Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike meets with a panel of experts Thursday to discuss the surge in coronavirus cases in the city. Photo: KYODO
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Tokyo reports 534 new coronavirus cases as Japan goes on maximum alert

148 Comments

Tokyo's new coronavirus cases on Thursday topped 500 for the first time since the pandemic began, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga saying Japan is on "maximum alert" and calling on people to do all they can to prevent infections.

The capital reported 534 cases, the second straight day that cases in Tokyo hit a daily record. The number is the result of 8,600 tests on Nov 16.

The highest number of cases were people in their 20s (130), followed by 110 in their 30s and 96 in their 40s. Among those hospitalized, 38 have developed serious symptoms, one down from Wednesday, according to the local government.

Nationwide, 2,363 new cases were reported as of 6:30 p.m.

Suga told reporters he wants people to wear face masks at restaurants as much as possible, taking them off only briefly to eat and drink, to reduce the infection risk, and to limit groups to a maximum of four people. He said the Go To Travel and Go To Eats campaigns will continue.

Suga also said he has instructed Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the government's coronavirus response, and health minister Norihisa Tamura to take additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus based on discussions at a two-day expert panel meeting through Friday.

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A man rests under colorful autumn leaves, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Tokyo. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato

The Tokyo metropolitan government, meanwhile, raised its virus alert to the highest of four levels, officials said. But it is unlikely to request restaurant owners to shorten opening hours.

The metropolitan government's highest level warns that infections are "spreading." The level four alert was last in place in the capital on Sept. 10, when it was lowered to the current level three, meaning that infections are "starting to spread."

But its alert system merely reflects the latest infection situation in the capital and has no binding force, including business closure restrictions.

In the week through Wednesday, the capital's rolling average for the number of new daily infections stood at 335, jumping from 169.3 as of Nov 1 and nearing the peak of 346.1 registered on Aug 5.

When infections surged in nightlife districts in the summer, the Tokyo government requested restaurants to shorten business hours. But officials believe such a measure will provide little help this time as many cases have been found in a wider range of age groups and across broader areas.

Medical experts have described the resurgence as a third wave of infections, saying one of the major causes is the arrival of cooler temperatures and people spending more time indoors without enough ventilation.

They also said a domestic travel promotion initiative launched by the government was partly responsible for the resurgence of new cases. The travel campaign started in July initially without Tokyo, which joined in October after the pace of new cases slowed in the capital.

Toshio Nakagawa, head of the Japan Medical Association, said that there was no concrete evidence to indicate that the Go To Travel subsidy program was responsible for the spike in cases, but noted, "There is no mistaking that it acted as a catalyst."

But Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the top government spokesman, said Thursday that there is no change in the government's position that it will continue the travel initiative to help prop up local economies.

There has also been a rapid rise of cluster infections outside urban areas, such as in Hokkaido which reported 267 cases Thursday.

In other prefectures, Osaka reported 338 cases, Aichi (219), Kanagawa (205), Hyogo (132), Chiba (106), Saitama (98), Shizuoka (61) and Okinawa (54).

Fourteen coronavirus-related deaths were reported.

© KYODO/Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

148 Comments
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Maximum? Is that another urge? What actual steps Being taken that in anyway be considered are maximum? Think he is starting to worry tax payers might die off at a faster rate, limiting his retirement fund. A moment of clarity at about 60 sit ups perhaps.

46 ( +48 / -2 )

it really doesn' t matter. No matter what the level is unless it's lockdown nothing really change.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

What a pathetic empty suit this so-called "leader" is. A natural born bureaucrat, dour, joyless, gray and zero inspiration. He just got the job because it was "his faction's turn" according to the internal rules of the opaque and thoroughly corrupted LDP.

He will lead Japan off a cliff, then retire to a big fat pension, enka, golf and sake.

50 ( +58 / -8 )

Japan is on maximum alert - just another empty air bubble from a J-PM , first Abe now Suga....no concrete step by step plan to combat the rise mentioned at all. Just repeating the same old perpetually , telling Nishimura to take "additional measures ",  asking people to keep wearing masks, urging more "caution" and  " co-operation ". Same things that have been asked a hundred times and obviously are not sufficiently working. Pathetic.

38 ( +42 / -4 )

Suga says Japan on maximum alert after surge in coronavirus cases

Maximum Alert without specifying concrete measures is like making Sushi without rice.

19 ( +26 / -7 )

"Maximum alert" means sitting down and discussing the problem, judging by this article.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

Warnings do not have to be applied nationwide randomly, but should be made specifically to high risk areas. I think that the vast majority of Japanese have been behaving quite well, in accordance with prevetion guideline (some do so even at expense of their livelihood). Some regions across the country are almost the same as NZ or Taiwan in terms of cases and deaths despite larger size of local population.

Beware that corona fatigue or side-effects of unreasonably tighter measures and paternalistic approaches are also threatening many lives.

-25 ( +14 / -39 )

The amount of viruses in the room would be the same , but then not released constantly at lower rates , but at higher rates in intervals when taking the masks off and moving on back. Isn’t that a clear to see logic?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

"Maximum alert" means the need for more agendaless meetings.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

I feel like the gov. are just placing emphasis on “wearing a mask.” Granted, it’s a preventative measure but what about advising on other measures? Wearing a mask will not simply rid the world of corona.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

What actually is 'Maximum Alert?'

Bars close at 1900 instead of 2000?

People stand 2.5m apart instead of 1.5m?

Do tell....

35 ( +37 / -2 )

They have that "maximum alert" sign in the train stations and on the digital signboards in the trains but all I ever see are commuters and the train cleaners. This has the same feel. All talk no action.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Suga says Japan on maximum alert

This is nothing but platitudes. What has changed since yesterday, or the day before, or last week? The gov is still promoting the Go To Travel campaign - actively encouraging people to travel across prefectures even while we've apparently moved to 'maximum alert'. It's absolutely farcical. I mean, come on Suga, could it possibly be partly due to Go To Travel?

Advising people to stay within their own prefecture, or city where possible, and only traveling when absolutely necessary is surely part of 'maximum alert'.

Suga also said he has instructed Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the government's coronavirus response, and health minister Norihisa Tamura to take additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus based on discussions at a two-day expert panel meeting through Friday.

Ah, this is what he's talking about. 'Japan on maximum alert' means he's instructed someone to have meetings until Friday. There we go. The country can rest easy now. The government is having meetings.

