People walk in Osaka's Dotombori area on Wednesday night. Photo: KYODO
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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants in Japan double in a week

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seemingly this whole covid lark is a number’s game

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Well it seems like the way of not doing anything much has caught up with us.

For the whole year its been up to each’s individual idea of protecting oneself and those around them.

Even schools if someone tested positive, they simply took that person out, and cleaned then resumed business the next day.

People who were sick and wanted to test themselves could not get a test done.

Having no logical way to combat an invisible virus, and not being provided with any test when wanted, may have been very bad ideas.

Japan is still very masked up and cautious, but clearly it is steadily spreading.

27 ( +37 / -10 )

Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese.

So far today, I have seen a baker’s dozen Japanese people not wearing masks. One guy was even smoking whilst walking, which is illegal in the areas I travel from, through, and to work.

-11 ( +29 / -40 )

As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese.

One of the biggest nonsens I ever heard.

Everyday on my way to work and back I see many foreigners without masks.

And also here on JT some foreign posters are telling us every day that they dont wear masks.

Among 50 foreigners I see 10 are not wearing a mask.

About 1000 japanese I see 10 are not wearing a mask.

-32 ( +19 / -51 )

If it’s gotten to the point where the dubious government data can’t down play it anymore, getting worse by the day. Sure there will be a few meetings over the next month to urge everyone to? Cheer on the olympics, and trust the government as the expert panel are convening soon to asses the best response that ensures businesses are receiving their rainbow stickers.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Agreed P.6:57a. - Like Today’s “J-enius” seen with the hole cut into his mask for alternating sips of S’bucks and puffs on his cig while he walks around in public. Another demonstration of the innovations and ‘Fightoing spirit” of some people.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. 

In my experience, that number is way less than 1%. Of course, they don't wear a mask when eating/drinking, and that's why restaurants open is a problem.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

One of the biggest nonsens I ever heard. 

Everyday on my way to work and back I see many foreigners without masks.

My anecdote trumps your anecdote.

And P.Smith, if I see your every day nonstop complaining posts about Japan and the Japanese people, I am really wondering why you live here?

Makes zero sense for me!

Because you don’t understand that you can love something and still criticize it.

9 ( +29 / -20 )

Are you more likely to get the virus when eating and drinking with many other people? Yes.

Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t spread in office spaces, schools and universities as well people start getting lax on mask wearing as well.

The pandemic and the fact that it’s this bad is all on the Japanese government.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

@Zoroto

In my experience, that number is way less than 1%. 

I agree with you!

Yes there are japanese people who refuse to wear mask, but very rare.

P. Smith enjoys to complain Nonstop about the japanese people and Japan.

@P.Smith

Because you don’t understand that you can love something and still criticize it.

What kind of love is that?

Day in, day out nonstop complaining...I never heard about that kind of love.

-9 ( +18 / -27 )

In my experience, that number is way less than 1%.

My anecdote also trumps your anecdote.

People are clearly missing the point of my post: anecdotes aren’t actual evidence of anything. The idea that Monty or I know the citizenship of all the people we see on our commutes is ridiculous. So is the idea that we actually count the total number of people with and without masks.

1 ( +21 / -20 )

Lots of crowded bars open till midnight last night in Osaka--a few with their shutters pulled down, as if that would help. It didn't feel very much like an emergency.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

505 new cases

This number is meaningless. How many of the 30k positive cases from last week were sequenced for variants. Was it 30K or was it 505? If I had to guess, it was a lot closer to 505...

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Yes there are japanese people who refuse to wear mask, but very rare. 

Not in my experience, which is more valid than your experience.

P. Smith enjoys to complain Nonstop about the japanese people and Japan.

Incorrect. I simply abhor people who refuse to acknowledge that Japan is not perfect and blame foreigners for every bad thing here.

15 ( +33 / -18 )

This is not a Japanese vs non-Japanese issue. This is a human issue. Some people are understandably tired of this whole pandemic and that affects behaviour. Unfortunately the time that people start to become lax is also the time that more contagious variants are taking hold.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

For me, what is glaring at me is the number of Japanese who wear masks to cover their mouths but leave their noses exposed. Those I see ALOT of, and like P. Smith I just don't see foreigners not wearing masks. I just don't see them. And I have been on the lookout for them just to see if there is any credibility to these claims that foreigners are not wearing masks. I can only speak for myself when I say that I have only seen 1 foreigner in the past 6 months not wearing one. The rest not only wear them, but wear them CORRECTLY, which means they cover their noses as well as their mouths. My experience is that nearly half, yes half, of the Japanese I see wearing masks are covering their mouths only.

