Police patrol the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku in Tokyo on Friday night to discourage people from drinking on the streets and in public spaces after bars and restaurants close at 8 p.m. as part of anti-coronavirus measures. Photo: KYODO
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What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

135 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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the soft approach? then those must be the proverbial 'kid gloves' they're wearing.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Japan’s State of Emergency let’s you decide the meaning of it

34 ( +37 / -3 )

It's a tougher sell this time around. My morning train was back to normal crowded this past week. The employers know the risks but don't really care all that much anymore.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries, with imported vaccines in short supply. 

Just yesterday, it was reported by Natsuko Fukue and Katie Forster of the AFP that Japan has received more than 17 million doses from Europe so far -- but only around 1.5 million people have had a first shot, with just over 827,000 fully vaccinated.

Is supply the issue? Or is it the failure to rapidly vaccinate after supply is received?

29 ( +32 / -3 )

parts of Japan, including Tokyo, have so far failed to curb infections caused by a more contagious new variant of the virus.

Blaming the variants? The problem is apathy and complacency combined with ineffective virus control measures. Japan has been dithering around for over a year. It has been proven by countries like Australia and New Zealand that the only way to control and beat this virus is with tough and strict lockdowns that include closing businesses, schools and borders and isolating those carrying the virus. Japan and many other countries will never get on top of this virus without these kinds of measures. Lockdowns and closures might be inconvenient but they are effective.

26 ( +33 / -7 )

Forgot how it looked Apr 7, 2020 during the first SOE. Did it look like this?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

So its ok to pack into coffee shops and fast food outlets as Covid stays away from these types of places.

Anyway I am sure many restaurant and bars will ignore this request and wont be punished.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Shampoo, rinse, repeat.” -
10 ( +13 / -3 )

Nobody cares anymore the government dropped the ball early in the game and never picked but the Olympics must go on...

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Billy-clubs?! Are you kidding? Unless the police are going after hardcore gangsters, displaying weapons like this to threaten the public with is just causing an already tense situation to become worse than it already is.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

That's easy to answer. Crowded trains in the mornings. Packed restaurants during lunch. Crowded cafes in the afternoon. Crowded discount grocery stores after 8pm where people will buy their food and alcohol.

32 ( +35 / -3 )

They never ‘learned’. We will watch it all ...

- “Many infectious disease experts say infections would have differed greatly had the govt not decided to fully lift its 1st state of emergency on May 25 last year, based on a decrease in new cases. Experts were called for an extension to mid-June. Analysis showed an SOE lasting for only 3 add’l weeks could have reduced the spread.” -

play out again, ...

- “The decision to [prematurely] lift the SOE gave a [brief] boost to the economy. PM Abe’s administration felt that it was necessary to support the economy as quickly as possible and adopted programs such as GoTo Travel. His successor, PM Suga, took a similar view.” -

... exactly the same way.

- “Last summer, a 2nd wave of infections occurred, followed by a 3rd wave around the end of the year. Both were ‘far larger’ than the 1st wave.” -

Yet, this time it all be for the summer’s Big Event - “At any cost.”

14 ( +15 / -1 )

This is just the media whipping up fear. We don’t need an SOE because Japanese people are perfect in every way, which is why the death and infection rates from covid is so low here.

-6 ( +17 / -23 )

"The 17-day emergency begins Sunday and lasts until May 11, just after the end of Japan’s Golden Week holidays, to discourage traveling."

That's the biggest oxymoron I've ever read. The 'emergency ends AFTER Golden Week. Watch the numbers hit the stratosphere a week or two later.

Dumb and dumber.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

The new SOE makes many many people angry, because their well deserved Golden Week holiday is damaged.

People want to release stress with walking in parks, but Parks are closed, people want to eat out AND drink, but no alcohol in Restaurants. People want to shop, but shopping malls are closed.

So what will people do?

Go to grocery, buy alcohol, drink at home as much as they can and Domestic Violence will increase like hell.

And when the Golden Week is over, everybody have to go back to work and everyone is in a very bad mood!

This SOE is a big BS!

And this SOE will damage more than it makes good!

Mentaly for the people, financialy for the business.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Tons of support for businesses big and small but what about contract, freelance, part-time, and temp workers?? Nothing???

Yet, they'll still ask for our city tax and NHI payments and charge us late fees if we can't make them.

Seriously, this is the type of country we live in.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

The government is abusive through its incompetence.

