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Visitors walk under cherry blossoms at Ueno Park in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara
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Experts warn Japanese growing complacent of coronavirus risk

82 Comments
By Rocky Swift

Infectious disease experts guiding the Japanese government's response to the coronavirus outbreak sounded the alarm on Tuesday that people are not taking the threat seriously.

Over the three-day holiday this past weekend, Tokyo's public parks were full of people at cherry blossom-viewing parties while the K-1 kickboxing organization held matches before 6,500 fans at the Saitama Super Arena.

Large-scale events risk a resurgence of coronavirus cases that have been held in check to date in Japan, according to Hiroshi Nishiura, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Hokkaido University.

"If behavior returns to normal, there could be an explosion of cases like what's happened in the United States and Europe," Nishiura wrote in commentary published on Yahoo Japan on Tuesday. "In particular, once major events have resumed in an endemic area, the outbreak can grow out of control."

Nishiura is part of a panel that last week advised that school closures and other restrictions could begin to be lifted. Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike on Monday warned that the capital could still be locked down and called on event organizers and residents to exercise restraint.

"At present, I think citizens are not facing this epidemic with a sense of crisis and the impact of their actions on one another," Nishiura wrote.

The outbreak has now infected more than 377,000 globally with over 16,500 deaths linked to the virus. Japan has had 1,140 cases and 42 deaths, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Particularly risky environments are those that are enclosed, have low ventilation, and where large groups of people are talking or shouting, said Hitoshi Oshitani, another panel expert and professor of virology at Tohoku University.

That means cherry blossom viewing is probably fine, but "K1 should not be done," he said.

If Japan can prevent an "overshoot" --an explosive rise in virus cases-- it still faces the risk of reinfection from overseas, Oshitani said. The first wave of infections originating from China were relatively small, but there is a more serious threat from explosive outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

"We're expecting that the second wave is much bigger," Oshitani said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

82 Comments
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"Growing"....Blame the government for not testing and keeping the infected numbers artificially low. People read the newspapers, watch TV, see it growing everywhere else, BUT here. "Oh we are fine".

That along with "cliches" is down playing the reality that NO ONE here really knows just how many are infected, asymptomatic or otherwise!

People here are not scared enough! They think because 2 weeks has gone by, it's over here! Even the way the prefectures count their infected is screwy and makes people think again, "Hey we are ok"

2 people "brought" the virus into Okinawa recently, they are not "counted" here as they were "tested" and found positive somewhere else. So the official web pages do not have them included in the numbers as of yesterday.

Wake UP Japan!

22 ( +31 / -9 )

Particularly risky environments are those that are enclosed, have low ventilation, and where large groups of people are talking or shouting, said Hitoshi Oshitani, another panel expert and professor of virology at Tohoku University.

Which to me sounds like 75% or more of all the buildings I have been in here. Maybe not ALL shouting, but plenty of damn "talking" with poor to little ventilation!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

You reckon? All those years of being told to wear masks and wash their hands throughout the flu season has given them a false sense of security. They also think that, if they can survive the packed trains without getting sick there is no need for social distancing. Personally, I think social distancing is impossible in cities like Tokyo and Osaka where they have 3-5,000 people living on top of each other in a a square kilometer. I’m afraid a mass-outbreak and many deaths are inevitable in Japan’s major cities.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

I see less people wearing masks on the trains. But I notice Japanese people are avoiding em like the plague.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Too late, an idiot company President from Hachinohe went forward to Spain as was reported by media in Aomori, bringing a positive case to that area when there was none. This man should be investigated and thrown in jail if any new cases erupt as well as those going to knowingly and heavily advised not to do so.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

The government should ban travel companies and travel tickets to be sold going into those countries. All incoming passengers from those countries should be quarantined. Why should the rest of us suffer at their selfishness and stupidity.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Since the level of risk varies from place to place across the country, the proper response must also differ accordingly. I don't think that a nationwide program is necessary. Key areas should be focused upon with support. Extra caution is needed on inbound arrivals at airports (seaports as well).

For individuals, basics -- hand-washing, social distances -- do count a lot.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Well, I just heard that Shimura Ken, the comedian has tested positive, so maybe now some people will take it more seriously. I know this is sad to say, but unless someone famous gets sick or heaven forbid dies, people will not accept responsibility. It was when Tom Hanks announced that he had tested positive and the NBA player Rudy Colbert that Americans finally sat up and took notice.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

I repeat, @carpslidy; "grossly over exaggerated" (in reference to a previous article)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Listening to advice of these infectious disease experts, the government fumbled its initial response to the viral outbreak.