4 ( +17 / -13 )

I can only speak for myself when I say that I have only seen 1 foreigner in the past 6 months not wearing one. 

Some people do understand my point.

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

which permits it to be more transmissible than the ancestral strain, and is present in the British, South African and Brazilian variants.

the ancestral strain? Why not call it the original Wuhan strain? They refuse to do that as well as acknowledge the existence of the Tokyo strain while happily mentioning the British, South African and Brazilian variants.

Kyodo reporting at its finest.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

P Smith

While you have points, its hardly anything your average careful observer does not already know.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

So relaxing social distancing measures immediately after the introduction of variants that spread more easily lead to a lot more of cases when those variants became predominant? Congratulations Japan, you are only behind the rest of the developed world by 3-4 months.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Do what you can for yourself and family. The gov't here is useless. Get self reliant.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Life must go on!

Who really cares anymore!!

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Nobody could have predicted this....

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Japanese Gov and Japanese media need to focus on vaccinations. I'm no longer concerned about 'testing numbers' or 'State of Emergencies' at this point, both are pretty much useless and ineffective/irrelevant. I want to know how many have been vaccinated, how/where/when can we be vaccinated etc. FOCUS on vaccinations.

I for one do not feel stopping international travel is a proclamation "ITS ALL FOREIGNERS FAULT". Doing so is the common sense and most effective way (many other countries have done so) to slow the GLOBAL spread of the variants. Yes, I agree the gov needs to be even more strict on Japanese international travelers. Japanese citizens/nationals are equally/more guilty of bringing variants and strains back home than foreigners!

Everyone knows the risks of traveling, eating/drinking out, going to the gym, going maskless, etc..... no sympathy or empathy for those who happen to get sick at this stage. No sympathy/empathy for any genius who leaves Japan and just happens to not be allowed back into the country without significant delay or inconvenience. NONE.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

The posts about Japanese wearing masks or not is irrelevant, Covidiots abound everywhere. The real question is how to get the populace to support stricter measures enacted by a government that they've lost faith in. Infectious experts from the early days have said that in order to control the virus you have to go at it with everything you have and not to spare any resources. Then when the numbers decrease, so can the measures. Japan is going about it backwards,. It is slowly enacting stricter measures as they see the numbers increase, all the while playing catch up and wack-a- mole. They also see Golden Week on the horizon and desperately want to keep that open; this mindset with the further notion of the Olympics just beyond the horizon.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

I live in big city here and I can say that these days I never see anyone not wearing a mask, no matter what part of the Universe they may come from.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Yes, the British strain spread by Japanese.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Understand your points of ‘self-care’, ‘individual responsibility’ and ‘loudly banging on drums’ @thepersoniamnow 6:52am & 7:54am:

“For the whole year its been up to each’s individual idea of protecting oneself and those around them. Japan is still very masked up and cautious, but clearly it is steadily spreading.”

The foreigner residents here that are pointing out the failure of some individuals in self-care is just the residual effects of frustration with an inept, central government. Be mindful, these same workers are also paying our share taxes to the uncaring, profit hungry elite.

“Well, it seems like the way of not doing anything much has caught up with us.”

Perhaps there would be less finger-pointing and we could ALL feel more assured in ‘our joint struggles to survive’ if Japanese persons, like yourself and others here, were more direct in calling out the ineffectual government for their repetitive stalling and inaction to resolve problems.

You have a voice and, a vote. Please use it effectively when You have the opportunity.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I wear a double mask now. An American thing.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Who actually sits on a train and counts how many foreigners vs Japanese wear masks?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

The foreigner residents here that are pointing out the failure of some individuals in self-care is just the residual effects of frustration with an inept, central government. Be mindful, these same workers are also paying our share taxes to the uncaring, profit hungry elite.

“Well, it seems like the way of not doing anything much has caught up with us.”

Perhaps there would be less finger-pointing and we could ALL feel more assured in ‘our joint struggles to survive’ if Japanese persons, like yourself and others here, were more direct in calling out the ineffectual government for their repetitive stalling and inaction to resolve problems.

You have a voice and, a vote. Please use it effectively when You have the opportunity.

