigh....

Maybe now you'll wear that mask.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

I find this increase now with people wearing masks, using sanitizer, and doing some social distancing practices more concerning than the last time. It also seems to be happening in other countries that have previously been praised for their Covid-19 response. On the upside, the number of deaths or people seriously ill in Japan seems to be low.

Anyway, it looks like this stripped-down, less-fun existence we are having is going to continue.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

ha again "some" number!

we know it's not the real number so let's keep calm on "low Mondays" and "high Thursdays, Fridays"...

"go to trouble" campaign is definitely paying off...but I think people are just getting used to life with corona that they are less careful...

(why to care?! No deaths...-being sarcastic here)

corona is going nowhere so we just have to adapt to that fact. Shouganai.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"More than 400 after the 4-day-weekend."

The four day weekend was the 23rd-26th. The incubation period for the virus is 14 days. It takes Tokyo 3 days to compile the stats for Covid 19,so these tests are for the 28th/29th, which means these positves picked up the virus so where around the week of the 14th.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

But here is another number:

Mortality across the nation dropped by 3.5% in May from a year earlier, with Japan recording a total of 108,380 deaths from any cause, data released yesterday by the nation's Health Ministry showed. 

So in the middle of pandemic, fewer Japanese people died.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

orac

yes, it may be 14 day but symptom onset is on average 5-6 days and during those days you can just pass it to someone else.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tokyo should do a two stage lockdown. People with a postcode ending in an odd number, no house arrest. Next day people with an even postcode, no house arrest. One day at work, one day at home.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

But hey everyone Go travel....this pathetic government is utterly disgusting they have done nothing to try to even control this virus..once this starts hitting the older generation there wont be enough crematoriums to keep up with the bodies..

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Numbers/stats related to deaths are to be taken with a huge grain of salt as at this point everyone knows the LDP routinely manipulates all data to their advantage.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

 The incubation period for the virus is 14 days.

Fake news. It can be anywhere from 3 to 14 days about. Depends on the health of the inflicted person and environment.

the virus lifespan on objects depends on the material. Face masks contamination lasts up to about 72 hours. If you touch your mask once, you will infect all objects. Wash your hands, don’t touch door handles etc. stay safe

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Positive rates are increasing everyday while death rates getting lower and lower. What does this mean?

Before, they only tested you when you were about to die. You could have a fever for a week and still not get tested. Now they are testing more, so it is natural the rate will fall.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If they had done more tests, the number would have skyrocketed.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function."

--Albert Allen Bartlett

7 ( +12 / -5 )

or become asymptomatic bring it home and infect the rest of your family, so many so blase until they become infected or a family member becomes infected.

Do tell us your part in the fight against this virus. Locked up in your house in a hazmat suit?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Disgraceful.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Nothing will be done before end of Jan 2021 because the Go To campaign will take priority over everything else.

Japan needs to surpass US in daily infection numbers for Suga and Nishimura to even admit there’s spread. Nishimura just went on a presser just today saying there’s no covid spead in Japan.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

If it were not so serious and people not suffering and dying at the government's inaction, it would be hilarious to watch them sitting on their hands and just trying to pray this away, insisting it's all okay.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Orac 'the middle of this pandemic' is not May deaths and you know it. Wait until August September death stats come out.

May deaths would relate to March or April positive cases so the drop means nothing. Wait until August and September death stats to see the spike in deaths (and remember to check all deaths because Covid-related will be hidden).

7 ( +9 / -2 )

400 cases among a population of 14.000.000 in Tokyo is 0.0028%

Monty - you forget a couple of factors - one is that this is for one day only. Even if this infection rate remains stable, that's 12000 a month.

The other is the imputed R number behind this. Japan had very few infections a month ago. Now it has hundreds a day. If it continues to spread at the current rate, there will be 4000 infections a day. There were 85 infections in the whole of Japan a month ago.

Not saying I have a solution, but you can't dismiss the data so easily.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

The numbers keep creeping up - but everything is fine.

Do you remember when Koike said (or was it Abe?) something along the line of ‘there’s no need for another SoE as long as we are under 150’.