My sympathy is with the K-1 kick boxing organizers and boxers. They would have lost a lot of money and income if the event had been called off and the government had no plan to compensate for the loss they would have suffered if they complied to the government’s request.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Check out the Corona virus threads on JT from 2 weeks ago, you'll see a whole bunch of posts predicting a "massive or exponential increase of Corona virus cases in Japan within 2 weeks"

Well we keep passing all these time limits and I have yet to see a massive outbreak.

-25 ( +10 / -35 )

K-1 kickboxing organization held matches before 6,500 fans at the Saitama Super Arena.

Whoa, why is this sort of crap allowed? They’ve literally just sacrificed billions of dollars to postpone the Olympics, but Kickboxing events are still allowed??

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The doomsayers were wrong and I was right.

Wow... current situation at hand around the globe and you want validation and kudos? I mean this as no insult; however, I am honestly amazed.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

MeiyouwentiToday  07:45 am JST

Listening to advice of these infectious disease experts, the government fumbled its initial response to the viral outbreak.

What exactly has Japan fumbled when compared to other countries like Italy, US, Spain, Iran, SKorea, etc? There is no panic in the streets, food supplies are not impacted, no police or military curfew and most importantly no collapse of the medical system.

That said, I agree with this "expert" in that stricter enforcement is necessary. The idea of a 6500 audience in an indoor sports arena is simply ridiculous. Such idiot behavior should be prevented by law.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The lack of testing and the suppression of numbers by the govt is what's leading this sense of complacency. Japanese feel like they are special and that their approach to this pandemic is better than the other countries. If it is so special then other countries should be modeling the Japanese contingency plan. They are not. There will be hell to pay as this behavior continues.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Dear experts, don't waste your time or breath. Shinzo and his hand picked muppets don't listen. They know everything.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Near us a restaurant owner just came back from 2 weeks in Paris and opened after 2days!!! WTF

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Can a law be passed preventing the commute from hell that we go through every morning?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"Particularly risky environments are those that are enclosed, have low ventilation"

Then why are my Tokyo train's windows all closed?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

OssanAmerica

There is no panic in the streets, food supplies are not impacted, no police or military curfew and most importantly no collapse of the medical system.

Not correct. Panic buying of toilet paper, tissues, kitchen paper, masks, diapers. Shortages of some food items.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Well we keep passing all these time limits and I have yet to see a massive outbreak.

The key word is "yet".

Look at what is happening around the world - Japan is not immune.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Will windows open on trains spread the virus more efficiently?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@since 1981

Globally 94% of cases are mild.

Real number is much lower.

So yes still seems

grossly over exaggerated

It seems more people are agreeing with me day-by-day.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

There is community transmission confirmed almost all prefectures in Japan now, and with an RO of around 3, and no social distancing ONE person will give it to 3 people who give it to 3 people, etc etc and this causes over 1000 cases in six weeks. That's just coming from one infected person.

With Japan's highly mobile population, and having Sakura viewing crowds, the crowds teaming into Tokyo and other big cities each day for work, and schools about to reopen, this is going to explode, unless much more serious measures are taken.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@zichi

"OssanAmerica

There is no panic in the streets, food supplies are not impacted, no police or military curfew and most importantly no collapse of the medical system.

Not correct. Panic buying of toilet paper, tissues, kitchen paper, masks, diapers. Shortages of some food items."

Not sure why, but there has recently been a run on bananas and bread as well.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@rgcivilian1

"Too late, an idiot company President from Hachinohe went forward to Spain as was reported by media in Aomori, bringing a positive case to that area when there was none. This man should be investigated and thrown in jail if any new cases erupt as well as those going to knowingly and heavily advised not to do so."

He and his wife pulled an unsafe move going to Spain during all this, that much is true.

My question is: How in the HELL did they make it through the airport? They had to have declared they were returning from Spain! Why was there no test or quarantine?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan was given a gift of extra time and how did they use it?

Fretting about the Olympics.

Japan is a ticking time bomb for this virus.

It has all the makings of the Italy scenario repeated.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I definitely have a sore throat today that has been passed onto me by a close relative!