People are angry now.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

So restaurants that don’t serve alcohol can close early, but if you are a restaurant that serves you must close!?

Can’t they just not serve alcohol?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"It looks like it's going to be 30,000 yen a day if your income last year was under 30 million."

This is for bars, restaurants, etc., I know small bar owners who make less than 30,000 a day profit when business is normal, so they are in clover getting 30,000 yen a day esentially for nothing, but what about compensation for the rest of the freelancers, part-timers, fired contract workers who are getting sweet fa even though their livelihoods are seriously damaged?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

@ Gorramcowboy

Tons of support for businesses big and small but what about contract, freelance, part-time, and temp workers?? Nothing???

agree 100%.

Starting with GW, May is one of my busiest months. Last year’s lockdown cost me $1000’s, & now they are doing it again - with zero financial assistance.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

This SOE will only be a major nuisance. It isn't needed and will have no positive effect.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The duration is against what the medical experts have been calling for so once again, the government has mucked it up and all in time for Bach's arrival. Plain as day and utterly disgusting. BTW, will Brazil and India be sending a contingent to the games? It's not just about Japan, it's the world.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

Means Suga-san is a heartless, stingy old man who is not compitent to run the country.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@Monty nobody I know is angry and nobody cares anymore...we move on with life nothing has changed during any of these fake SOEs...

Maybe you know plenty of people who will be angry over this SOE but many of them probably didn't have happy lives to start of with..Happiness is something you make it doesn't come by itself.

All the free time people will get to spend with their families now instead of being out every night doing nominacation must be a good thing.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

We often joke with you @Monty 7:29p but really, do you think Japanese people are NOT in control of their ‘pent-up’, suppressed emotions that their often behavior turns violent toward family members when alcohol is consumed at home? Is alcohol ‘the real issue’ or, is it something ‘deeper’ we all have to consider during the SOE?

- “So what will people do? Go to grocery, buy alcohol, drink at home as much as they can and Domestic Violence will increase like hell.” -

6 ( +9 / -3 )

rapidly spreading among younger people in offices and classrooms

Words from Japanese experts. Japan's solution. Keep working and go to school. But have no freedom during your free time. But the packed commutes, classrooms, and working places are okay.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

@Nothernlife

Yes I agree with you about being together with family.

And that is the point!

Going out with family to Parks or restaurants and not be stucked together in a small 2LDK.

In western countries or in Japan countryside, where families are living in big houses with big garden, there it is much different.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Residents are asked to avoid nonessential outings, work from home...

Sick of hearing about people being asked to work from home as if it's purely their choice....it's up to their employers and majority of J-Inc doesn't give a crap preffering the drones show up at their offices and factories, so why doesn't Suga take it up with the CEO,s?

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries, with imported vaccines in short supply.

Stop the propaganda BS, Kyodo ..Japan received 17 million doses but is pathetically slow in getting them into arms, only 1.5 million getting their first shot ...blame your own incompetent LDP leadership and and red tape.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

It means people won’t get any money but will close, like me.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Again asking @thepersoniamnow 8:26am. You previously claimed to be “a senior member of the city’s [Osaka?] largest school”. What’s the status of both private and public schools in regards to the SOEs? Weren’t they closing for part of “Golden Week” anyway?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My company will not change anything, one day of telework a week.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Monty how hard is it to go to the next prefecture and enjoy parks restaurants nobody has locked the borders down as you said do your best prevention everything will be fine..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Where's the vaccine?!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Nothernlife

Wow! I am very surprised that YOU recommend to ignore the SOE in Tokyo and just go to the next prefecture.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@Marcelito

Sick of hearing about people being asked to work from home as if it's purely their choice....it's up to their employers

I 100% agree!

Since the beginning of the pandemic, my boss always tells me, No Home Office for this company!

*
5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries

Change "many" to "most", or "many" to "all" if we are talking about 1st world countries.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Monty dont be surprised we stopped listening months ago like everyone I know..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Another SOE can be justified on social and moral grounds rather than epistemological one (with which I'm relatively unfamiliar). Recently I observe some innocent, super-careful and law-abiding people even get infected. That's unreasonable and should be stopped in a draconian manner for a limited period of time.

Most concerning is that a growing and statistically significant number of Japanese young, healthy and working aged people have died of other than covid or related health complications. Unfair treatment, rampant cheatings and moral decays taking advantage of the virus crisis are frustrating. The coming SOE could contribute to intensifying these trends.