Well here we are at 463 in Tokyo. Oh and @Monty - 463 doesn’t mean there are ONLY 463 cases in Tokyo. It means 463 of X tested (again, the article doesn’t put the 463 in context). How many tests were conducted in Tokyo to get 463 positives?

If 463 is 10% of the tests conducted, then your calculation (@Monty) means 1.4 million people in Tokyo are potentially infected - and walking around, taking public transport, spreading it a little bit more every day, and just about to undertake their Obon holidays...

Good luck everyone.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

I am more worried about the re-entry ban than the virus. At least the virus does not discriminate.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Until there is a vaccine we will have to make the best of it without totally freaking out all the time!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Reuters reported. Suga said the current trend in infections was different from that in March and April.

Yes you numbskull its WORSE now than it was in March and April!!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Well clearly masks and social distancing are doing the job.But how many deaths to go with these daily blow by blow updates? I need to know... Yeah exactly.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Koike also said that Tokyo could declare a state of emergency of its own if the situation worsens.

How much worse does it have to get than it already is, however I for one don't lose sight of when and where this virus made its way into Japan. Does anyone remember the first case reported and where? I have the original posted JT article.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This is a HIGH number, comparatively. Is everyone looking at the flat mortality curve at the same time? You can't just look at the infected total and make a conclusion of doom. While the cases are up it seems the treatments must be working better than they did in early spring. A "SOE" statistically wouldn't save lives since so few were lost in the 2 months after the last "SOE." It is all a risk assessment that the government is making. As a society we make these assessments every day as there is potential danger in everything. Just be prudent and live a little more cautiously.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If my gym in Tokyo closes again I will be back to doing aerobics in my living room in pink spandex with Richard Simmons "Sweatin' to the Oldies"! My wife will not be happy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

rgcivilian, the first case was probably the tour group from Wuhan where the bus driver and attendant were infected. The two Japanese idiots who were flown back from Wuan and refused to quarantine (and subsequently infected their own children) are up there too. Also the origin of the Diamond Princess mass outbreak who flew back to Hong Kong from Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@HBJ

Absolutely !!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am sure others will follow sooner or later.

This is just increasing way too much.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

May do this, may say that.

Stop talking and do it Koike.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

As I was saying CLOSE Tokyo for 2 weeks and figure out this mess or you will be closed for 2 years repairing the damage that is beginning to occur.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

We'll all be fine because Koike will hold up a red board this evening saying 'emergency'. That'll do it.

Any word from Abe? How on earth does that man keep his job? Failure on the spread of Covid, failing to support small businesses with cash payouts, his wifes connection to fraudulent school land sales, promoting lawmakers who pay cash bribes, 'losing' the list of gangsters invited to the sakura viewing.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Has anyone noticed that Abe and Aso have been hiding from the public?

21 ( +24 / -3 )

If necessary do it. Declare a state of emergency for Tokyo. Nobody in or out. Clamp down on the night life business. Whatever is possible under Japan's lukewarm laws. The consequence of failing to act will be much worse.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

We can not blame it on the people at this point.

The government set the foundations for this to be happening.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Fortunately, death rates are not increasing while positive rates increasing as a result of more tests. I guess in this way, the COVID-19 will gradually diminish. Choking businesses is not a good choice. Some say one third of Japanese are already contracted unknowingly and they acquired immunity. Do not get panic.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I say go for it.

Most mornings recently, I have to avoid drunk revellers coming home from a night out as I make my to the station going to work. Yesterday there were two staggering drunk, shouting in the streets!!!

Certain people can't be trusted and certain businesses are not acting responsibly.

Do do what needs to be done.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“Just wait and see what will happen during the summer vacation and Obon time!”

Your doomsayer hands must be rubbing together with glee

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Sooner or later some high rank politicians or member of Empirial family will die.

Then things will start moving (or heads will roll).

In the USA, the former Republican candidate to US presidency Cain died from Corona virus at 74 after he attended Trump's super meeting in June, without mask. Know your limits and whatever your age, you may get long-term health consequences from the virus. I believe I have some although I remain athletic, so be warned.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“If necessary do it. Declare a state of emergency for Tokyo. Nobody in or out.”