I guess we'll have to wait until late Friday afternoon to find out what all these sage people have finally decided to do to fight the latest surge in cases. And even then I bet the steps won't come into effect until Monday morning.

It keeps spreading. They aren't testing enough. They have no idea of the real situation.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Warnings do not have to be applied nationwide randomly, but should be made specifically to high risk areas.

You are right, everywhere but Shikoku. Lol.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

This is so funny, Max Alert, but don't for get to book your travel and get a big discount and GoToMoney to spent on 2000 yen bottle of beer at the hotels'

30 ( +30 / -0 )

I bet the steps won't come into effect until Monday morning.

Tuesday morning. Monday is a holiday, so one last hurrah of Go To Travel and Go To Eat.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

There will be a reprieve. This is a long weekend, so 3 days of 1000+ tests per day, compared to the usual 2.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

This is a long weekend, so 3 days of 1000+ tests per day, compared to the usual 2.

Indeed , like clockwork , looking forward to the weekly recycled headlines about Tokyo numbers dropping under 3 -400 for first time in x days.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The experts are back on the case = More meetings with a group of salarymen in suits bobbing their heads and tooth sucking.

Useless.

33 ( +33 / -0 )

Maximum alert - what does that mean? It appears to mean subsiding big businesses by encouraging people to eat out and travel internally; it appears to mean asking people to wear masks, but not legislating for genuinely effective actions; it appears to mean blaming foreigners for the spread of the virus but ensuring the Olympics happen at all costs.

The situation in Japan is a joke, I have people from home asking me if we’ve already had the vaccine because of all the reports coming out claiming the Olympics will happen.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I wonder how many meetings it took to come up with this decision.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Agree with the majority of people here. Just more hot air from an Abe clone.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

How can I be on ‘maximum alert’ as I go to eat and travel-doing more than two actions at one time is impossible!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

maximum alert

Is this more JANGLESH or ENGRISH?

Kinda like the baseball "Climax" Series

(fun fact, climax means the final, which its not......shhhhhh)

as a third wave of infections

the first wave never ended. (...........shhhhhhhhh)

Hey Suga, cut the crap.

Start using your police forces and have them you know, enforce some laws or something. Close bars and gyms. Start fining joggers without masks and loiterers around the stations. Grow a pair of..............and do something realistic!

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Well, the USA has over 100,000 a day. 500 is no problem.

-25 ( +8 / -33 )

Test and you shall find. Glad this isn't Ebola or I would be scared. My 80+ aunt in the States had it and only mild symptoms.

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

"Well, the USA has over 100,000 a day. 500 is no problem."

Well, do you want to compare daily tests too?

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Shut it all down.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

Well, the USA has over 100,000 a day. 500 is no problem.

That crooked politician makes 100,000 a week. I make 500, no problem..........

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Shut it all down.

Good comment, except for Amazon delivery guy.

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

Is maximum alert higher than highest alert? Is it the same state of doing nothing?

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Tokyo's new coronavirus cases on Thursday topped 500 for the first time

Oh fup! Stay safe, people!

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

hi smith

It's the highest maximum alert allowable, by the minimum unenforceable standards allowed legally ;)

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Perfect photo for a caption contest, though...

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

Australia has 25 cases and they imprison a whole city.

Japan 2000 and we get asked to eat quietly.

Thank you Suga for letting us decide individually how we live our lifes.

Wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

-24 ( +13 / -37 )

I have to hurry to sell my stocks.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Maximum alert = carry on as if nothing is happening?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

The covid situation allows us to vividly view cultural differences by govts and peeps around the world....

In japan it's lots of talk and little action. Raising the "alert level" has little impact on peoples behavior and business as usual for the most part as the Summer Games must Go on....

7 ( +10 / -3 )

This is 'maximum alert'? In my home state of Ohio we're getting 7000 new cases a day! Tokyo beings the largest city on Earth is handling this much better than the US is right now.

-22 ( +7 / -29 )

Compare Suga,s " maximum alert "empty slogan and thumb twiddling to the response of South Australian authorities to an outbreak of 20 cases in Adelaide in the other JT article. Contrast could not be starker.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Maximum alert means just flip the red light switch at Tokyo government building. haha

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Who is going to restaurants with this thing going around? He needs to stop making sound bites, stop air travel from Europe and China and cancel this go to campaign which is just spreading covid around the country. This is not over yet.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

If they test more people, they're going to get more positives, real or false. The really important numbers are hospitalisations and deaths. And the bigger the gap between "cases" and hospitalisations + deaths, the less terrifying it is.

-20 ( +6 / -26 )

But its alert system merely reflects the latest infection situation in the capital and has no binding force, including business closure restrictions.

Yep, it's just to alert people

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Japan national government just talk, but zero action. They are still encouraging people to use Go To on this 3 day weekend.

While Go To campaign is very well funded, hospitals/health care services only got 1/3 of the money as the go to campaign. If Dentsu doesn't stand to make billions, then nothing will be done.

Also, keep in mind that people who paid for their own tests, even if they are positive, does not get reflected in the numbers.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/pickup/6376935

As it is very difficult to get a free test due to strict definitions of symptoms as well as being a "close contact" (if you been wearing a mask, you are not qualified as a "close contact"), even the numbers validated by tests should be much higher than what's reported here, not to mention the many people who are unable to access testing.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Coming to Tokyo in 2007 I saw signs in Japanese saying we are on "Maximum alert" because of terrorism. Still see these yellowing signs today. Only signs of "alertness" I saw were checking the IDs of anyone who seemed off-white.

I expect similar levels of alertness here.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Just an interesting observation... people are criticizing the government (rightfully I believe)... but not one person has defended them using “China virus”... hmmmmm.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

Interesting, how most westerners crave for those nanny states of the west. Here in Japan you take your own decisions, and measure the risk by yourself. Some people don't deserve the freedom this country (the greatest on earth, I might add) gives to them. 500 cases in the largest metropoli in the world and not even 2000 deaths overall, I'd say we're doing pretty well.

-29 ( +11 / -40 )

500 cases in the largest metropoli in the world and not even 2000 deaths overall, I'd say we're doing pretty well.

Because it is next to impossible to get a test in Japan, unless you pay 30,000-40,000 yen, which is also one of the highest in the world. Tokyo just reports 500, but tests less than 1/1000 than any other developed country, and access to care is next to impossible. Even if you work with a confirmed covid case right next to you for 8+ hours a day, the government still says that because there is a mask policy in place, you are not qualified to be considered a "close contact" to qualify for a free test even if you have symptoms, so long as it is not severe. Due to that, you will continue need to show up to office therefore exposing others.