It is accompanied by a hacking cough so I am going to be a social pariah for at least a week...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My question is: How in the HELL did they make it through the airport? 

All they do is ask apparently. I don't think they even ask Japanese people directly, just put a sign up telling people to voluntarily disclose if they've been to certain areas. Immigration and customs are a breeze if you're not foreign

5 ( +5 / -0 )

US medical experts say that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. Even if they thought that in Japan, they wouldn’t say it for fear of causing panic. It doesn’t hurt to be vigilant.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

Man, self-isolate for at least 14 days. 1 week won't cut it. That sucks man. Wishing you well. A pity you can't be tested. Hey, heads up and keep us updated on your condition.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hopefully now that the focus is being taken off the Olympics, the government will switch its priority to keeping people healthy and alive. Get those hospitals ready: staff, protective equipment and ICU ventilators. Test as many as possible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It seems to me that the Government and their experts are gearing up to blame the people when testing finally begins in earnest in Japan and case numbers rise dramatically.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

With no hope of salvaging the economic boon of the Olympics, we will now suddenly see ramped up testing and quarantines of Tokyo/ Osaka. The real numbers will start to show.

We should be on the same timeframe as South Korea, Singapore and HK. But due to the governments refusal to test we are back to a rising spike.

And the spike has already started, March 20th was the biggest day of increase so far:  https://covid19japan.com/. I am waiting to see numbers for the past couple of days.

Hospitals are starting to turn people away with pneumonia type symptoms.

I hope the cherry blossom viewings, the K1 events, and the concerts were worth it. I’m worried we are in for a bumpy month of April..

As always, I hope I’m wrong and the curve remains flat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Check out the Corona virus threads on JT from 2 weeks ago, you'll see a whole bunch of posts predicting a "massive or exponential increase of Corona virus cases in Japan within 2 weeks"

> Well we keep passing all these time limits and I have yet to see a massive outbreak.

Yeah, lets also check out your posts from a couple of weeks ago assuring us this was just a common cold, nothing to worry about.

Now we've got a quarter of the world's population under lockdown, are on track to hundreds of millions being infected, millions dying, the global economy in a tailspin. All happening now.

Just shut up already.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Despite the negativity surrounding the situation in Japan, for our own sake, I do hope Japan does not have to go through the chaos that many other countries are going through now. This is one time I hope that all the decision makers who many of us thing screwed up, actually didn't and the calls they made turn out to be the right ones. Because a catastrophic health crisis is the last thing this country needs at the moment. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but time will tell.... fingers crossed. Hoping that everyone stays safe and we can all get through this stressful phase as a united world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Asia Times is reporting the following:

An official at the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare– speaking on condition of anonymity – offered Asia Times an unauthorized explanation of Japan’s approach. “We are in a period where containment is probably not realistic,” the official said. “We need to focus on treating the serious cases and most experts would quietly agree. If everyone is urged to get testing, then medical institutions will overflow with people who do not need to be there. This not only detracts from taking care of more critical cases, it could indirectly result in a greater health crisis.”

“Ask yourself, ‘What is the value of wisdom when it brings no benefit to those who are the wiser?’ Most of the infected will recover on their own, thanks to their own immune systems. We need to first take care of those whose immune systems are failing them, or the health care system itself will fail.”

Is this true or not? Seems a bit farfetched to me.

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/japans-winning-its-quiet-fight-against-covid-19/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese growing complacent of coronavirus risk

I think that vast majority Japanese are careful and sensible. What looks like complacency is not as it is. Many businesspeople and professionals feel scared and overwhelmed, for the virus crisis puts them into dilemma. An economic slump is devastating and life-threatening (not rhetoric!). While the current corona killing many elderly population, young and working age, their lives are at stake under a deep recession.

Whereas the government's position and communication remain ambiguous and irresponsible. On the one hand, the government officials keep "asking" for "voluntary" restraints; on the other, they never guarantee full support or any compensation scheme for damages incurred via event postponement/cancellations or business shutdown.

I agree that that K-1, an indoor and crowded event was risky. Yet such "rebellious" moves wouldn't be stopped unless the state shows something in return. It's also a public health issue.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

With no hope of salvaging the economic boon of the Olympics, we will now suddenly see ramped up testing and quarantines of Tokyo/ Osaka. The real numbers will start to show.

I hope so, but I don't expect this change to be sudden. As MarkX suggests, we need more high profile cases before people realize it can happen to them. Hopefully Ken Shimura will go on tv and say "yes, I wore a mask and washed my hands".