You offering to compensate people? Didn’t think so.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

“Until there is a vaccine we will have to make the best of it without totally freaking out all the time!”

Precisely! A vaccine won’t magically fix it though

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Guaranteed many of these are from Go To campaign non-Tokyoites swarming to/through Tokyo. GUARANTEED. Yet Tokyo pays the price. Time to move out. This is ridiculous.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Monty

400 cases among a population of 14.000.000 in Tokyo is 0.0028%

Let us say the reported number is wrong and it is 10x higher. So 4000 cases.

4000 cases among a population of 14.000.000 is 0.028%

Let us say this number is also wrong and it is 100x higher. So 40000 cases.

40000 cases among a population of 14.000.000 is 0.28%

Do you even understand what these numbers are? You talk as if 40,000 is the total number of cases of infected people in Tokyo. The reality is the number is UNKNOWN, that is why we test. But they way things are trending, the numbers are probably much higher. Also, the number of infected people is INCREASING, that is why the government is stepping up the precautions (although its arguably a moot cause unless they start enforcing more restrictions and stop protecting irresponsible night life businesses) .

Let me give you a real analogy. Let's say I have 100 jellybeans and 2 of them will kill you if you ate them...would you take a chance and eat a jellybean?....yeah, I thought so. When people go to work on crowded trains everyday with people who don't wear masks, or wear them incorrectly because they're "unconfortable", or because they refuse to to support some stupid political cause, then the are eating jellybeans.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Over 400 , the breaking record. 

20s-30s generations account for 70%

But most concern is that it’s spreading into other generation at the same time. 

Rush hours on trains and busses are at real risk I think.terrible .... Restaurants as well. 

So It’ll be better for Tokyo government to take any actions drastically

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If necessary do it. Declare a state of emergency for Tokyo. Nobody in or out. Clamp down on the night life business. Whatever is possible under Japan's lukewarm laws. The consequence of failing to act will be much worse.

I agree, but the SoE in Japan was such weak sauce, that it will take a long time to get the numbers down. The government needs to grow a set, and tell the people to stay home or face some real and significant consequences for this to work. If they did this, and everyone obeyed, there is a good possibility that the coronavirus could be gone from Japan in a about a month. THEN you can have any business you want to open with impunity. THERE'S YOU'RE SOLUTION MONTY!!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Unfortunately the government’s initial panic convinced the lower intelligence/information segments of the population that there is a material risk to healthy under-70s. It will take them time to unlearn that.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Let me give you a real analogy. Let's say I have 100 jellybeans and 2 of them will kill you if you ate them...would you take a chance and eat a jellybean?....yeah, I thought so. When people go to work on crowded trains everyday with people who don't wear masks, or wear them incorrectly because they're "unconfortable", or because they refuse to to support some stupid political cause, then the are eating jellybeans.

That analogy would only work if you're in a high-risk group. If you're not, that jar is going to need a lot more jellybeans in it with the two bad ones lurking inside. The facts don't support your 2% analogy for the vast majority of the population.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Some say one third of Japanese are already contracted unknowingly and they acquired immunity. 

Was it a while ago a study was done to test people in Tokyo for antibodies and only a small percentage was found to have them? Recently a study finds immunity disappears after 3 months of recovery. There is spectaculation that even there is a vaccine we need to take it regularly to remain immune.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In my neighborhood in Setagaya everyone was wearing a mask in March when the lockdown was held, but just taking a walk now there are about 20% who could give a sheetz and enjoy the fresh air. I think people are exhausted and willing to take the risk

8 ( +9 / -1 )

6 to 8 weeks ? forget that ! complete shutdown and lockdown for 3 months ( at least ) ...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There goes my monthly salary, again.

Does Koike or any other politician understand the knock-on effect to ordinary people ?

A one-off ¥100,000 doesn’t pay the bills !

0 ( +5 / -5 )

“Has anyone noticed that Abe and Aso have been hiding from the public?”

And what have the “panel of experts” been up to?