In looking at a bright side, I believe that any crisis can become a golden opportunity for reform. Good survivors are most adaptive.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

On patrol with batons drawn. Is this really necessary?!

It's almost like the government forgot to tell the police that this isn't an 'emergency', it's just an 'emergency'.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In Japan there have been (according to John's Hopkins latest) 554,368 "cases" of COVID. What percent of these "cases" had zero symptoms or any discomfort resulting from their "sickness" at all? Can you get this information? If not, why not?

What percent of those half million "positive" people were over 65? How many were over the age of life expectancy even? Can we tell? Why not?

People are sick of being "quarantined", but if you don't like the government's response, what can you do about it? Protests are shrugged off as a weak-attended annoyance. And a city dweller on average counts proportionally as half that of a rural dweller out in the sticks- the voting system has institutionalized this voting discrepancy against the real majority of Japanese citizens on purpose. The LDP will still win the next election.
2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries, with imported vaccines in short supply

Short supply ? Yeah right that's the problem here

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Monty

Since the beginning of the pandemic, my boss always tells me, No Home Office for this company!

Rule 1 for living in Japan

Don't work for a Japanese company

Rule 2 read rule 1 again...

We all have choices and that was yours don't whine about what you created..

8 ( +9 / -1 )

We see @Monty 8:04am:

“This SOE is a big BS! MentaLLy for the people, financialLLy for business. This SOE will damage more than it makes good! “ - “And when the Golden Week is over, everybody have to go back to work and everyone is in a very bad mood!” -

that @Northernlife 7:55am could help you understand that projecting blame for being “penned up” is “not the family’s problem”. It’s from the insipid ideas that J bosses plant that “nomikai” are more important to your continued, and future, business success.

“...angry over this SOE but many of them probably didn't have happy lives to start of with...“All the free time people will get to spend with their families now instead of being out every night doing “nomi-nacation” must be a good thing.” -

Remember, it’s because J-Inc wants you enslaved to “Business First, Family Second”. They are not concerned with your happiness. The want the solidification of their power and wealth.

- “Happiness is something you make, it doesn't come by itself.” -

2 ( +6 / -4 )

This article left out the the important change to public transportation mentioned yesterday and even on NHK news last night. TEMPERATURE check at major stations! Now surely that will beat the virus and guarantee a safe Olympics!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So the cops are out intimidating people with their clubs drawn, because the govt is inept and stupid.

The govt thinks the people are stupid if they think this type of behavour will work.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

manny European liders are being sued for the bad handling of the pandemic.

arbitrary measures, unconstitutional laws issued, obscurity and lies, etc.

amazes me how there's no legal action against Suga and Kono.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is a SoE with an ending date really an SoE? So, let's say the numbers go down a bit. So what? Without any leadership or concrete plan to tackle Covid, we're just to slowly going go up in numbers again as soon as the "SoE" end.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

TEMPERATURE check at major stations!

And if they have a fever, do they get a COVID tests, or just the usual Japanese handful of weak pills and a gambatte?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

So the cops are out intimidating people with their clubs drawn, because the govt is inept and stupid.

Hmm. Thought the right were in favour of cops being a bit handy?

Not mad in favour of such displays, but who exactly did they intimidate?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is getting so out of hand with facts being ignored and not publicly stated by professional microbiologists, world wide that are trying to save humanity from a dangerous experimental jab. Start at the beginning with how and where the PCR testing was developed and begin used to show positive tests results for something that has a 0.005 rate of killing someone = 10,000 people 0.005 = 5 people. Those positive people have many alternatives for treatments available. These vaccines are forever in your body and people are dying from them world wide and symptoms/reactions are the same headaches, facial paralysis, severe muscle loss in arms and legs. Begin controlled by false information provided by corrupt people and organizations and used by governments to bankrupt businesses, people so that they submit or suffer more loss of freedoms, for what purpose?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

@northernlife

I made my choice to that company many many years before the pandemic. At that time when I entered that company, there was barely a PC installed.

Changing now?

No. I am counting the days already until my pension.

The company I am Workink for dont want to change their system, because the management thinks, that the pandemic is over soon, and everything will be same like before the pandemic. Therefore they dont want to implement home office.

The main reason I want home office is not because of the pandemic, but to have a relaxing working enviroment.