To qualify for a free test without being a "close contact", you need to have symptoms severe enough to require hospitalization/ICU.

Japan also rarely tests anyone who have died, so even if you get 10,000 actual covid deaths a day, there still won't be any reports. When you have policies that actively suppress testing and reporting, comparing Japan numbers to any other country's number is unfair.

34 ( +41 / -7 )

blahblah222

EXACTLY! Well said!

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Nice meeting pic.......

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike meets with a panel of experts Thursday to discuss the surge in coronavirus cases in the city.

All they have to do is look around and start from there.

That boring 2 hr meeting could have been done with all 20+ of them at their homes with a chat app. What would have been the difference? The same result? Maximum Alert?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

@blahblah222

Yes, this, 2nd that.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Start fining joggers without masks and loiterers around the stations. 

Why anyone would do that unless they are crazy psychopath? There isn't any scientific evidence that large contaminations are occurring outside in open air.

Japan also rarely tests anyone who have died, so even if you get 10,000 actual covid deaths a day, there still won't be any reports. When you have policies that actively suppress testing and reporting, comparing Japan numbers to any other country's number is unfair.

I totally agree that Japan's so ridiculously low testing hides the fact that the number of infected people is much higher than what is reported. Plus a lot of people who have COVID-19 related symptoms are scared to go to take a test because they fear for being discriminated or blamed for having caught the virus if they are positive. I know personally many examples of that around me. However although the number of deaths related to COVID-19 is probably also underestimated (see for example the excess of mortality of 1000 people in Tokyo in April compared to last year for which 100 were counted as COVID-19 and the rest remained unexplained), I don't think we are anywhere near what is observed in Europe or US. No way. This would be noticeable if that would be the case.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

El RataToday  03:16 pm JST

Interesting, how most westerners crave for those nanny states of the west. Here in Japan you take your own decisions, and measure the risk by yourself. Some people don't deserve the freedom this country (the greatest on earth, I might add) gives to them. 500 cases in the largest metropoli in the world and not even 2000 deaths overall, I'd say we're doing pretty well.

It's what happens when people go through education systems that teach them that governments can solve all their problems for them. People simply shouldn't;t be trusted to think independently.

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

@daito_hak

But that's the main point many people are trying to make. There is no testing, neither before nor after death, so we simply don't know. Is it similar, worse or better than in the EU? It's not a game so having that that: it's speculation, and one thing you don't want as a government and a citizen during a pandemic are wild speculations. Secondly, many hospitals are getting quite full here in Japan, so wouldn't be too sure.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

I hope nobody gets into panic according this news.

Anyway...we all know that this number is probably much lower than the reality. But this is the highest amount of tests Tokyo ever did. They never conducted 8600 tests, right? (I am not 100% sure)

But anyway...let us guess the number is not 534 cases, let us say the real number is 100.000 cases.

That means among a population of Tokyo from 14.000.000= 0,7%. Lower than 1%.

This doesn’t should set anyone into panic.

And 534 new cases don’t automatically mean that all these 534 people will die, right?

Probably all will 100% recover.

We are now 11 months in this pandemic.

From the beginning we all understand how Japan is handling the Corona Situation. Like it or not.

This is everyone’s own decision.

Also everyone is free to go in a “private” Lockdown and lock up themselves in their house for as long as they want.

And everyone, who is not satisfy how Japan handles this pandemic, is also free to leave Japan and go back to their home country or wherever they think it is better.

But everyone,...wherever you are, wherever you go, wherever you live, you should do your best personal prevention.

But Guys...Just a few more months patience is required. A few more months...

And then the vaccine is successfully implemented and nobody will talk anymore about the Corona Virus.

-32 ( +7 / -39 )

Tomorrow, it'll be maximum maximum alert.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

I'm not taking this seriously until they put back on the hard-hats and fancy coveralls. J/k

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

But that's the main point many people are trying to make. There is no testing, neither before nor after death, so we simply don't know. Is it similar, worse or better than in the EU? 

Again people should try not to jump into crazy theories. Yes the low testing rate in Japan is problematic since it just doesn't help to have a clear view on the spread of the infection particularly because they are so much asymptomatic people. I have been telling this since March. But you can't claim that the number of deaths is in the order of magnitude of what is observed in some countries. You can't just hide dead bodies like that. Please. Unless you consider that Japan is a total criminal state which I don't think you do. And I am saying this as someone who has been and still is very critical towards Japan's government.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

You can't just hide dead bodies like that.

Are you suggesting that the US or Europe cannot handle the dead bodies normally today? There is no need to hide anything.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

@daito_hak

Did I mention anything about hiding bodies? For a significantly excess amount of people to pass due to COVID-19 complications, one doesn't need to hide bodies at all.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

It's what happens when people go through education systems that teach them that governments can solve all their problems for them. People simply shouldn't;t be trusted to think independently.

Who thinks the crony capitalist, lobbyist indebted , corporate socialist government will solve all their problems? Certainly not the COVID-19 infected government of the USA.And where do they teach that? Myabe that is what happens when some people get their "education" from Trump University and Prager U.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

The new photo at the top of this story sums up Japan's reaction to this virus.

How many people are attending this meeting in person, sat so closely together, without any of the barriers schools, coffee shops, restaurants etc. are using in order to TRY and protect people sitting close to one another.

Why aren't the non-essential people at this meeting attending by Zoom (or equivalent)?

If this is how the experts conduct the 'maximum alert' meeting, then god help us all.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

But that's the main point many people are trying to make. There is no testing, neither before nor after death, so we simply don't know.

EXACTLY!

Is it similar, worse or better than in the EU?

EXACTLY. Could be any one of the 3. We don't know.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Are you suggesting that the US or Europe cannot handle the dead bodies normally today? There is no need to hide anything.

What are you talking about? You have a bad habit of not reading people's post it seems. I am saying that Japan is not having a number of deaths that is comparable to US or some countries in Europe even with the low number of testing. As I said above and if you could read properly, it's probably underestimated but no way it's comparable to the most affected countries. So even with low testing, if a large amount of people would be dying in Japan, it would be hard to hide.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

And the Japanese Government officials do ...... (nothing)!