Heads in sand.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Like other politicians,Koike has little idea of the average Taro’s life.Having grown up in Ashiya in Hyogo which is one of the richest areas of west Japan, she then went on to be privately educated.

Driven round Tokyo in a chauffeured car, she has little idea of a crowded commute or a crowded office.

Of course, she would have no compunction about another set of restrictions being put in place...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well why not wait 'till we top 500, 600, or 1000?

It's immaterial whether the majority of the spread is among younger people, eventually they will transmit to other demographics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

400!!! Next are we heading towards the 4 digit mark?

And you honestly think we are not way beyond that already? Half a year in a mega-city like Tokyo with half-arsed measures, surely the infection rate must be huge. Have yet to see people dying like they did in the US/Italy however. I guess we’ll see after Obon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Positive rates are increasing everyday while death rates getting lower and lower. What does this mean?

There's no mystery to it. The most susceptible to the disease and most likely to die have already died.

What's left are the ones less susceptible and less likely to die.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sure, the numbers are going up, and yes, statistically speaking they represent a minuscule portion of the Total population within Tokyo... however.... when you consider that these infected persons will potentially require Hospitalization, then you have an imminent issue of Capacity - does Tokyo have enough Hospital beds at present ?

The UK Faced a similar issue, hence their rather belated construction of the Nightingale Hospitals - I haven't heard anything about Japan considering doing the same, though I did read somewhere, that Hotels were going to be used as substitute isolation wards for infected people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Still irrelevantly low. And no deaths. Just more panic so the can initiate stage 2

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

If Tokyo does go through with it's own "State of Emergency" then we may see another run on such items as Toilet paper... time to buy some ? And food prices will certainly rise higher... the floods down South have already led to higher vegetable prices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

.... when you consider that these infected persons will potentially require Hospitalization, then you have an imminent issue of Capacity - does Tokyo have enough Hospital beds at present ?

Yes that's probably the main indicator they're looking at when considering to declare SOE.

Bed occupancy for Tokyo stands at around 52% at present

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Unfortunately the government’s initial panic convinced the lower intelligence/information segments of the population that there is a material risk to healthy under-70s. It will take them time to unlearn that.

Rational Reader - I think people do understand. And they understand that the best way to prevent the over 70s from getting infected is if the virus is not endemic among the wider population

I try to avoid infection partly because it can be very unpleasant, there is a small probability that I might die, but mostly so that I do not infect others, directly or indirectly, who might die.

Have a think about this and join the higher intelligence segment of the population.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

That analogy would only work if you're in a high-risk group. If you're not, that jar is going to need a lot more jellybeans in it with the two bad ones lurking inside. The facts don't support your 2% analogy for the vast majority of the population.

Again, this attitude seems to be, "I'm all right, so I don't need to care about catching it [or spreading it to others who might die]. It is fundamentally selfish and irresponsible.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Still irrelevantly low. And no deaths. Just more panic so the can initiate stage 2

A number of others point to the low death rate.

Infections do not translate into deaths for a few weeks so you need to consider the infection rate in back in early June.

On June 10 there were 50 recorded infections. Hardly surprising that the deaths today are so low.

But there in fact three recorded deaths yesterday and over a thousand infections. By mid-August we will see the number of deaths ticking up.

Japan can get by with keeping the infection rate to about 1000, but to even do this we need a lot of precautions. Once you get 50,000 infections a day like in the US, the deaths will mount very quickly.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

People are still quoting "official" numbers and confidently basing their views on them.

It's worth repeating that it has been shown ad nauseum that the LDP manipulates data for their own ends (i.e. Abe's insistence that all was fine when he was trying to desperately hang on the possibility of staging the Olympics this summer), so any "official" numbers need to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Akula

The rise in numbers is concerning but not massive given Japan's population

The number of testing is not massive given Japan's population and economic power.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's worth repeating that it has been shown ad nauseum that the LDP manipulates data for their own ends 

If it's worth repeating surely it's worth showing it again, could you show it again please?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Monty

Like I said before. If you do your basic personal prevention, washing hands, wear mask, use sanitizer and keep social distance as much as possible, the risk that you get infected is almost zero!