Best post I've read all day

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I have taken my 11 year old son away from Japan and he will live on Guam though not fool proof, he is going to a private school where there are only 23 children and he will go to Japanese school once a week with 2 other Japanese children. At least when I return back to work don't have to worry if he picked it up in a country where I am sure the COVID numbers are far greater than here on Guam where 60 percent are nearly vaccinated and tourism is nil.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

"Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese."

You've said this a few times before but it's not true. Do you actually live in japan?

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

So relaxing social distancing measures immediately after the introduction of variants that spread more easily lead to a lot more of cases when those variants became predominant? Congratulations Japan, you are only behind the rest of the developed world by 3-4 months.

All along, the government has played a game of brinksmanship, doing as little as possible. It has gotten away with it probably due to cultural factors, like acceptance of mask wearing, bowing not handshakes etc., and lack of obese/type 2 diabetes patients more likely to get seriously ill. However, the danger has always been that a more contagious form would appear and overpower these cultural advantages that limited the impact of the first waves. I don't think the government can take any credit for Japan's low death toll so far, because it was not government action that made it happen. Now when facing a more serious situation, we are seeing how inept the government actually is.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Among 50 foreigners I see 10 are not wearing a mask.

About 1000 japanese I see 10 are not wearing a mask.

Well, there are three people in the photo with their faces uncovered. Of course we have no idea what nationality they are, but by your reckoning they must be foreigners, eh?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Mask is important but not the ultimate panacea to stop the spread of the virus. The more asymptomatic people or people with mild symptoms unknowingly move around freely the virus is bound to spread like wild fire in communities, to think that some race, ethnicity or nationals are immune to this virus is utter stupidity.

Every day thousands of people despite wearing mask still get infected, how do these people get infected is anybody is guess. Do the following and you will be safe, avoid crowds, don't touch surfaces when out in public , make sure you wash your hands well with soap and try as much as possible not to touch your mouth, nose, ears, eyes. Though most experts don't want to admit it, there is high incidence of this virus being transmitted through touch.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Meanwhile the total number of elderly people vaccinated in Osaka prefecture is... (drum roll) 347, and the total number of elderly people vaccinated in Chiba and Hyogo prefecture is... (another drum roll) ZERO.

If that's the progress being made, we're gonna be stuck with COVID long after the rest of the world has moved on.

https://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/headline/kansensho/vaccine.html

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Japan's just been playing catch-up for the last half a year after ignoring the problem for the first half of the year. I'm glad I don't live near a large city.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Though most experts don't want to admit it, there is high incidence of this virus being transmitted through touch.

You stick to your belief.

According to a science brief released in early April, your chances of contracting COVID-19 from a surface (called fomite transmission) in an indoor community are low — less than 1 in 10,000.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html

https://globalnews.ca/news/7761171/is-it-time-to-ditch-disinfecting-cdc-updates-data-surrounding-covid-19-surface-transmission/

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese.

Definitely agree, foreigners are far more responsible than the Japanese and the blame for the spread is entirely on them so no sympathy here.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Life must go on!

Who really cares anymore!!

Exactly. Each new variant will spread. The cases will go up and them come down, regardless of what measures are taken. Vulnerable people should take extra precautions, but the rest of us should get on with our normal lives. As the weather warms up and people enjoy the sun, we'll be better able to handle infections.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

As a foreigner that stands out I feel more obligated to wear a mask. If I were hidden in a sea of black hair, it’d be easier to not wear a mask. I see more and more Japanese weary of the pandemic and not wearing masks. I’ve not seen one single foreigner without a mask in my area. Don’t need the extra attention.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Adding to the 255 cases reported in the previous week, the total number of people in Japan infected with variants of the virus now stands at 1,880......multiply it by 10 times at least to be more realistic.

"number of cases in Kyoto Prefecture decreased by 32 from the previous week due an amendment in figures".............And here we have it, now we know its the shady "amendments" we can all thank for Japan,s miracle numbers over the past year.

total number of elderly people vaccinated in Osaka prefecture is... (drum roll) 347, and the total number of elderly people vaccinated in Chiba and Hyogo prefecture is... (another drum roll) ZERO."

To spell it out...the LDP clowns in charge and their response is absolutely P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You stick to your belief.

According to a science brief released in early April, your chances of contracting COVID-19 from a surface (called fomite transmission) in an indoor community are low — less than 1 in 10,000.