Do this, do that, don't do this, and don't do that!

But no real enforcement, no real rules.

Business must continue .......

13 ( +17 / -4 )

EXACTLY. Could be any one of the 3. We don't know.

Come on, this is conspiracy theory. Do you have any evidence showing that it would be similar or worse? Anything? Any data related to an excess of mortality that points to that direction?

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

So even with low testing, if a large amount of people would be dying in Japan, it would be hard to hide.

The point I (and Martini, I think) is trying to make that there is NOTHING TO HIDE even if the # of deaths were the same as the US or Europe. I am not saying Japan has that level of deaths, all I am arguing is that not having to "hide bodies" is not a proof about the # of deaths.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Any data related to an excess of mortality that points to that direction?

Do you have access mortality data for August and November you would like to share?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

most westerners crave for those nanny states of the west. Here in Japan you take your own decisions, and measure the risk by yourself. Some people don't deserve the freedom this country (the greatest on earth, I might add) gives to them.

Lol..thanks for the laugh, that's hilarious...there is no nation that fits better definition of a " nanny state" than Japan where almost nobody is able to decide anything by themselves and any decision to be made involves sucking teeth, painful faces and 10 times as much time than anywhere else.

Tokyo just reports 500, but tests less than 1/1000 than any other developed country, and access to care is next to impossible. Even if you work with a confirmed covid case right next to you for 8+ hours a day, the government still says that because there is a mask policy in place, you are not qualified to be considered a "close contact" to qualify for a free test even if you have symptoms, so long as it is not severe

Spot on....sums up Japan's " success" in managing Covid numbers nicely. Would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Come on, this is conspiracy theory. Do you have any evidence showing that it would be similar or worse? Anything?

@daito_hak

This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a fact: we don't know, is a fact. There is no testing before or after death in Japan, so it is a scientific fact that we cannot compare the data of Japan to that of the EU.

@Zoroto

Yes exactly, it falls into the realm of reality of possibilities. It may be that some commenters and readers read news about the numbers in Europe, and have the impression and people are falling dead on the streets of Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin: there is no overflow of dead bodies in the EU either. For Japan to have thousands or tens of thousands extra death (hypothetically for the sake of the argument, not implying this is the case), there would not have to be any hiding of bodies. If elder people die in a higher abundance at their house, without getting tested, due to COVID-19, they will just get buried (burned) like normal, without being a COVID-19 number on the official Japanese list.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

Take a good look at the headline photo. It tells you everything you need to know.

Suga told reporters he wants people to wear face masks at restaurants as much as possible, taking them off only briefly to eat and drink, to reduce the infection risk, and to limit groups to a maximum of four people. He said the Go To Travel and Go To Eats campaigns will continue.

This statement is absolutely riddled with acute contradictions.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Already heard in that other JT news of that ‘particularly difficult strain of the disease’ in Australia, forcing an immediately strict lockdown? Keep your humor, but then don’t underestimate that virus, OK? Stay safe, everyone.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Zoroto,

Ad do you?? If you don’t, how can you argue your point while saying that Daito is not write because he doesn’t have that same data? Given that both of you obviously don’t have the factual data, what makes you right and him wrong?

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Did I mention anything about hiding bodies? For a significantly excess amount of people to pass due to COVID-19 complications, one doesn't need to hide bodies at all.

You said:

There is no testing, neither before nor after death, so we simply don't know. Is it similar, worse or better than in the EU?

So how do you expect it to be worse or similar? By what process? You said we don't know. Of course we know it is not similar or worse. Again how do you expect that it could be similar or worse than EU without having the medical staff here crying loud about people dying at their hospitals?

I am not saying Japan has that level of deaths, all I am arguing is that not having to "hide bodies" is not a proof about the # of deaths.

That's not what he is saying and what I was replying to. Again read the post properly. He was precisely saying that it could be worse or similar to EU and that we don't know. But of course we know for sure that it isn't.

-21 ( +3 / -24 )

Maybe this is a little simplistic but what was the projected number of deaths for 2020 (based on population size, ages etc.) versus the actual number of deaths. Can we just assume that any increase is due to COVID19 ?

Can somebody with better understanding of mortality/statistics comment on this ?

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

@daito_hak

If the methodology and amount of testing is completely different between groups of results, it scientifically cannot be compared directly. Your logic simply is incorrect.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

And everyone, who is not satisfy how Japan handles this pandemic, is also free to leave Japan and go back to their home country or wherever they think it is better.

And what if travel restrictions are in place?

The great thing about living here, or most places with a modicum of democracy, is that we can be disatisfied with our host country/countries and voice our opinion. I'd (bio)hazard a guess and say many of us are here because we love Japan and its people. But occasionally, like our home countries, we can express our discontent. It's all perfectly healthy to do so. Virus and other maladies permitting, natch,

13 ( +16 / -3 )

@El Rata

Interesting, how most westerners crave for those nanny states of the west. Here in Japan you take your own decisions, and measure the risk by yourself. Some people don't deserve the freedom this country (the greatest on earth, I might add) gives to them. 500 cases in the largest metropoli in the world and not even 2000 deaths overall, I'd say we're doing pretty well.

Interesting, how you consider Japan as offering freedom to its' citizens, or the numbers of the cases to be accurate, when the testing is so measly and purposely difficult.

In my "nanny state (/country)" in Europe, people actually do have the freedom to make your own decisions, i.e. regards to work: you can work remotely, if you so wish, or you can go to the office, if you think the risk is worth taking. In Japan, people are forced to show up at the office, even if they're feeling sick, even if their colleagues are feeling sick, even if there's someone waiting for covid-19 test results.

Japan is showing 0 leadership at the moment, and is sending mixed messages to its citizens: declaring "maximum alert", whilst at the same time launching travel & entertainment campaigns, and not encouraging remote working, remote studying and all kinds of online systems (like booking appointments to see a doctor - instead, it's all done on first come first served basis, resulting in crammed waiting rooms = party for the virus). Even the politicians and experts themselves, are constantly showing up in face to face meetings with not enough distancing between them, wearing their masks in inappropriate ways (e.g. showing your nose), when all of their meetings could surely be done over the Internet.

If "nanny state" means effective and clear measures in order to try and get this virus in control, then yes, I really, really do crave for it. If effective measures were in place, we would be in clear waters by now, and our lives would be close to normal. This wishy-washy behaviour from the leaders of this country, and all of these Go To Trouble campaigns, are just extending the misery for everyone, longer, and longer, and longer, and longer.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Come on, this is conspiracy theory.