Thousands of Medical personel have been infected all over the world, does it mean they didn't practise what you are saying?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Just wondering?? If this Virus continues on ravaging the world next year will his name get changed to COVID-21 ??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I haven't changed my plans for weekend.

And by passing izakaiyas full of people on my way home most havent either.

The last s.o.e was implemented because of public demand, currently there isnt the same demand.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Mirai Hayashi

Sorry to say that...but your comparisson with Jellybeans is completely Nonsens!

I am on my way to night shift now...good night everyone...and dont panic...it is just 0.0028%

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

As Usual, Always REACTIVE never PROACTIVE.

The government will sit and wait till heads start rolling by the dozens, then will blame it of the youngsters and order a state of emergency just as they did right after the Olympics cancellation.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, I predicted yesterday that the numbers would be in the 400 by early next week I did not see that coming, today. My next prediction the numbers will be in the 600's next week if Abe and his cronies do not dig their heads from out under the pillows. The whole of Japan the numbers are rising and I feel I am in lockdown in a mini United States at the moment.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don’t even bother to read these COVID-19 count articles anymore; the reader commentary is where it’s at!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Realistically, the debate here is purely academic, and rather repetitive. Leaving aside speculation and projections about mortality and possible ongoing medical effects (and their related costs), I think there are three broad possible scenarios going forward:

The government changes course and declares a SOE, or, more extremely, legislates changes to the constitution to permit a lockdown. Testing and tracing remains in place, but due to restrictions, cases can be properly isolated and the virus is contained and managed, possibly eliminated. This likely takes 2 - 3 months given the currently spread of the virus. The economy is severely hobbled, requiring extreme government investment post restrictions to restart the economy, however recovery is relatively fast given that consumer confidence is unimpeded by concern over the virus. Tourism resumes after 4 to 6 months with countries in similar positions (e.g NZ)

The government abandons limited testing and pursues widespread, public testing. Testing is continually increased to the point where 80% of the population can be tested with a 2 -3 month period. The virus is removed from the designated infectious disease list and those with minor infections are told to self quarantine. Hospital capacity is boosted to accommodate those with more severe symptoms. The cost to the government is astronomical. Economic activity remains depressed for 6 to 8 weeks minimum, until consumer confidence slowly begins to increase as testing is more readily available and infections are visible controlled and isolated. Tourism resume after 6 to 9 months with countries in similar positions (e.g. S.Korea)

The government continues to pursue its current half baked strategy, and the virus naturally attenuates, reaches a point.of herd immunity, or a viable vaccine is developed and distributed. Timeframe is around 6-8 months minimum, if ever for any of those outcomes. The economy bottoms out due to decreasing consumer confidence, impact on trade and tourism, and the necessity of the public taking its own measures to avoid infection. By far the most costly, both in terms in public health and the economy.
0 ( +2 / -2 )

Persons I know are traveling far and wide next week and over Obon. From the top of Japan to its tippy toes. This country will be absolutely and completely full of coronavirus by mid-August. The cat is out of the bag. I also would love to travel but I spend my money and holidays to go to gaikoku not overpriced places in Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Let's say I have 100 jellybeans and 2 of them will kill you if you ate them...would you take a chance and eat a jellybean?....yeah, I thought so

I think it is more like there are 100 jellybeans and 100 people of various ages 10 of the jelly beans will kill if you are 65+ . Will you have one to make some money this month or skip and fall back on your pension.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This country will be absolutely and completely full of coronavirus by mid-August

Agree. The only way to solve this problem is to let the young ones start building the herd immunity during these few warm months.

Quite honestly after reading more about various vaccines and their mechanisms I now have doubts they will 100% work for the elderly. There are many uncertain areas and in many aspects the results will depend on your current health condition.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

If I use Monty's numbers, out of 14,000,000 jellybeans, 40,000 will make you sick. And out of the 40,000 jellybeans that will make you sick, 800 will kill you

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Aside from the United States, Japan has handled this crisis worse than any country on the planet.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Aside from the United States, Japan has handled this crisis worse than any country on the planet.