But my last days as a worker in a japanese company, I can survive, even without home office.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

On patrol with batons drawn. Is this really necessary?!

To ensure shops close at 8, yes. To go after the painfully obvious drug dealers in Kabukicho, not so much.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Sucharit Bhakdi

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Sucharit Bhakdi is a specialist in microbiology and infection epidemiology. The Spiegel bestselling author headed the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz for 22 years and worked in patient care, research and teaching. He has published over 300 papers in the fields of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and cardiovascular disease.

Karina Reiss

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Karina Reiss has been researching and teaching in the fields of biochemistry, cell biology and medicine for over 15 years. Their professional qualifications are also proven by awards and over 50 original papers in international journals with more than 3500 citations.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japan refuses to learn anything. Even as far back as that cruise ship disaster back in February of last year, anyone could see what was to be expected from this government. Lives are far less important than holding this stupid Olympics.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

On patrol with batons drawn. Is this really necessary?!

They're lost! They should be patrolling in Ginza where their bosses are scoffing over-priced steaks.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

No problem, you can’t just stop it to destroy my present, so I destroy your future with the very small means I have in ‘thanking’ return. I know how to play the black figures on the chessboard for defense!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And, neither were we ‘familiar’ @noriahojanen 8:44am until we looked it up:

*- “Another SOE can be justified on social & moral grounds rather than an “epistemological” one (of with which I'm relatively unfamiliar). “ -*

Let’s try to keep the current “STOEIC” @ +/-599. The J average is only 290 because of the J government’s continued “head in the sand” policies,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm totally sick of these lockdowns. I'm a school teacher exposed every day to hundreds of students in cramped classrooms and then when I finish work I have to tolerate everything closed to stop the spread of the virus! I've been sliding into a deeper and deeper depression and last week decided to rejoin a gym to fight the blues. Now it looks like they're going to take that from me as well as my Golden week holiday. Meanwhile no sign of a vaccine. Even though if I was back in the UK I would have had mine a month ago. The situation is dire. I'm starting to despise the Japanese government.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

’What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?’

It is incompetence and delusion of government and health authorities of Japan.

Last night, Japan's PM press conference without even freedom of questions had nothing except evasion of responsibility or excuse.

Last month, at the time of end of 2nd state of emergency, PM Suga had declared such as "do the best to never repeat infection spreading" "do well to avoid state of emergency" but he couldn't.

Japanese society under Suga government who are obsessed with bias that strong corona virus measure damages economy cannot even notice plural examples in Asia-Oceania that thorough response to Covid-19 help also economy resultantly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks intimidating. Make sure to carry your resident card if out and about.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

SOE not wanted or needed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Monty your in for the long haul I respect that something I cant do myself.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

It means more lip-service by the government to look like they're doing something. In other words, more of the same.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm totally sick of these lockdowns. I'm a school teacher exposed every day to hundreds of students in cramped classrooms and then when I finish work I have to tolerate everything closed to stop the spread of the virus! I've been sliding into a deeper and deeper depression and last week decided to rejoin a gym to fight the blues. Now it looks like they're going to take that from me as well as my Golden week holiday.

We're all suffering, mate. Sorry for your state of mind - these times are not conducive towards good mental health. Have you tried basic yoga/meditation, which can be done at home?

As for the situation today - we don't have "lockdowns" here. Not to the extent places in Europe have them. Hardly comforting, I realise. But it could be worse. And that's not to make light of your health. Solidarity.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The photo is frankly disturbing and intimidating at the same time.

We have a bunch of cops sent by the government,marching with a baton to intimidate people to cover the government ineptitude.

Good news is that the world is finally waking up and seeing what is Japan really all about,saving face,big corporations and little democracy.

Rather than using citizens taxes to send a bunch of officers to show off against the already very docile and domesticated local population they could do something more procreative like stopping mass gathering in closed spaces and trains.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

It's 17 days. In the UK we had 14 weeks, 4 weeks and then 13 weeks of lockdown, all considerably stricter than anything Japan has yet had.

They need to get the vaccines rolled out much faster. Japan has been lucky in terms of death stats so far, but if a severe new variant mutates in Japan before vulnerable and elderly people are vaccinated, the mortality rate could rocket.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Toasted HereticToday 09:15 am JST

So the cops are out intimidating people with their clubs drawn, because the govt is inept and stupid.

Hmm. Thought the right were in favour of cops being a bit handy?

Not mad in favour of such displays, but who exactly did they intimidate?