You have a FOURTH POSSIBILITY THEN????

Do you have any evidence showing that it would be similar or worse? Anything? Any data related to an excess of mortality that points to that direction?

No. That's the point. There is 0 evidence to support ANY of the 3. That's why I said WE DON'T KNOW. Which part of that did you not understand?

8 ( +13 / -5 )

This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a fact: we don't know, is a fact. There is no testing before or after death in Japan, so it is a scientific fact that we cannot compare the data of Japan to that of the EU.

exactly! Thank you Martini!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Athough excess mortality for tokyo is relatively high as mentioned by daito_hak, overall excess mortality for Japan is relatively low.

Quick news search puts the number at 138. The figure is for 5 prefecture incl tokyo for the period end of 2019 to April 2020.

Source is mainichi

The thousand excess mortality I've seen in nikkei asia and Japan times

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Conclusion from the study: Results show very few excess mortality in August, 2020, when the following month of the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The peak of the last outbreak was Aug 8 (https://covid19japan.com/)

Deaths from COVID-19 occur two weeks to a month after symptom onset.

Most deaths from that outbreak would not have occurred until September.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A preprint article in medrxciv is titled " few excess mortality in Japan August, 2020 since January, 2020"

People can accept or reject the numbers but it would be better to discuss with numbers.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

The Japanese Government response to this pandemic is pathetic. As in, miserably inadequate; of very low standard.

'Warning!! Danger Will Robinson! Maximun Alert! Maximum Alert!!'

16 ( +20 / -4 )

marcelitoToday  04:23 pm JST

most westerners crave for those nanny states of the west. Here in Japan you take your own decisions, and measure the risk by yourself. Some people don't deserve the freedom this country (the greatest on earth, I might add) gives to them.

Lol..thanks for the laugh, that's hilarious...there is no nation that fits better definition of a " nanny state" than Japan where almost nobody is able to decide anything by themselves and any decision to be made involves sucking teeth, painful faces and 10 times as much time than anywhere else.

With all due respect, I'd beg to differ, but not entirely. It's certainly a stretch to call Japan the greatest country in the world, but in some ways there are a lot of small freedoms here that Western countries lack. Partly it's because nobody wants to make a decision, so you can tiptoe around some of the sillier rules as long as you don't make a big stink about it. In contrast, every time I've gone back to Oz I've noticed more and more petty rules and excessive regulation with high penalties at every level of government such as what you can do with your own property (clearing, etc), alcohol consumption in public, car parking, and official busybodies everywhere telling you want you can and can't do/go. And that was before lockdown came along. I'd hazard a guess that the UK, Canada, the US and many EU countries would be similar.

Japan has been surprisingly liberal in some ways - unless you need to deal with city hall! In some ways, I think the J Govt's dithering this has been one of its high points, and as such people have been relatively free to go about their own business without the over-zealous lockdowns we've seen overseas while deaths and illnesses from this virus have been much lower than in lockdown countries.

-23 ( +4 / -27 )

@Toasted Heretic

is that we can be disatisfied with our host country/countries and voice our opinion

I absolutely agree with that.

But "Non Stop complaining" and "voice your opinion" is different.

Non Stop complaining whatever your host country/ country government is doing, and then living in that country doesn't match each other.

I guess that those people are not happy where they live.

But I am happy to hear that you love Japan!

-19 ( +5 / -24 )

 Do you have any evidence showing that it would be similar or worse? Anything? Any data related to an excess of mortality that points to that direction?

Here

Over half of Japan pathologists' requests for postmortem coronavirus tests rejected: survey

Because PCR tests are not being carried out sufficiently on deceased patients, there are concerns that the number of people who have died from COVID-19 is actually higher than reported. Kondo said, "If a cause of death cannot be ascertained, then accurate coronavirus death rates cannot be obtained."

The director of the Japanese Society for Forensic Pathology, Toshikazu Kondo

8 ( +13 / -5 )

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200522/p2a/00m/0na/010000c

sorry. Here's the link

7 ( +12 / -5 )

I don't even know why people are arguing. Even if all the untested are counted as covid19 deaths and all excess mortality are attributed to the same, the total would still be a minute fraction if compared with some countries.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

@daito_hak

1) this is non-peer reviewed and not published, 2) this is one publication so you always have to be careful with the data 3) there are serval ways to calculate excess death with different models and algorithms (e.g. Farrington algorithm) and the threshold is usually quite high (as you van see in their data if you cared to take a look)

As a scientist myself, I get quite annoyed by people not understanding processing data and giving their work catchy headlines for attention reasons. There is more research out there suggesting differently, so wouldn't get too excited by one none-reviewed manuscript.

https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/ja/from-idsc/493-guidelines/9835-excess-mortality-20aug.html

Another main I want to make is not that I am convinced that we know the situation, as I was hoping for you to understand my my posts is that we are not sure because of the lack of testing. Another main point, besides this, are people like us living in Japan for a long time are tired of the government giving mixed messages on how to handle the pandemic: there is no leadership and above all, I hope we can all agree that handling a contagious virus is not done by encouraging people to go travel and to go eat.

Even if the cases are better than in the EU: I don't care, it would obviously be amazing, because I don't want people to die. The point is not that, because is it - again - not a game: the situation is obviously much worse because of all the reasons me and many commenters have been going through for a long time now. COVID-19 stats are an understatement in every country, but especially Japan, simply because of the lack of testing, before and after death.

I am not sure if you live in Japan or not, but if you do I think you should try to image how it is to live in a country with no leadership, having a government telling you mixed messages, a government encouraging people to go out and eat and drink and travel during a pandemic, a government choosing not to test people and choosing to make people pay for testing, to live in a country where the economy always comes before its people. There are no excuses how this government is handling the pandemic.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

Don’t bother guys. It’s obvious he’s in scared little boy who is manifesting his panic and hysteria into aggressive posts

Aye, but careful all the same. You don't want a stalker, mate.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

In order to reduce the total death toll from the Covid-19 and suicide, I think the "Go-to" campaign should be limited only for the young people. And the Japanese government should ask the elderly people for staying home as much as possible for a while. We see so many elderly people go out for their leisure.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

MartiniToday  05:04 pm JST

I am not sure if you live in Japan or not, but if you do I think you should try to image how it is to live in a country with no leadership, having a government telling you mixed messages, a government encouraging people to go out and eat and drink and travel during a pandemic, a government choosing not to test people and choosing to make people pay for testing, to live in a country where the economy always comes before its people. There are no excuses how this government is handling the pandemic.