The Japanese won't like to hear this.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My sister in law and her husband are travelling from a Tokyo suburb to spend Obon at her mother’s house. My mother-in-law is old, has underlying health problems and is vulnerable. We look after her and are making sure she is shielding. Today my husband called his sister to try to and convince her it wouldn’t be a good idea to stay with their mother. SIL got offended and doesn’t see a problem. They are coming, we won’t be there when they are, if we get the virus we won’t be able to care for MIL. There needs to be a local lockdown in Tokyo.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If the drinking establishments are the problem let Tokyo city and prefecture give the owners and workers enough money and tax wavers to let them stop operating and working for as long as it takes to kill the pandemic. This would be infinitely more cost-effective and anti-pandemic than what is going on now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stronger request duly noted, thanks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At least everyone now knows the s.o.e was a complete waste of time.

Tokyo can declare all it wants but it doesnt have the money. It's used 90% of its surplus already.

Thus any further s.o.e will be an even bigger waste of time.

In hindsight a longer s.o.e or no s.o.e may have been better.

As France announced yesterday and as the Japanese government is indirectly saying by not doing anything another s.o.e would be catastrophic.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Every year, 3 to 7 millions do catch the flu in Japan in less than 6 months. We are far from that figures. For sure with no measures it would be much worse for the covid here. But the constant media attention does only increase the fear. For a small country, the figures would be very high. For Japan, no.

@ Luddite

Risk is not zero but statistically, there is more than 99.xxxx % chance your family does not have the virus.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I will do my best to wear a mask and take as many measures as possible to decrease the risk of catching/spreading the virus. However I refuse to be locked up inside my house as if it were a cage.

If I want to buy ice cream from 7-11 or do some groceries outside I will. Sue me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Freshwind

And the same people who are telling us how to live our lives are outside living theirs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@didou My MIL is shielding. That means she is keeping away from other people as she is at high risk of death if she gets the virus. Idiots travelling from Tokyo on a train to visit are putting her at risk. Carriers are often asymptomatic, how dare you presume that anyone in the family won’t have the virus or pass it on. How dare you.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At least everyone now knows the s.o.e was a complete waste of time.

Only those who aren't intelligent enough to compare Japan's rates with America's.

Thus any further s.o.e will be an even bigger waste of time.

Only if one weren't intelligent enough to look at countries who are successfully dealing with the virus.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I, as one of the Japanese, am really ashamed of how incompetent the Japanese government is. I guess Japan will record larger cases.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sad fact

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think that Japan should try to flatten the curve on the rate of infections soon. It's now August and that means we are 2 months away from the start of the influenza and the norovirus  season in Japan. When we have Covid-19, influenza, and the norovirus it will strain the hospitals and medical staff to its limits. We all need to remember that hospitals and medical clinics have to treat many patients for a wide range of minor problems that can become major problems if not treated in a timely manner. And the if the population is getting influenza and norovirus their immune systems will not be able to cope with covid-19 and who knows how it will affect those people. Bad things are coming if we don't get a handle on this covid-19 problem.

About the infections in the entertainment districts, anyone could have see that coming. But we need to remember that these people take the train and ride buses. How many people could be infected just because a group of friends wanted to go out and drink? So it's not just the entertainment districts we need to worry about.

I have seen more and more people not wearing masks recently. We need to remember that the masks do nothing for the person wearing the mask, it helps the people around them. These plastic face shields worn without a mask are a joke as well. The virus is airborne so the face shield is most likely less effective than covering you mouth when you cough.