Given the ease with which Japanese schools shut down over flu, I must admit to being surprised at the complacency over this.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is all part of being Japanese.... you're expected to take one for the team sometimes. It is all for the overall survival of the race in a harmonious manner.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Until one of the government officials falls sick with this (not praying or hoping for this), however, it is the only way the Japanese people are going to take this seriously.  I wasn't scared at first, because people were staying indoors, train ridership was down and very few people out on the street, But now Spring is here.  Yes, Spring and now it appears everyone has thrown caution into the Spring winds and going willy nilly by attending open picnics and not wearing masks and so on.  I praying for things to go back to the way were people taking it seriously.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Asia Times is reporting the following:

Japan’s winning its quiet fight against Covid-19

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/japans-winning-its-quiet-fight-against-covid-19/

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The 4 steps of lockdown. STEP 1: Tell people that a lockdown might become necessary in the future (so they are prepared for it). Happened yesterday. STEP 2: Blame the people. It's your own fault for being complacent We are here now. STEP 3: Now that Olympics are postponed, increase testing and acknowledge the problem is worse than they thought. STEP 4: Lockdown.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

TomToday

Will windows open on trains spread the virus more efficiently?

Windows on modern trains do not open.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Caliboy

It seems to me that Japan's critics will not listen to reason.

Your post talks to Japan being better prepared to care for ill patients than other countries. This is great of course. But there is nothing here to say that infection rates will remain low.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Saiko

I agree with your post as ever, but i always try and point out Japanese is not a race.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The government is smarter than I thought. They will be able to fool the general populace with their sneaky ways....

With the Olympics now canceled (postponed), the government has lost it's main reason to resist testing the people properly to reflect proper outbreak numbers. Now they are having all of these officials public statements that there "could be" (although there already is) a big outbreak soon. Experts that 'guide' the government saying that the people aren't taking the virus seriously [Shouldn't the expert be 'guiding' the government to take the virus more seriously?!] Notice how they are setting it up so that when the 'official outbreak' (actual testing) begins, it will look like it is the residents' fault and less of the governments.

I love how on Monday, after imminent postponement of the Olympics seemed certain due to several countries announcing that they will not participate in the Olympics, the governor of Tokyo announced that 'residents' (apparently not the government) need to exercise more restraint to prevent a Tokyo lockdown. Again, making it seem like it is the people causing the problem and not the fault of government's lack of preventative measures and ENFORCEMENT.

They are doing a smart job setting it up so that most of the blame will be taken off Abe and the government and putting the fault on the people when things get bad later on.

Well played Abe....well played...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you want to know why keeping the RO down is important, please watch this video. He also covers the importance of testing. I think it is worth 18 minutes of your time.

This is why Japan, with its crowded cities really needs to take this more seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6JrkLvsKtw

John Campbell has been doing an amazing job on this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They may be right, but I can't help thinking that Japan is way closer to the countries where this all exploded and so if a wave were to hit here it should have already happened.  Fact that it hasn't might be indication of 1. no need to panic or 2. all these experts love calling doom and gloom because that is partially their raison d'etre. 

We shall see.  In the meantime the knock on effects on the whole world remain awful.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It was nice to see many companies allowing people to work from home, but from this week it seems a lot of them are now asking staff to come to the office. The (official) numbers of cases in Japan are relatively low compared to other countries so people are starting to let their guard down.

This is like stopping taking medicine for a disease before the end of the prescription because you start to feel better.

I hope, HOPE that I and may others are overthinking things, but what will the excuse be if we aren't?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Bruce Chatwin

Yeah, that's probably true, since The Minister of Health, Labour Welfare, Mr. Kato, and other experts here have said almost exactly that several times already.

It is of course a huge gamble.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Caliboy

Japan’s winning its quiet fight against Covid-19

https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/japans-winning-its-quiet-fight-against-covid-19/

Did you even read the article? It's a critique of the government suggesting that they are deliberately fudging the numbers to maintain calm and the economy. I encourage everyone here to read this linked article.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most Japanese aren't taking the virus seriously because the government are not taking it seriously. Look at the rest of the world, people need to be told what they can and can't do, erase any confusion, and there needs to be government ordered bans on any event that causes people to gather. Public health information to everyhousehold on self isolation, quarantine, social distancing and hand washing. What do we get? Vague guidelines for schools that are dangerously ineffective.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@PhantomAgent

It seems to me that the Government and their experts are gearing up to blame the people when testing finally begins in earnest in Japan and case numbers rise dramatically.