While likely unintentional, this is not a bad argument against big, powerful government. Here we have a big government and bloated bureaucracy that's all over the place while people are waiting in vain for it to tell them what to do and what to think, because they seem to think that government is the answer to their problems. Japan is doing relatively well despite their big, centralised government, not because of it. Japanese are going about their business trying to get by, knowing that most people are not going to fall ill, while many Westerners here are craving restrictions and orders. The world is truly going mad.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/ja/from-idsc/493-guidelines/9835-excess-mortality-20aug.html

You say that a study under review for an international's journal is not valid but you link to some work in Japanese which is what? Under review?

As a scientist myself, I get quite annoyed by people not understanding processing data and giving their work catchy headlines for attention reasons.

That's not an argument. I am scientist too but not an infectiologist. However I still respect people working on that field. You can't just say that people's working in that field are producing nonsense because they don't go towards your opinion.

I am not sure if you live in Japan or not, but if you do I think you should try to image how it is to live in a country with no leadership, having a government telling you mixed messages, a government encouraging people to go out and eat and drink and travel during a pandemic, a government choosing not to test people and choosing to make people pay for testing, to live in a country where the economy always comes before its people. There are no excuses how this government is handling the pandemic.

I agree with that. I did not say that Japanese government was doing great. I have been living here for 20 years I know well how Japan's government sucks. I have been saying since March that Japan handling of the situation was all about having the lowest reported cases. But I am not an extremist. I try to have a balanced view, and again trying to claim that the situation in Japan regarding the deaths could be similar or worse than EU without the beginning of evidence is an extreme position.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

I think the "Go-to" campaign should be limited only for the young people. And the Japanese government should ask the elderly people for staying home as much as possible for a while. We see so many elderly people go out for their leisure.

Yes, out strolling, observing safety measures and getting some fresh air. Not shoulder to shoulder in a bar, or maskless on the train believing ourselves to be invincible.

But sure. Lock up the older people. It's all we deserve.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

It is possible that the low death rate in Japan has more to do with the population having less chronic disease than a country like the US, where many people are closer to the razors edge should they become infected with covid.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

2,208 new cases across Japan so far this Thursday.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Because PCR tests are not being carried out sufficiently on deceased patients, there are concerns that the number of people who have died from COVID-19 is actually higher than reported.

He is suggesting it is higher but based on what evidence? Having lower tests isn't one. That's my point.

He said there are concerns that the number is actually higher. He never said the number is actually higher. Just that there are concerns. Which means he doesn’t know. Which is what everyone here is been trying to tell you from day one.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Which means he doesn’t know. Which is what everyone here is been trying to tell you from day one.

No we do know. I gave you a link for that. There are also governmental data which I agree may be lower than the reality (as I mentioned above about Tokyo) but again no way near what is observed in the most affected countries. This is not rocket science.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

No we do know. I gave you a link for that.

Which was already talk to you by martini that it is not verified

There are also governmental data which I agree may be lower than the reality (as I mentioned above about Tokyo) but again no way near what is observed in the most affected countries. This is not rocket science.

Again without knowing the actual numbers you can’t make that assertion

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Even if all the untested are counted as covid19 deaths and all excess mortality are attributed to the same, the total would still be a minute fraction if compared with some countries.

It's not a pissing contest. The number of cases in other countries is totally unrelated to how the situation is being handled in Japan.

The number of recorded positive cases is low here because the number of tests that have been administered is miniscule. It's that simple.

Nobody knows how prevalent the virus is here because they aren't testing enough people. It's completely possible that the strain of the virus is weaker in Japan and that may be one reason why the actual death rate MAY be lower. BUT, that still doesn't excuse testing more. Why? Because how about those people who do eventually get it and don't have an immune system strong enough to fight it off, and die? Why does that need to happen just for the sake of testing more - using a capacity they say they have but aren't anywhere near close to using.

If the situation was being dealt with seriously instead of the government actively promoting mass nationwide travel, fewer people will contract the virus, ergo fewer people will die.

Test 50,000 per day in Tokyo, for the next 2 weeks, and see what the numbers are then. If we are still only seeing 200-400 even after testing 50,000 daily, THEN we can say it looks to be manageable. The government is clearly scared that they'll still be getting 10%+ positives coming back from 50,000. That would be highly embarrassing wouldn't it.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

i firmly and with strong conviction believe that japanese govt with suga at its head will help reduce this temporary increase of this horrific virus. the panel of experts are not just random people...they can help us all if we do what they are to recommend to us

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Honestly, what significant concrete steps (besides the Go To campaign) can the Japanese government take to improve the situation WITHOUT infringing on the current laws that protect our personal freedoms?

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

I get the down-votes! I totally do.

But no answers??

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

This is nothing about a nanny state. What Japan national government is doing is worse than doing nothing. They are actively pushing for and encouraging activities that would increase spread.

When the head of doctor's association asked for people not to travel this 3 day weekend,

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/pickup/6376877

The national government's response is to encourage it: https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASNCL5VPQNCLUTFK01N.html

The national government have been actively pushing for gatherings, including large events such as baseball games, and indoor activities via Go To Eats program. While national government set aside 1.6T yen for GoTo Campaign, only 670B was set aside for health care.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

I'm actually surprised people actually get tested in Japan considering they'd not like their neighbours to know they have it. Same goes for post mortems. Imagine how people around them would treat them. Fukushima for example.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

We know the stigma but if they don't go to the hospital when they're sick they might die

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh are those the maximum alert sirens I’m hearing?

For a minute I thought they were ambulances.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I agree with you Ian but that whole Japanese pride thing I think is quite unique.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You say that a study under review for an international's journal is not valid but you link to some work in Japanese which is what? Under review?

Since you are self-claimed scientist, you surely know that medrxciv is NOT an international journal, and something appearing there absolutely doesn't imply that it is "under review."

Almost anybody can put anything on medrxciv -- it is a glorified PDF server.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

COMPLETE shutdown and lockdown for at least(!!) 12 weeks... Enough with the little games... Tokyo, it’s time to wake up... can’t keep doing business as usual...