Well this post is here to give you some food for thought.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“400 cases among a population of 14.000.000 in Tokyo is 0.0028%”

A number in itself may not be big or have much meaning. It is the trend (i.e. the big picture) that is more important and it shows that the number of infections are growing. It shows that if people continue to do what they are doing now the virus will spread more and more. The spread is not linear – today may be 0.0028% however tomorrow may be 0.05%, then 1% then by the end of the year 10% and then it is too late to stop it. Based on this information there is no need for panic now however there is need for change in the people’s, and the government’s, behavior /actions. If you focus only on the 0.0028% today you are missing the big picture and you will not see a reason to change your behavior/actions in order to prevent further increase in the spread of the virus and much more difficult times ahead.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If bars are the problem, set up tables 6 feet apart OUTSIDE and might as well serve food. While it is summer, serve outside like NYC.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First, we need to stop blaming the nightclubs. The government is trying to scapegoat them. I understand they are non-essential, but they are not the cause of the increase in numbers. Commonsense should tell you that JR and it's arteries of train lines are ground zero for the transmission of this virus. A fully packed train, face to face, with everyone touching everything. We do not share the same level of hygiene. FACT! People are going to wipe their noses, spread their sweat, and the worst of the worst, sleep on your shoulder.

Telework every man, woman and child who can do so. Japan bet everything on it's current infrastructure. Go to a 24 hour system where the trains run all night. Companies that operate internationally will benefit as a result.

It's still shocking that many ignored climate change. They want to blame China when that's wrong as well. Now they are ignoring the gravity of this pandemic in order to maintain a norm that no longer exists. It's better to work in the dark, than let the world fall into complete darkness.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Excellent point Redtail Swift !!!

That, and triangulated with the facts that:

1 — tNishimura, a finance guy — not a pandemic expert, heads the pandemic response team ... and J

2 — Japan ranks 157 in the world for percentage of population tested for the virus .

One can not help bu suspect the social engineering going on now is related to the shape of an economic K curve ... the upper arm reserved for GAFA and similar concentrations of corporate-political power, the lower leg of the k for the rest of us disposable human capital.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I have seen more and more people not wearing masks recently. We need to remember that the masks do nothing for the person wearing the mask, it helps the people around them. These plastic face shields worn without a mask are a joke as well. The virus is airborne so the face shield is most likely less effective than covering you mouth when you cough.”

Do you have conclusive proof? All I’ve found is might and maybe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We need to remember that the masks do nothing for the person wearing the mask

This is incorrect. Masks offer a degree of protection for the wearer.

it helps the people around them.

Yes. Significantly.

These plastic face shields worn without a mask are a joke as well. The virus is airborne so the face shield is most likely less effective than covering you mouth when you cough.

This is incorrect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is extremely sad news. Still, the situation is not that bad: Japan is a country of 128,000,000 individuals, and its highest number of daily infections has been around 1,500 infected. Meanwhile, the United States has a population of 328,000,000, and its average number of daily infections has been 50,000 infected for several weeks now. And European countries are not doing much better.

But focusing in Japan, it is necessary to state that, while the overwhelming majority of the Japanese people are behaving exemplary in regards to Covid; always wearing masks, maintaining distance, constantly disinfecting hands (as it was to be expected of the people of this country), there is an infinitesimally small minority of individuals who are making the infected rate grow up. I am referring to those who attend red light districts, of course. This irresponsible minority are ruining the effort and good intentions of the majority of the citizens.

And I am really disappointed at Koike and other governors for not shutting down brothels and Kyabakura clubs during these tough times.

Of course there are other huge focus of infections as well, like those American army men stationed in Okinawa, who are partying like crazy constantly, without taking any kind of preventive measures.

During these times when all of us should be cooperating for the benefit of our health, there must always be a percentage of selfish individuals who spoil everything. Definitely makes me lose my faith in the human species.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

472 new covid reported on Saturday in Tokyo.

Something obviously needs to change in policy, as the current one doesn’t seem to be working.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

StrangerlandAug. 1  01:14 am JST

At least everyone now knows the s.o.e was a complete waste of time.

Only those who aren't intelligent enough to compare Japan's rates with America's.

Only those who spend their time commenting on a message board of country they don't live in. Would say the s.o.e was worth the trillions it cost the economy.

Thus any further s.o.e will be an even bigger waste of time.

Only if one weren't intelligent enough to look at countries who are successfully dealing

Again , if you lived here you would know that an s.o.e is voluntary and without government support (which tokyo etc can got provide=they're broke) many business are openly saying the will ignore the request.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The horse has bolted. This is now un-containable apart from some natural quirk in the population which gives some resistance etc. Under Japans constitution they can't tell anyone (compel) anyone to do anything. Just ask in stronger and stronger terms. They have no effective tools for getting this under control.