Toasted Heretic if you know anything about Japan, having cops march down the road like this with Batons drawn can be be akin to them having Guns drawn .....

They intimidated the Japanese people that's who!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Paul14, sorry to hear about your situation. As my gym closed as well last year I bought a pullup/dip bar on Amazon for 9000 yen and started calisthenics with Convict Conditioning at home or outside as well as jogging. Please give it a shot and don't hesitate to talk to a counselor or psychiatrist which is covered under the healthcare here.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So, there's a "state of emergency" but they don't do vaccinations on weekends and holidays because as we all know, COVID likes to take a break on weekends.

Now, what are the odds that there will be a week long pause in vaccinations during Golden Week?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why can I have some beers with friends during lunchtime in a crowded restaurant or bar but not after 8:00pm? It's the spacing and ventilation that's important. No wonder businesses operating at night are so pissed of, and yes, they're getting screwed.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Toasted Heretic if you know anything about Japan, having cops march down the road like this with Batons drawn can be be akin to them having Guns drawn .....

And who has been attacked, tear gassed or beaten? I mean, don't the right often say if you don't like the country, go somewhere else?

They intimidated the Japanese people that's who!

Which ones?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I feel intimidated. The last SOE in Tokyo I was detained by a patrol cop at 10 pm walking home until he fully analyzed and took notes regarding my resident card.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Paul14, sorry to hear about your situation. As my gym closed as well last year I bought a pullup/dip bar on Amazon for 9000 yen and started calisthenics with Convict Conditioning at home or outside as well as jogging. Please give it a shot and don't hesitate to talk to a counselor or psychiatrist which is covered under the healthcare here.

Great post, Reckless. I endorse your suggestions. I’m also happy to see some humanity on the internet. Thanks!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And this SOE will damage more than it makes good!

what so 10000 dead isnt counted as bad?, its going to be much higher than this unless the government get s it finger out of its backside and gets people vaccinated. UK US and vaccinating 1-2million people per day.

weve got the international superspreader even just 2 months away, things are going to turn much worse.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

At what point does the wave numbering system descend into complete farce? Fifth wave, sixth wave? Attributing the rising case load to the impersonal agency of waves is the authorities cynical way of trying to absolve themselves and hide their complicity in fomenting the conditions we see now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan’s inoculation campaign lags behind many countries, with imported vaccines in short supply.

Nope, Japan has 15M vaccines in the storage. No supply shortage here, only incompetence.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Nope, Japan has 15M vaccines in the storage. No supply shortage here, only incompetence.

In actuality Japan has far more than 15 million doses.

Both Daichi Sankyo and Takeda have already produced many millions of doses of AZ and Novavax all sitting in storage just wait for the dead slow approval process to be done.

Now I know some will say this is for safety and I could possibly agree on Novavax but Japan was a participating country in AZ development testing and trials were done in Japan with Japanese national hospitals conducting the trials so that should have been enough to fast track AZ.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am going to pop down to Namba shortly to assess the current situation and also eat out and do some essential shopping. From my balcony things look as busy as usual but I guess the real situation will be seen starting tomorrow. Beautiful weather so a crime to stay indoors.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Closing a few businesses for 2 weeks isn't going to help much.

We know new Japanese variant is now going around new variants only develop when a lot of people have the virus but are not seriously ill, which tells us far more people had covid-19 than the numbers claim.

Then we have new imported variants due to permitting people to come and go from the country when a full closure of tracel like New Zealand did would have spared Japan having even more variants to deal with. (Closure should have applied to all Japanese and non Japanese).

Look at Canada, things got better then a sharp turn for the worse again fuelled by imported variants.

Now on Tuesday ( Wednesday in Japan) the first case of the Indian variant was detected in one province, by yesterday it was now in 6 provinces with dozens hospitalised and growing, this now adds to the mess of the original, UK, SA, Brazil, variants.

So next we will have tens of thousands of people arriving for the Olympics from Countries with even more variants.

This may sound not feasible but a complete shut down of all travel between countries for a few months would give each country time to deal with what variants they already have locally and not have to keep adding more variants to fight.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this will solve nothing.again-its pointless and will be resultless.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

but yes tokyo olympics will be "OK"...what a bizarre society we live in???

8 ( +8 / -0 )

if bars close, I will drink on the street. nice weather after all. time to take back our lifestyle.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

A doctor/ friend informed me that the Indian variant has reached Tokyo.