“maximum alert”? pfff, what a joke...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

HBJ by far the best post I have read for some time. As well as Aly Rustom who is always spot on.

It's not a pissing contest. The number of cases in other countries is totally unrelated to how the situation is being handled in Japan.

The number of recorded positive cases is low here because the number of tests that have been administered is miniscule. It's that simple.

Nobody knows how prevalent the virus is here because they aren't testing enough people. It's completely possible that the strain of the virus is weaker in Japan and that may be one reason why the actual death rate MAY be lower. BUT, that still doesn't excuse testing more. Why? Because how about those people who do eventually get it and don't have an immune system strong enough to fight it off, and die? Why does that need to happen just for the sake of testing more - using a capacity they say they have but aren't anywhere near close to using.

If the situation was being dealt with seriously instead of the government actively promoting mass nationwide travel, fewer people will contract the virus, ergo fewer people will die.

Test 50,000 per day in Tokyo, for the next 2 weeks, and see what the numbers are then. If we are still only seeing 200-400 even after testing 50,000 daily, THEN we can say it looks to be manageable. The government is clearly scared that they'll still be getting 10%+ positives coming back from 50,000. That would be highly embarrassing wouldn't it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I agree with you Ian but that whole Japanese pride thing I think is quite unique.

I also agree with you on that, certainly keeps many from seeking a test, even treatment. But there are certainly those that are deathly afraid of it.

Also, if identified as a close contact, there might not be much choice but to get tested

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am watching the TBS 6 o'clock "news"... One segment talks about the high virus cases, but the next segment is promoting Go To Travel and giving instructions on how to redeem Go To Eat vouchers.

Absolutely ridiculous...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It won't take a Nostradamus to predict a frightful Covid winter that will carry off many souls and sicken many more. Tokyoites will finally learn that they go out at their peril for pandemics have a nasty habit of sneaking up on us while we are making other plans.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@zichi

2,208 new cases across Japan so far this Thursday.

Its 2,363 now as of 6:45pm.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Honestly, what significant concrete steps (besides the Go To campaign) can the Japanese government take to improve the situation WITHOUT infringing on the current laws that protect our personal freedoms?

First thing that needs to be done is to get a clear idea of the spread. They can do that by doing a regular periodic randomized testing. They did it once before, don't know if there's a follow-up or a plan to

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As a scientist myself, I get quite annoyed by people not understanding processing data and giving their work catchy headlines for attention reasons

What science is this ? Can you tell more about your approach? Are you ignoring the masks ? What is you R number now ?

I don't think there is excess death Japan. There is just simply not enough death for there to be excess death . Come to think of it I don't even think there is excess death in Europe either . There is a vague definition of what cocid19 death is and also no one know exactly how accurate this mass PCR testing you are suggesting.

Also you mentioned we don't know what the situation is , but I failed to understand what if do ? Are you saying we should lockdown again ? And what if we do ? Are you saying the hospitals in Japan can't handle it ?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It's all about the pressure of big money, from big hotels and restaurants

9 ( +10 / -1 )

In the photo, not all the people are sitting the recommended minimum 6 feet apart - although they all have face masks, perhaps the added measure of safety should be added - both social distancing measures are commonly implemented in California, US.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Aaron HassanToday  01:44 pm JST

"Well, the USA has over 100,000 a day. 500 is no problem."

Well, do you want to compare daily tests too?

Well do you want to compare daily deaths?

Testing doesn't do anything other than help track clusters. There's no established treatment to follow testing. Since we all know that most infections cause only mild or no symptoms it's the hospitalization and death rates that have any real meaning.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

 no one know exactly how accurate this mass PCR testing you are suggesting.

Mass pcr testing actually might very well muddy the picture more because of the false positive rate.

This is the case being made by Dr Yeadon in the UK, arguing that most of the cases were the results of glass positives

0 ( +8 / -8 )

First thing that needs to be done is to get a clear idea of the spread. They can do that by doing a regular periodic randomized testing. They did it once before, don't know if there's a follow-up or a plan to

Second could be to establish false positive rate of pcr test if they haven't already and considering those data reformulate the guidelines for diagnostic testing

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not really sure about what I'm saying, maybe @virusrex could provide us some input =)

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Suga is irrelevant, as was Abe. You own an establishment that serves the public, you should require masks, social distancing and use of disinfectant upon entering, a temperature check might also be a requirement before proceeding inside..

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I don’t care about coronavirus. 

Why are you here then

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I told you so.. they would use the cold weather to inflict covid monger . here comes the winter sneezing flu season

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

When's the "Even More Maximum Alert" coming or the "Maximumer Alert?"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Covid-19 data. From the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

Number of hospitalized people reported yesterday: 1354.

Number of hospitalized people reported today: 1347.

Day-over-day change: -7 persons

Mild-moderate and Serious symptoms data. They are already included in the total number of people hospitalized. It should also be remembered that data on severe symptoms are already reflected in the Japan Today article. And there is no need to mention them again in the comments.

Patients hospitalized by COVID in Tokyo Prefecture, per 100,000 inhabitants. Yesterday's data: 9,72

Patients hospitalized by COVID in Tokyo Prefecture, per 100,000 inhabitants. Today's data: 9,67

Day-over-day change: -0,05 points.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

At this point there is no real use in doing mass random testing. It would not work to understand the spreading, because too many confounding factors would make the results not informative, for example people could be already recovering and in the phase of not giving a positive result or already clear of the infection.

But doing a huge more lot of tests is well justified, just not at random. Test anybody that is symptomatic and their contacts and it is possible to get a much clearer picture of the situation. Test frequently anybody that has to be in close contact with a lot of people (health personnel, teachers, bank tellers, etc.) and 3 birds are killed with that stone, not only getting a picture of how the disease is spreading but also isolating them before they expose other people and getting data about the incidence on people that show no symptoms.

At this point the limited testing done in Japan would be fine if the case were that the spreading is controlled so it would only be necessary to make sure it keeps that way. But in the real situation, with uncontrolled infections, the number of tests is completely insufficient, it only works to see the situation is getting worse, but not enough to do anything about it.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

More tests, I see, as well. If Japan would ever allow everyone to get tested, then there might be some accurate info about the virus, but the way it is, I suppose more and more sick people will come in, and we’ll get some indication that something isn’t right.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

i@nToday  08:06 pm JST

First thing that needs to be done is to get a clear idea of the spread. They can do that by doing a regular periodic randomized testing. They did it once before, don't know if there's a follow-up or a plan to

Second could be to establish false positive rate of pcr test if they haven't already and considering those data reformulate the guidelines for diagnostic testing

Sincerely, thank you for your thoughtful suggestions as they are rare to find on this board.

