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Coronavirus could last years, says Japanese economist

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Extended and active government involvement in the economy will eventually make the public understand that "free market" economics along with globalization are houses of cards, built on flawed beliefs, meant to serve the interests primarily of the super-duper rich and their "stakeholders."

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the TPP and other global initiatives that the Japanese govt had been trumpeting on about in the lead-up to the woo-flu. Today the same govt is focused on repatriating capital and facilities, basically undermining those initiatives. Quite a quick turnaround!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Four years!

Netflix better add a lot more programming.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Economist, not a scientist? Let's get the people who know wtf they are talking about get involved!

This guy probably thinks shining a light inside the body will somehow destroy the virus

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I've said all along the pandemic could last years due to Japan's reluctancy to shutdown Japan Inc. for a month. The economic effects of not shutting it down are far worse then just shutting everything down for a month. South Korea did it and have beaten the virus. Australia and New Zealand did it and have beaten the virus. Japan did not do it and are struggling to control the spread and the economy will remain flailing until they get some divine intervention to stop the spread. Yes, statistically, Japan's number of cases remain quite low. However, due to very limited testing it is difficult to believe the accuracy of these numbers.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

"It's necessary to take steps to make people feel safe by strengthening testing and isolation capabilities," Kobayashi said.

Even econonmist and many of us here know testing and isolation is the panacea when there is no vaccine for a virus but for some unknown reason the government has decided not to test and isolate putting everyone at risk.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan has reported nearly 16,000 coronavirus infections and over 650 deaths.

This comment is moot unless number of tests given is noted.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"It could take up to four years," he said, referring to the time needed to develop and distribute an effective vaccine or medicine to combat the virus.

This guy will be fired soon by the LDP. His statement means there can't be any Olympics in 2021 !! HERESY

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Central bank buys more government bonds? Printing money that will soon enough become worthless? The sheer idiocy astounds me. It saddens me to think the average Japanese citizen actually buys that mirage.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I’m not sure I agree with everything this guy is saying, but one thing is for sure - things aren’t just going to get back to normal in a month or two.

This is the perfect opportunity to consider making fundamental changes to the way we live. By that I mean government policies, work structures, and social structures.

UBI has been talked about more in recent years. It’s clear that a UBI in some way is needed, and many governments have resorted to blanket payouts to citizens which is UBI in all but name. Starting off with a ¥50,000 / month UBI guaranteed for the next 6 months would be a positive move and could be the first step towards restructuring or resetting the social welfare system in Japan (all countries).

Telework obviously needs to be embraced more in Japan. There are environmental benefits to this along with productivity, and work life balance benefits. Businesses can reduce costs, which boosts profit - it really is win win. But it has to be done properly. Hopefully it would help break the current old style office culture Japan seems to be stuck in and be a big step forward.

There are tons of other things that could be changed or reconsidered and this is the perfect chance to do so. It would be depressing if the aim was to just get back to how things were before - because there’s so much wrong with how we were doing things before. We just didn’t have a good enough excuse to try and change them. Well, here is that excuse.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I've said all along the pandemic could last years due to Japan's reluctancy to shutdown Japan Inc. for a month. 

You make it sound like it's only a Japanese problem, same as the author here too! And no, just "shutting down" is not going to change anything either! The virus will still be there!

This is a worldwide problem, and will need world wide cooperation to overcome it! Japan can not just shut it's doors until a viable vaccine is found.

We need to learn how to live WITH the virus,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@TrevorPeace

 Printing money that will soon enough become worthless? 

Japan has been "printing money", aka aggressive quantitative easing for 20 years, and during that time the yen has become one of the top safe-haven currencies among global investors. You're Canadian? I'd rather be earning yen than Canadian dollars, then, now and in the future.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I’d rather have Canadian Gold!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Yubaru -  just "shutting down" is not going to change anything either! The virus will still be there!