The variant carries two mutations and cannot be protected against by any vaccine to date.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

stormcrowToday  07:08 am JST

Billy-clubs?! Are you kidding? Unless the police are going after hardcore gangsters, displaying weapons like this to threaten the public with is just causing an already tense situation to become worse than it already is.

I wonder what, how or when they are intending to use them?

Beat up people who do something which has been "recommended" or "urged" to not do after the arbitrarily chosen time?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Experts have warned that a new variant of the virus, detected earlier in Britain, is rapidly spreading among younger people in offices and classrooms, causing more serious cases, overburdening hospitals and disrupting regular medical care. Testing remains insufficient despite calls for increased testing for new variants at elderly homes and for the young.

So, fine companies that can have employees working from home but have so far refused to do it. Do what Osaka is doing and get teaching online. They've had over a year to make this happen. We are talking a country that liked to tell the world it was cutting edge in electronics. Just keep schools open for children of essential workers (has been done in other countries).

And btw, last month there was talk of a homegrown Tokyo variant. Curiously this is no longer mentioned, as it puts the spotlight on the need to take action to slow down community spread, and the risk of further variants springing up within Japan if spread continues to be out of control.

And of course, there is the glaring, massive STUPIDITY of going ahead with a superspreader international event in the middle of this. Of course border control is massively important. Note to Japan: this means no matter your nationality or your reason for coming here. And of course when Bach comes, you'll bang him up at his own expense in quarantine, won't you?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Here, let me help everyone by clarifying this in simple terms. I'm very good at this.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah , blah."

I hope that clears it up.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The variant carries two mutations and cannot be protected against by any vaccine to date.

Source? (and not your friend).

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sadly, more variant fear mongering and plain lies are the final result of these kinds of interventions.

Vaccines work extremely good, even for variants, to prevent serious illness and death, which is what you want, but some media outlets, governments officials are creating misinformation by implying that if, for example, a variant which is more contagious, meaning, easier to spread, means that it could infect easier even people vaccinated are COMPLETELY loosing the whole point of the vaccine.

The vaccine is to prevent bad outcomes, not to eradicate the virus.

Instead of doing these half-meassures that just keep people scared, anxious and in the edge of their seats, the Government should instead focus on speeding up vaccination of vulnerable populations, so that even if there is high community transmission, hospitalizations and deaths can be avoided.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?" No available hospital beds and no vaccine. But if you are lucky you can watch the Olympics on TV as you waste away.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

if bars close, I will drink on the street. nice weather after all. time to take back our lifestyle.

Taking back our lifestyle includes drinking on the street?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Those cops in the photo are kidotai (riot police). So it looks like the government really means business.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Translated to English:

one. Protect the Olympics at all costs.

two. Give tax money to connection companies.

three. Buy overpriced American vaccines that are not 100% proven for big prices. American vaccines only.

four. Introduce banking money tracking technology that follows citizens with gps, etc conspiracy-like stuff.

five. Japanese must buy American private health insurance.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I don't think they even know. They're just doing it because the IOC told them to

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@S.I.

if bars close, I will drink on the street. nice weather after all. time to take back our lifestyle.

Wow I so much want your lifestyle not...anyhow when did we lose our lifestyles maybe for alcoholic bar flys yes but for the rest of us nothing has changed..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Taking back our lifestyle includes drinking on the street?

its called doing what i like when others say you cant, all in the name of whatever. seems all too many people are happy with being restricted in their doings.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Again asking @thepersoniamnow 8:26am. You previously claimed to be “a senior member of the city’s [Osaka?] largest school”. What’s the status of both private and public schools in regards to the SOEs? Weren’t they closing for part of “Golden Week” anyway?

Yes I do “claim” to be this. What I was referring to in the past Yoshimura and others touted school closures as a necessary step.

There has been many Corona Virus cases in this city alone.

But now when the SOE was upon us, schools were left open.

Closiny anyways? Actually we would only close for the 4 national holidays.

Whats your question?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan, with about 550,000 cases and fewer than 10,000 deaths, is better off than much of the world, though not so good when compared with other places in Asia. It has not imposed any hard lockdowns. 