Can random testing be mandated in Japan?

I am beginning to think the Japanese government is very limited in their choices. They can't lockdown anything except public buildings. Many people don't realize that Japan cannot be "locked-down"

If people start dying at a rate higher than the annual influenza, I think the public will act more prudent on their own.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Toshio Nakagawa, head of the Japan Medical Association, said that there was no concrete evidence to indicate that the Go To Travel subsidy program was responsible for the spike in cases, but noted, "There is no mistaking that it acted as a catalyst."

Re-phrased for 2020 style reporting - “Nakagawa falsely claimed, without evidence, that the Go To Travel subsidy program was the catalyst.”

I hate subsidy programs but there is a lot of economic activity going on besides travel and eating out...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yen is everything! Suga told reporters he wants people to wear face masks at restaurants as much as possible, taking them off only briefly to eat and drink, to reduce the infection risk, and to limit groups to a maximum of four people. He said the Go To Travel and Go To Eats campaigns will continue". ALL IN THE NAME OF KEEPING THE ECONOMY ALIVE AND NOT THE PEOPLE!!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

dougthehead13

again someone who believe that what is serving J-gov as "real numbers" is the truth. Well, good luck to you.

aly

thanks for sharing. People with the brain could figure it out without article as well. Death rate is not correct. Can't be. Many people die alone and are discover weeks after passing away and that they don't test people who died on covid is well known. They go with logic: if it can be something else than covid, it's something else...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told a press conference: “Lockdowns are avoidable, I stand by my position that lockdowns are a last resort measure. If mask use reached 95%, lockdowns would not be needed.”

Well, we are going to find out, mask usage is almost universal here and the government don't want an s.o.e

Hope he's right

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Objective

Honestly, what significant concrete steps (besides the Go To campaign) can the Japanese government take to improve the situation WITHOUT infringing on the current laws that protect our personal freedoms?

--

I get the down-votes! I totally do.

But no answers??

Well, to start with:

first of all: each member of the gov. should show an example for the citizens: wear a damn mask correctly, at all times, keep a proper distance (=2m) to other people at the (so many un-necessary) meetings, and preferably - have those meetings online.

start testing people properly and actively, with guidelines and measures followed by nearly rest of the world: encourage and enable people - even with the slightest symptoms- to get tested. Acknowledge that a 'close contact' is a close contact, even if they had their masks on. Acknowledge, that you CAN have and spread the virus, even if you don't have fever (as of now, so many people and businesses seem to think fever is the only "dangerous" symptom).

instead of travel campaigns, start a campaign communicating of the actually effective measures normal citizens can do to slow/stop the spread of the disease. Make it super simple and clear: e.g. that social distance means, it really really means, 1-2m distance from others, not 10-20cm. 20cm distance to the next person at the supermarket line will not cut it, even if you're wearing a mask. Place posters everywhere, make adverts on radio, tv, youtube, facebook, etc. and play it frequently.

encourage and enable remote working, remote studying. Seek, highlight and promote modern day innovations and applications that individuals and businesses can easily use and adapt to enable remote working/studying.

streamline your communication to the public: have a clear message - it can't be "go travel, go spend, go enjoy amusement parks" and also "stay home, don't go out" at the same time. Basically: Re-think your PR, re-think your communication.

Japan loves mascots, right? So how about a 'Stop Covid-19' mascot, that would offer information and get people's attention. If the Olympics happen, the mascot could make a stellar performance there too, as "a hero".
0 ( +6 / -6 )

I teach ESL from my home the max of students at any time is 3 and I have only one class that is 3 and the rest one or two children. My teaching room is right by the entrance, and so, students in and out, no lingering whatsoever. From June, I implemented mask and shield, because kids sneeze and cough and I feel every extra step is an ounce of prevention for my life and theirs. With that said, there is a risk even with my room being an 8 tatami mat, because these kids go to school and just the other day one mother rang up and told me a student in her daughter's junior high class tested positive for the COVID and would not becoming for 2 weeks.

If you have to get on the train wear a strong mask if possible one with a filter inside and a face shield, again no guarantees it is going to be a hundred percent keep you safe, however, it is going to up your chances of not getting it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

You're welcome @Objective

Here's the news of the one did they before, I don't recall now if they specifically stated it was randomized but myimpression was it is:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/16/national/science-health/tokyo-coronavirus-antibodies/

Thanks also to @virusrex for the input

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Please look at the photo with Koike and team meeting. Is this proper social distancing? I'm assuming these gentlemen don't have 1 meter arm lengths

Even the committee that is in charge of leading finding solutions to this pandemic can't follow the social distance guidelines. Geez! 

And to top it off, seems like only Governor Koike has a large gap in distancing on her left/right sides. 

Act by example! Please!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Maximum Alert" sounds like "Double-Secret Probation" to me.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Baffled. Why the downvotes? I was serious with my suggestions. If you think they're bad/wrong for some reason, please express why.

(Especially you, Objective)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine !!! Yes, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and perhaps soon, Astra Zeneca, are coming out with vaccines. Japan has "pre-ordered", but how well these orders can be complied with is very debatable. Both the US and Europe have to give priority to their citizens.

The billion-dollar question is : What about Japan's local vaccine supposedly being developed by Osaka University together with AnGes Biotech ? There was a big flurry in May/June, but nary a word after that. In fact, a recent press release states that AnGes has obtained approval from FDA for a medication to alleviate the condition of Covid patients. So, does that mean Japan's home vaccine development effort has been scrapped ? Is it due to lack of funding, poor trial results, or what ? Surely, complete transparency is required, or is the news being kept under wraps to allow a select few to make a killing in the stockmarket killing, while Covid continues its killing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The government seriously needs to get it together before this explodes, this nice please wear mask ect ask don't want to offend anyone by telling them what to do tactic is not working at all. What are they going to wait until it hits 1000 per days before they actually implement something.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan published highest ever suicide deaths ever... More people took their life's in October than all of those socalled covid death past 8 months together... priorities!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This covid is for idiots.. flu season is coming...so what...I will never wear a mouth diaper and spread non existing fear to others.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wonder how many meetings it took to come up with this decision.

And how much out of our tax paying expense?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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