Um, yes it will! It has been proven to have a very strong effect by many other countries who have adopted strict lockdown measures, which stopped the unabated spread and are now removing lockdown measures due to its success. A virus is a parasite that needs a host. No host = No virus!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Netflix better add a lot more programming.

I've finally got some decent speakers for my home theater. Should have done it years ago.

Economists have a poor record about predicting the economy, so I won't believe them when it comes to predictions about how many years a vaccine might take. However, the economic fallout of this is likely to last years. Tourism is said to be around 10% of the global economy and that looks completely screwed for the foreseeable future. Since it involves so many people travelling, so does the Olympics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Some of the comments here are just ridiculous. “South Korea has beaten the virus” really? Ok, New Zealand has done well but running Auckland and Tokyo are two completely different things. No country has been perfect in the face of this pandemic. But in my humble opinion Japan has done a respectable job compared to other G-7 countries of keeping people alive while keeping the economy on life support. I would much rather be in Tokyo today than in the US or Britain.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It doesn't mean that the virus is present all the time, but it is becoming seasonal just like another flu. If that being the case, we would have to find a balanced and sustainable way of life with minimal damage for survival. Full lockdown is a surrender.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Anyone walking around saying they know whats up probably shouldn’t be listened to.

“I’ve been saying all along...”

:D

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Extended and active government involvement in the economy will eventually make the public understand that "free market" economics along with globalization are houses of cards, built on flawed beliefs, meant to serve the interests primarily of the super-duper rich and their "stakeholders."

Extended government involvement in the economy will eventually make the public understand that government control is a house of cards, built on flawed beliefs, meant to serve the interests primarily of the super-duper rich politically connected and their minions. The same snakes will rise to the top.

I might add that what you call free market economics has been anything but, and is just collusion between the politicians/bureaucrats and the wealthy. For example, watch how many SMEs will be wiped out while the wealthy corporations sweep up - all with government assistance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After six weeks of severe lockdowns pubs, restaurants and beaches are open again in NSW Australia due to the new cases of the virus dropping to below ten a day. South Australia is officially virus free with no new cases for over a week. Over 12,000 people were tested in NSW last week. Seems quite contrary to what is going on in Japan, doesn’t it? Severe lockdowns and disregard of the economics have worked to stop the spread of the virus. The Japanese government refuses to shutdown Japan Inc. and this scenario of the virus hanging around for years seems quite probable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yubaru:

This guy probably thinks shining a light inside the body will somehow destroy the virus

Well, actually it does, and the technology is under FDA approval. Did you perhaps fall for another antitrump fake news hoax?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

HBJ:

many governments have resorted to blanket payouts to citizens which is UBI in all but name

But what exactly is the government going to pay if there is no economy? If a functioning economy is not needed for a government to print meaningful money, why are there poor countries? Zimbabwe should be massively rich.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

or the human body might develop some natural immunity to the virus making it over in two similar to the Spanish pandemic of 1918-1920

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I've said all along the pandemic could last years due to Japan's reluctancy to shutdown Japan Inc. for a month.

I agree, but since there's no law to enforce a shutdown and you've got people like James Corbett making conspiracy videos about opposing authoritarianism and offering no alternative solutions you are going to have pushback.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 I would much rather be in Tokyo today than in the US or Britain.

Hear,hear to that.But most of the people banging on about sound like they'd rather not be in Japan. But it's just fluff speak.No-one's stopping them going home if Japan is that bad,which it's not.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I would like to get back to a world in which doctors or scientists give us information regarding possible disease scenarios, and economists discuss the financial ramifications of those scenarios.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Told my 7 year old the same thing yesterday, so, do I get in the papers?

Well duh...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hustle,

pretty cocky to say Australia has beaten it. We’ll see. But again, how many mega cities of 35 million are there Down Under?

japan is a densely populated country of 130 million crammed into a space the size of California so I don’t think you can even begin to compare the two.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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