So being better off without hard lockdowns proves that hard lockdowns work? Gotta love our journalists.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Got to love that picture

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I see Godzilla in the background...what restrictions does her get?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I propose a study: customers in a ramen shop with no alcohol vs customers in a large restaurant with tempura and beer. Who is in more danger of infection or transmission? Science-based decisions require research.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yeah, we know this is spreading among children and young people, but let's keep schools and restaurants where they are too young to drink open. Obviously it's worked well so far.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

its called doing what i like when others say you cant,

You are truly just a rebel. Too bad you are probably in the wrong country for that.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

Exaclty the same as every other "time." Nothing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What does the picture in the article even show?

That some cops can walk in a line?

Are they enforcing any rules or laws? Karaoke looks like its open, dudes are just hanging out in the back. Looks like any other Tuesday night.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are gyms closed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

From what we have learned, no.

About the line and the batons . . .This is obviously a staged photo.

Remember the SDF nurses coming to the new Osaka covid hospital — in a line, in step, and in battle fatigues?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/12/15/national/osaka-center-serious-covid/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nope, Japan has 15M vaccines in the storage. No supply shortage here, only incompetence.

The Pfizer vaccine has a shelf (freezer) life of six months.

If nothing changes, in September or October we're gonna hear the news they would be throwing away million of expired doses.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

there is the glaring, massive STUPIDITY of going ahead with a superspreader international event in the middle

Don’t be surprised when countries start announcing that they’ve decided participation is just too risky. When all it takes is two or three cases to send places like Australia and NZ into hard lockdown, sending young athletes into the hot zone that Japan has become would be a risky gamble. Even if those two aforementioned countries don’t pull the pin, there’s a better than even chance that they’ll make vaccine passports mandatory for all Japan bound competitors, support crew, and media.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Currently in Namba enjoying some ramen. Walked down from Tennoji and was pleasantly surprised to see so many people. Definitely busiest I’ve seen since Pre Covid. Wonder if so busy before the SOE starts or people are ignoring or maybe a mix of both.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No offense intended @thepersoniamnow 1:22pm

*- “Yes, I do “claim*” to be this:Referring to in the past, Yoshimura touted school closures as a necessary step. But now when the SOE was upon us, schools were left open. “Weren’t they Closing anyways?” - Actually, we would only close for the 4 national holidays. Whats your question?” -*

That was the question and you answered it, in part.

The other part was asking if you’re affiliated with either public schools [“a senior member of the city’s [Osaka?] largest school”] or, a ‘private’ school. The reason: our children are in public schools. Guess the confusion came from Your conflicting posts like:

- Apr. 22  4:19pm “So they aren’t going to close Schools. I see Yoshimura has completely left any mention of that out yesterday and today, while using it in the past.” -

then,

- Apr. 22  4:29pm - “I am closing my biz again! I doubt I will receive any compensation this time.”

and, today,

- Apr. 23  07:20 am - “I am closing too :( Looks like no compensation for businesses this round.” -

We just wanted a “heads up” IF you might know of another pending, government-mandated closure of schools like last year. - Thanks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

just go to the next prefecture

Nara businesses (people less so) must be relishing the prospect of masses of incommoded Osakans heading their way to take advantage of longer trading hours. Just half an hour on the train and they’re in low risk Shangri La (until the inevitable happens).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

snowymountainhell

Wow you really followed up on me!

Well, I didnt mean to be conflicting. I am not in one of Osaka’s biggest schools, but the biggest in the city that we are in in Osaka Fu.

I own an after school business as well which I have been running for over 10 years, this is what will close for me.

Principals and Heads of Schools tend to get the information a day or two earlier at the City Office about lockdowns regarding Schools.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Good news is that the world is finally waking up and seeing what is Japan really all about,saving face,big corporations and little democracy."

LOL at the above comment and others like it. As the article stated:

Japan, with about 550,000 cases and fewer than 10,000 deaths, is better off than much of the world,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Though not so good when compared with other places in Asia."

Really? Does she mean India? South Korea?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Where's the vaccine?!"

Stuck in EU read tape!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Snowymountainhell

I have a ongoing theory abt predicting lockdowns...

The numbers are manipulated imo (very low testing and thus how would an accurate number be known)

When they “go up” we go into rolling lockdowns, when we do the numbers always fall, but I personally feel like I am being told a narative by the news. A fable of sorts if you will, with parables and little guidelines and lessons.

So when I hear the narative (started a month ago) I assume we will go into lockdown again. I predicted the last two, by listening to the meetings with the principals and others and the news (which really says what the LDP wants out).

Again, all just my opinions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where's the vaccine?!"