The numbers in Japan are probably low for two reasons.

1) Lack of/difficulty in getting tested.

2) Customs. People bow instead of shake hands/hug/kiss. If you are bowing at a meter apart, you are far less likely to transmit the virus than if you are hugging a loved one face to face. Shaking hands, then unconsciously touching your face carries similar risks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They just partying on and having fun as usual far as I can see. Wish I had such a sense of invincibility and superiority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

there is no bail out to help bars restaurants and small business' if they don't open they go broke and its over....Abe is not helping the little man he is not enforcing close downs, his attitude oh well you closed down it was your choice not my problem...so its going to spread and spread and spread...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland

I know it's hard to believe the US government but I believe the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

This is a poster that gives detailed information on face coverings.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/pdfs/UnderstandingDifference3-508.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Australia recorded similar amount of cases, but the level of response from the government is huge. One of the states in Australia has now gone into a second lockdown with mandatory masks, shut down of non-essential businesses and curfew.

This will obviously have a huge impact on the economy and local businesses, but it shows that Australian government values lives while Japan values money.

People may think that the % and numbers are low, but what you need to understand is that COVID-19 has a higher infection rate that the flu so it's highly infectious and hence, may lead to the loss of another life of a vulnerable individual.

Pandemics don't just come and go. It lingers for a long time so it's going to be a long battle. Don't put your selfish needs and money before people's live. Maybe the naysayers will change their stance when the next life that COVID claims is someone close to you.

Stay vigilant, stay safe, and stay healthy everyone!

For the extroverted people out there, there are plenty of ways to use this social-distancing time with self-development and connect with loved ones via technology :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The virus will slowly make its way through no matter what (takes about 1-2 years). It's virtually impossible to stop unless you have a full lock down for 2-4 weeks (no movement - which isn't realistic). The important thing is that there are enough available resources to support those who have severe symptoms. They are not ventilating every single patient like they did in NYC (9 out of 10 people died). Gov. Cuomo made it illegal to reject seniors who were already infected back into the nursing homes which killed even more. Search "gov Cuomo sends elderly to nursing homes" and you'll wonder "what was he thinking?".

Focus on the number of deaths / death rate. Extremely low in Japan (we should be the epicenter for the kind of rush hour we have here packed like sardines every morning) and 95%+ of the people infected recover but those with comorbidities (age, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke history, cancer history) must take extra precaution to protect themselves as they are at higher risk.

There are outliers but children have the strongest immune systems and are basically 99.9% asymptomatic with no issues. When you start getting into the age 60+ that's when you start to see much higher risks but it all depends on their lifestyle. But there are always outliers that make the headlines which in turn create more fear through the media.

Be wary of the vaccine unicorn. They couldn't even develop a safe vaccine for the 1st coronavirus SARS and still don't have one yet. During the animal studies with ferrets they had developed antibodies only to have organ failure / overactive immune system / death when exposed to the actual live virus later. Now they are to fast track one from Moderna with no placebo backed by billions $$$. They are only using "healthy" people in the vaccine trials who are already getting sick in phase 2. What happens when they start injecting Joe bag O donuts who's overweight and diabetic or on statin drugs for high cholesterol?

Strengthen your immune system so if you do get infected you will be asymptomatic and or slightly symptomatic and recover faster. All things being equal in terms of health, some people will feel like crap and some people will have virtually no symptoms but majority of them will recover.

MSS says and wants you to believe that the natural antibodies don't last (just disappear) so you need the vaccine with multiple booster shots per year $$Huge Profits$$ for big pharma and more control of society - NO. Once you are able to produce antibodies specific to this virus your body will produce them when needed (blueprint is there) in case you get infected again. Notice how they keep reporting on vaccine development (but NEVER healthy, immune boosting solutions) and how "optimistic" they are (company share value$$$ go up the same day)?

Don't take my word for it. Do a little more digging beyond what's being presented in the mainstream news.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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