And do not forget the : it is coming from Europa, US. There was no community transmission going unseen.

If they want people to be more carefull to avoid being infected, they should do their end the deal and test suspected case to reduce risk of being in contact with infected. What is the point of refraining doing thing you enjoy when you have at the same time to ride train with coughing and sneezing people (it is ok they have a mask (perhaps) so no worry not even a need for them to put their arm in front of their face in case the pressure make it possible for part of stuff to go pass the mask (do not know if that was studied)) ; to work with people currently not feeling good or which were not feeling good take a few day off but since the symptom subdued had to go back to work because if you dare not have a continuous high fever when taking medecine for at least 4 days, that is something else ; ... and in top of it government going more or less like we win the fight go back make/spend money but do not go overboard by doing free stuff or we can still put the city on lockdown. Sure that is all on the people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Despite small number of testings taken place, yesterday they've recorded highest number of virus infected patients, yet general public is so dumb and unguided that they participate in cherry blossom viewing parties and unnecessary gatherings all over the archipelago. Bomb is ticking here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Fuzzy

It is an interesting article, but worth being a bit skeptical of due to its anonymous source. Still, it raises and discusses some interesting points. I thought the point regarding Japan's pneumonia vaccination program for those over 65 was particularly interesting but it appears that Italy also has a fairly robust pneumonia vaccination regime for those over 65 in high risk groups.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kaminokaze

Credit where credit is due; over 4,000 people were reportedly tested yesterday

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wait until a famous Japanese singer or idol or some other “talent” gets it then everyone will start to worry.

But it’s all being blown up as usual, Japan is and will be fine. Just look at the stats.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Experts warn Japanese growing complacent of coronavirus risk".

It is too late. Japan already peaked.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Too right - Japan has been very complacent.... now that the Olympics are over with until next year, attention may turn towards the current spread of the virus... so what next ? Lockdowns ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't worry. For Japanese, absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

FYI,

https://togetter.com/li/1476075 (in Japanese)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

GROWING complacent? They are and have been the most complacent nation on the planet for the last couple of weeks in particular. And thanks to these extremely selfish people going to do Hanami and what not, people are going to die -- likely family members.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

zichiToday 08:26 am JST

OssanAmerica

There is no panic in the streets, food supplies are not impacted, no police or military curfew and most importantly no collapse of the medical system.

Not correct. Panic buying of toilet paper, tissues, kitchen paper, masks, diapers. Shortages of some food items

Shortage of food supplies in Japan is NOTHING compared to other countries. Have you seen a shortage of milk, eggs, water, vegetables? This is what's happening in US right now.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

stop all flights in and out of japan until this horrible virus is contained. We’re in danger of needing to go to lockdown if the government keeps hoping for the best instead of taking action..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For anyone to insinuate that Japan has been the 'most complacent nation' in regards to the coronavirus, only shows their extreme ignorance, typical and inherent prejudices.

Certainly many Japanese citizens have not been taking the virus seriously, but they are hardly unique in their ignorance.

A simple browsing online of how other nations have been handling coronavirus shows a common theme, the incredible lack of compliance to orders and recommendations to self isolate and maintain social distancing. State beaches, trails, and parks throughout the state of California had to shut down entirely as numerous people ignored the shelter in place order given by Governor Newsom and crowded these areas with zero social distancing. Same thing happened in Florida where many Spring breakers ignored social distancing recommendations, with the result that five University of Tampa students ended up testing positive for the coronavirus. In the U.K., citizens have ignored the urge to maintain social distancing, with picture after picture showing teeming crowds at parks, seafronts, subway stations, and many other public venues.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

As we know, in Japan it's never too early to take a wait-and-see attitude...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

One reason for the complacency could be the demographics associated with the disease. Only the elderly are at great risk so the younger ones may be unafraid of contracting it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let's see, 5 new cases in travelers coming from the Philippines yesterday, which has only a fraction of reported cases that Japan has. Why are they letting people into Japan still, don't they get it? This isn't rocket science. Why has Japan practically been the last country to suppress inbound travelers from just about every infected country? It's so irresponsible. Just my own observations over the last 35 years, but quick adaptation to a fast changing environment has never been a particularly strong Japanese trait.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@aomorisamurai "He and his wife pulled an unsafe move going to Spain during all this, that much is true.