Stuck in EU read tape!

That was the case before but now it is all due to Japanese red tape.

Japan has 15 million doses already imported but has vaccinated less than 2 million

Daichi Sankyo started AZ production last month and has millions of doses in storage but waiting, waiting, waiting approval and the same is happening with Novavax being made by Takeda.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks for the useful info @thepersoniamnow 5:02pm. (Always nice to have a reliable, “inside source”.) Please keep us “in the loop” when you have “predictions”. - Respect and Best Wishes for you and your business to recover after the SOE ends. Many businesses will not recover. Stay Safe.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good one about them binning the expired vaccines come September. Anyone got odds on that?

Invalid CSRF

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time?

A quote from Macbeth is in order:

It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is practically impossible to contain the C-19 in Japan.

The current emergency orders are not working and people are now not only used but are rebelling against the orders and exercising their freedom by drinking in the streets after 8'00pm.

The government should enact a special law to contain the C-19 menance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tx man, although its hard to know whether ur laughing at me or not LOL!!! No super scoops here, just looking up at the sky and calling the weather

0 ( +0 / -0 )

if bars close, I will drink on the street. nice weather after all. time to take back our lifestyle.

So, you don't live in Japan, then.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Look, its blindly simple to me. I don't understand why the rest of Japan doesn't get it.

Close the Borders.

Stop Travel to and from outside of the Country - and contain the problem internally. Impose restrictions, but maintain closed borders until such time that it is safe to reopen.... anything other than that is down right stupid.

Anything other than that, demands the thorough question as to why not ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This could be a valuable opportunity for those within Japan to learn the meaning of Key Industries of National Security... it should really mean, those Industries we need to keep at home in order to Survive in Isolation from the rest of the World! Just as should the same meaning be applied to other Countries elsewhere within the World. Military Security should be left out of this meaning, and held within its own right.... dont mix the two together.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Some people just dont understand... so they get offended so easily and assign a down vote. Wll good on you! Catch the virus, then reconsider my thoughts here, along with of its origins... 1 less person in the world won't matter match, so I really do not care - though unless you are awakened to the ideas, from which you can freely choose, then you will be ignorant.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It means what it always means...just strong enough to destroy the economy, but not strong enough to stop infections rising.

And no vaccines yet...North Korea will be vaccinated before Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What does it mean this time?

Nothing, same as last X times.

The restaurants at my workplace are closing a bit earlier, but we are seeing the same number of covers per day for the most part.

Note I said workplace, because since this entire thing has started nobody in my company has done any remote working. Still piling in to the ridiculously crowded commuter train every morning to pray the people next to me aren't sick.

I minimize my contact best I can, I haven't left my flat except my work commute every day since everything started. No restaurants, bars, learned to cut my own hair (not well). Still, that one commute is probably worse than everything else would be combined.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just to confirm. Bars and restaurants can be fined and vilified for non-compliance but offices that could easily have their staff work from home but refuse to, face absolutely no consequences at all. Hmm.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kniknak...you are correct sir. But rest assured, PM Suga has "strongly urged" companies to "consider" letting employees work from home. There, all fixed. claps hands

0 ( +0 / -0 )

KanaOkabeApr. 24  05:01 pm JST

"Where's the vaccine?!"

Stuck in EU read tape!

The Astrazeneca vaccine they are able to produce here in Japan is currently stuck in Japanese red tape. Any country that has the ability to produce a vaccine domestically but is not doing so, cannot blame anyone else for the lack of availability.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Addfwyn: Social distancing will not help you on train, says MIT professor Martin Bazant (and he normally knows what he says)

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/23/mit-researchers-say-youre-no-safer-from-covid-indoors-at-6-feet-or-60-feet-in-new-study.html

I sort of like this pandemic because I can do some telework. Also, I avoid lots of meaningless meetings, and boring dinner-parties. But I miss clubbing...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The slow roll-out of vaccines in Japan is not a bad idea: after all, all these vaccines have been accepted on an "emergency basis" reason. We don't know what are the long-term side effects. A half year or so of "time-lag" will help us assess existence/nonexistence of mid-term effects - you know some rare blood clots etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It means wash your hands.

It means mask up correctly.

It means "say it, don't spray it" (keep your voice down when you're near others).

It means maintain social distance.

It means keep your outings to a minimum.

Most of all however, it means try to have some consideration for the people around you.

So, stay home and stay safe.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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