Stick to your beliefs as well and when you go out don't worry touching surfaces and then your face as you believe in what some useless study by someone and not use your brain to think for yourself. Every day thousands of people get infected by this virus do you think that these thousands that get infected didn't wear mask, I can bet that most if not all of them wore mask yet got infected, how did they get infected ? that is a question you and the authors of your study cannot answer. It is like experts and government telling us that there is no report of anybody being infected in trains, that doesn't mean it is true, yet the same government or experts don't carry out any studies to support their assertions. Why because, they know it is not true. Remember that guy in Aichi who unfortunately passed away who boasted about going out and spreading the virus and went to a pub and one of the hostesses who sat on the bench this guy sat got infected while the hostess that sat next to him and served him drinks wasn't. Yes, the lady that got infected was through touch that is just one example.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I see more and more Japanese weary of the pandemic and not wearing masks.

Not me.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

> "Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese."

You've said this a few times before but it's not true. Do you actually live in japan?

Yes, I do live in Japan. I travel from Kanagawa to Chiba via the heart of Tokyo for work.

What is your evidence that my assertion is untrue?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

What did everybody expected? once the variants are in the country they are going to replace the classic virus, no mystery there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Golly, who ever would have seen that coming?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

" And I have been on the lookout for them just to see if there is any credibility to these claims that foreigners are not wearing masks."

And? I wear them to keep the locals happy in the shops etc. But beyond that, I use my own discretion. Feel free to keep yours on 24/7 if you wish

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

"To spell it out...the LDP clowns in charge and their response is absolutely P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C."

I'm sort of glad I am in Japan, and not an oppressively locked down country like the UK. I just wish they would stop their pointless tinkering with restaurant hours.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

What is your evidence that my assertion is untrue?

The burden of proof is on you...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This number is meaningless.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The virus is a virus, and it is behaving exactly how you would expect when you do sweet FA to stop it. With any luck it will be sorted by the end of this year, but don't get your hopes up.

The real issue is the heaps of BS surrounding the whole pandemic. Crappy testing, poor distribution of information, mixed messages every day, decisions taking weeks instead of hours, and the refusal to call the JAPANESE VARIANT what it is.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Steve- Florida and Texas created the blueprint. Protect the vulnerable and then open up. The threat of hospitalizations is greatly diminished.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Is Japan going for herd immunity with these new variants as well?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Is Japan going for herd immunity with these new variants as well?”

May as well

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“The rest of us can carry on and enjoy life and keep the economy rolling.”

As it should be

0 ( +3 / -3 )

At least get the Vaccines out!

Pfizer's is the only one approved but at least it has still fairly good protection against most variants.

So do the others but we wait and wait for approval, despite Takeda and Daichi Sankyo already producing Vaccines locally.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Steve- Florida and Texas created the blueprint. Protect the vulnerable and then open up. The threat of hospitalizations is greatly diminished.

I guess all those freezer trucks in Texas hospital parkings had ham in them and not bodies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And? I wear them to keep the locals happy in the shops etc. But beyond that, I use my own discretion.

I would say we all do that.

Feel free to keep yours on 24/7 if you wish

What a dumb comment.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I'm sort of glad I am in Japan, and not an oppressively locked down country like the UK.

Oh so you're glad to be living in a country where the gov is not testing, not contact tracing, not doing anything to stem the spread while at the same time going on with a HUGE international event that is likely to increase the spread EVEN MORE.

Brilliant.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

drluciferToday 10:12 am JST

You stick to your belief.

According to a science brief released in early April, your chances of contracting COVID-19 from a surface (called fomite transmission) in an indoor community are low — less than 1 in 10,000.

Stick to your beliefs as well and when you go out don't worry touching surfaces and then your face as you believe in what some useless study by someone and not use your brain to think for yourself. Every day thousands of people get infected by this virus do you think that these thousands that get infected didn't wear mask, I can bet that most if not all of them wore mask yet got infected, how did they get infected ?

I use my brain very well, please use yours.

We know there are many daily life circumstances when people do not wear a mask, and even with a mask, it is far from 100% safe.

The study and report are from the CDC (FYI, The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). I believe people working their use their brains and are well above the internet experts.