My question is: How in the HELL did they make it through the airport? They had to have declared they were returning from Spain! Why was there no test or quarantine?"

]Oh yes they did, it was in the local morning paper in BIG letters one couldn't miss it.

Great question but there is an answer, its called Bufferin, and of course the weak (thermal) aka temperature scanner when one offboards. Also there is the famous questionnaire that is filled out and collected by staff and are only looking for keywords but one can lie since answers and forms are not verified to seat or passenger. A person could have boarded a flight in Spain coming in from some other carrier or country and just did an intransient i.e. change planes so again no fail safe there, to verify the document. The question goes something like this "have you been in or at any locations affected by Coronaviurus? If so please write where: ___ Answer: No. Aside all the security measures, laws, staffing, Ghosan got away right? There is plenty of blame but first and mainly first is the actual person who knowingly flew into that area with as much media attention covered that only a caveman would not have known or your the only one living in an island somewhere out there in the Pacific. Population: 1

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@OsanAmerica: Shortage of food supplies in Japan is NOTHING compared to other countries. Have you seen a shortage of milk, eggs, water, vegetables? This is what's happening in US right now.

With 80% of the US food supply courtesy of Monopoly, sorry meant to type Monsanto, food is the least of the US problems. Truckers getting it and from warehouse into stores. 15% is imported i.e. specialty items that fall under luxury foods. Now can't speak for other items as most deliveries in ports are slowly getting backed up hence the shortage but still not a reason to panic buy or hoard. This only shows how comfortable people are in the US to not be better prepared for the worst case scenario in any event. He who gets up early gets the worm that would be those who are prepared all around.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“All Quiet on the Eastern Front”.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“Complacent” because nobody trusted the govt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So anyone see a supermarket in Japan where they're limiting the number of customers?

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52022240

Or empy store shelves?

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/41929830/coronavirus-fears-leave-grocery-store-shelves-empty

Or Japan's medical system on the verge of collapse?

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/video/italy-health-care-brink-collapse-patients-flood-hospitals-69660091

Y'all need to get real. Japan's approach may not be perfect, but the average citizen/resident is far better off than in some other countries.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Listening to advice of these infectious disease experts, the government fumbled its initial response to the viral outbreak.

The only advice they wrongly listened to was that of the WHO. Remember when the WHO said not to impose travel restrictions?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

OssanAmerica

   zichi

Shortage of food supplies in Japan is NOTHING compared to other countries. Have you seen a shortage of milk, eggs, water, vegetables? This is what's happening in US right now.

Italy, France and Spain are overwhelmed by the virus cases but there are no panic buying like in the UK and America.

Japan imports more than 60% of its food. Wheat from Canada, Soybean from America. If those supply lines close down or shipments less there will be food problems.

https://youtu.be/ejAasN7uBiA

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why not? Japan has some of the lowest infection rate so the risk is practically zero. Japan made it while most other nations didn't.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan may be in for a very bad surprise. This pandemic does not grow gradually, but geometrically and very, very fast.

I hope Japan does not find out the hard way as other countries have.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After the mishandling of the Yokohama cruise ship came the school holiday and the shutting out of the closest neighbour while CN shuts itself out. This bought time but cannot be continued over a long period. 

The last corona virus in 2002 called SARS did not produce any vaccine because no source for financing advanced research. Will it be different this time?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I found it is strange that Japan was not hit as hard as other Asian countries despite few restrictions in place compared to other and the large elderly population. Maybe better healthcare system and healthier population?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Shelves are bare. The Government is possibly going to do what India did - a trial 48 hour lockdown, and then follow immediately by a 3 week lockdown. No wonder the shelves are bare now.

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Fact, my student a doctor told me last evening that he referred 2 of his patients with pneumonia like symptoms for testing and the Japanese health department excepted one and refused the other.  I went onto ask him if he knew the stats for each area of Tokyo and he said no that whoever is keeping the stats is not breaking down and sharing with doctors.   Unbelievable.

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I found it is strange that Japan was not hit as hard as other Asian countries despite few restrictions in place compared to other and the large elderly population. Maybe better healthcare system and healthier population?

I would say it would be similar to Korea, minus that Korean cult and if you take into account that Japan aren't testing as much.

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