You are free to wear triple gloves, triple masks, face shield and face guard when going out.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It’s of no use to longer discuss details like masks, vaccines, testing and such. On a more general level speaking, the time has come to decide if we human beings continue to let us dictate everything by those invisible 100nm half-dead nothing beasts or if we get back the offense and dictate the viruses to ‘kneel down’ or disappear. Currently I only see and hear denyings, drawing backs , giving more and more terrain to the ‘enemy’ and loud calls for give ins and give ups. That’s surely not helpful, but only continuously deadly. No, we all have now to start striking back and bring that to an end for us, not the viruses, the earlier the better.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

(Sekai) Gimme A Break. Testing numbers are a joke and I said so months ago. "Low testing numbers is a good sign because it means COVID is not widespread". Keep your head buried in the sand and watch the numbers sky rocket. Australia has it under control because they were testing 50,000 a day to find just a couple of positives. Imagine if Japan tested proportionally - there'd be thousands of positives. Mark my words..........today is just the tip of the iceberg.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Japanese are not (still) taking this virus seriously.The virus will continue to spread in bars and restaurants as there is no social distancing in Japan in the majority of restaurants.

UK restaurants are not open even though the curve is now coming to the baseline.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

I am glad the Japanese did not emulate the UK way, huge deaths , lockdowns and draconian laws. All the faith is in a Vaccine that is not as protective to the obese and may well be useless within months. Japan has done very well, treating us like adults and with respect, I like that. Very low death rate and for most of us life is as normal

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

the refusal to call the JAPANESE VARIANT what it is.

So true: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-idUSKBN2BR03W

TOKYO (Reuters) - Around 70% of coronavirus patients tested at a Tokyo hospital last month carried a mutation known for reducing vaccine protection, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Sunday.

The E484K mutation, nicknamed “Eek” by some scientists, was found in 10 of 14 people who tested positive for the virus at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Medical Hospital in March, the report said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

triumphToday  09:01 am JST

"Unsurprising given the number of Japanese people who don’t wear masks or wear them around their necks. As a proportion of the population, non-Japanese are far more vigilant about masks than Japanese."

You've said this a few times before but it's not true. Do you actually live in japan?

How about taking a look at the picture for this article; One guy clearly not wearing mask and two more with their masks under their chins. All Japanese, I would hazard.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Congratulations Japan now you have your own new strain...anyhow its getting warm time for bbqs and beer some waves bit of camping.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet hospitals are filling up and the system is at breaking point?

This is true or not, right?

Many people are being told to stay home after a positive test for 10 days with no backup...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All along, the government has played a game of brinksmanship, doing as little as possible. It has gotten away with it probably due to cultural factors, like acceptance of mask wearing, bowing not handshakes etc., and lack of obese/type 2 diabetes patients more likely to get seriously ill. However, the danger has always been that a more contagious form would appear and overpower these cultural advantages that limited the impact of the first waves. I don't think the government can take any credit for Japan's low death toll so far, because it was not government action that made it happen. Now when facing a more serious situation, we are seeing how inept the government actually is.

Nothing to add, that's totally it !!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Adding to the 255 cases reported in the previous week, the total number of people in Japan infected with variants of the virus now stands at 1,880......multiply it by 10 times at least to be more realistic.

I'm pretty sure that the infection rate is significantly higher in Japan than we realise - not just because of those without symptoms, but that who hide their symptoms.

However, there is no evidence of a high mortality rate, and those numbers are hard to hide. About 100,000 people die on average every month in Japan and less than 1% are from COVID in the middle of a global pandemic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People in our Hyogo location are receiving vaccine invites to the local hospital starting next month, May.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"However, there is no evidence of a high mortality rate, and those numbers are hard to hide. About 100,000 people die on average every month in Japan and less than 1% are from COVID in the middle of a global pandemic."

Exactly. Issuing another state of emergency would do more harm than good

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"while at the same time going on with a HUGE international event that is likely to increase the spread EVEN MORE."

They are going to be the most dull Olympics on record. For that reason alone they should be cancelled - I've never supported the Olympics.

I am glad I can still go about my life in relative freedom in Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Doesn't sound predictable at all. I mean who would have thunk it, considering how ignorant the govt and people have been?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"while at the same time going on with a HUGE international event that is likely to increase the spread EVEN MORE."

They are going to be the most dull Olympics on record. For that reason alone they should be cancelled - I've never supported the Olympics.

I agree with that

I am glad I can still go about my life in relative freedom in Japan.

I would prefer a lockdown with a government that is actually doing something to slow the spread

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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