national

COVID-19 state of emergency lifted but challenges abound

65 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments

Comments have been disabled You can no longer respond to this thread.

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

-7 ( +20 / -27 )

"We don't know why infections are declining."

How about vaccines?

11 ( +23 / -12 )

“We cannot avoid a sixth wave between November and December”

After the elections are done perhaps?? Hate sounding cynical but with statements like these, it’s hard not to.

I’m hoping that it’s the vaccines that are taking effect and people still being vigilant that has helped bring the number down. Let’s wait and see.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

"It can't be done the same as in Europe and the United States," he said. "Japan needs to search for its own solutions and find ways of compromising," he said.

Typical Japan. Won't even bother trying to utilize data and procedures implemented in other countries because they believe that they're "unique" and "special". Watch as an inevitable 6th wave hits the country while the relevant official parties twiddle their thumbs and scratch their heads on how best to proceed.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Elimination of all regulations is expected in the months to come if infections settle down further.

So, "all restrictions have been lifted" is a bold face lie!

Be nice for the media to report it accurately and not come out sounding like it's life back to normal!

But I guess that is too much to expect!

25 ( +25 / -0 )

until 8 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. as long as they take anti-virus measures

I worked until 9pm yesterday evening, and I passed by many Izakayas on my way home.

All were open.

None closed at 8pm or 9pm.

Anyway that makes no sense.

But there were not so many people drinking like I expected.

I thought it would be an overrun to the Izakayas, but it didn't look like.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

First, there are ZERO mask mandates in Japan. The government never had to create and regulations or laws about masks, because people here do it on their own, it's common freaking sense!

Second, Japanese will continue to wear masks even after the pandemic ends (whenever that may be)

Japanese have been wearing masks for colds and what not for decades before anyone ever heard of COVID and people wear them because of their belief in social and personal responsibility.

15 ( +25 / -10 )

"There is no reason to say with certainty" what is causing the drop in infections, while others spoke more to the point, such as Kazuhiro Tateda, a professor in the medical department at Toho University, who admitted, "We don't know why infections are declining."

I think the real reason for the drop in infections is fear ?

In August, we learnt that if you catch covid in Japan it is very likely you won't get an adequate hosptial treatment and you might die actually

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Challenges that remain are not scientific or health related. They are political. For example, the oft-referenced challenge of hospital capacity can be addressed with a multitude of readily available tools that have been shown to be effective.

The question is whether Japan's leadership has the wherewithal to end the pandemic, as has been done in a number of countries.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Wow, viruses mutate all the time! Never thought about that.

The girl’s sweat shirt does not have a nice message for children’s eyes.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

LOL. face masks were used in Japan well before the pandemic so why wouldn't they still use them well after.

So, "all restrictions have been lifted" is a bold face lie!

the article says  "ease coronavirus restrictions"

Regardless, my family will be completely vaccinated by the end of October so we are still being mindful and taking precautions we have stopped listening to what the government requests and do what we believe is the best way to avoid a death in our family.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The girl’s sweat shirt does not have a nice message for children’s eyes.

Why ? It says "pervert the norm"

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Cautions and care are still needed.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

"We don't know why infections are declining."

The only reason is the ridiculous number of low testing...if you cant work that out you need your head read.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Countries where have inhibited corona virus infection more than Japan exist in Oceania or around Japan.

But, Japan's two governments and governmental experts and mainstream media try to find answer about corona virus measures from only Europe or US.

And, present PM Suga who ends term soon has still fallen into delusion that can solve everything by only vaccination without sufficient PCR test or medical resources.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

All the experts at my pub were pretty sure about everything after having necked 5 pints and a couple of chasers.

All will be OK,

5 ( +9 / -4 )

"It can't be done the same as in Europe and the United States," he said. "Japan needs to search for its own solutions and find ways of compromising," he said.

Yes because the unique and special Japanese approach is always the best.

One thing Mr. Nakanishi may agree has been done better abroad (France) is that event organizers, theater owners and artists have received subsidies during the pandemic lockdowns. The Japanese government has left them, along with many other categories of workers affected by the pandemic, to fend for themselves during the 20 months of SOEs.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Even afterward, if the government declares another emergency because of a resurgence of infections, it says it will not reinstate uniform restrictions since the vaccinations rates will be so high.

then what's the point of declaring another one?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

 it will permit restaurants and other dining establishments to serve alcohol in Tokyo and other prefectures until 8 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. as long as they take anti-virus measures

stop saying 'permit" as there is no law stopping these place opening and serving alcohol until very late - they don't require anyone's permission.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

I cought corona and was asymptomatic. Never got sick. But still got the vaccine anyway. Just get the vaccine people, it's not that hard and most local clinics offer it.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

Even if true, why on Earth should anyone care at all? We aren’t in a stupid race to see who takes their masks off first, we are in a race to save people from this awful disease.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"We don't know why infections are declining."

The only reason is the ridiculous number of low testing...if you cant work that out you need your head read.

exactly

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Like Norway, Sweden and Denmark, the Japanese value harmony and social cohecion.

There is another thing those Scandinavian countries value, social democratic policies and economic fairness, which was of great assistance to their citizens during the pandemic and the value of which you, and Japan, do not share.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Watch as an inevitable 6th wave hits the country while the relevant official parties twiddle their thumbs and scratch their heads on how best to proceed.

Of course. You'd think now would be a critical time to do things like large-scale random testing and scheduling appointments with the elderly vaccinated in April and May to examine their current antibody levels. Now is when Japan needs to know what's going on to avoid a sixth wave and another SOE, yet these LDP politicians just want to ensure permanent one-party control over the country so it's best things look good.

Regardless, my family will be completely vaccinated by the end of October so we

The fact that you're still waiting for products that were released almost a year ago now speaks to the incompetence here. Even taking into account the delayed launch in Japan, there is still no excuse you've had to wait so long. And I know several people in the exact same situation, all living in the outskirts of Tokyo. They have to commute every day to work yet are less of a priority than random countryside people who have all the space necessary to avoid the virus.

I think the real reason for the drop in infections is fear ?

In August, we learnt that if you catch covid in Japan it is very likely you won't get an adequate hosptial treatment and you might die actually

Yes. Unless someone is undeniably sick, why would they want to get tested? Why would they want to risk contributing to the SOE situation when they're "basically fine"? The trouble is they can infect others, and those people can infect others, etc. Public health only works when personal responsibility is involved.

And as you mentioned, if someone is sick, why even go to the hospital unless they're dying? Tokyo would just send them home and say "get well soon".

But there were not so many people drinking like I expected.

I thought it would be an overrun to the Izakayas, but it didn't look like.

Yesterday wasn't the best weather though. And while the scene in Tokyo wasn't necessarily an explosion of people, nonetheless I noticed far more "night life" than I'd seen in a long time. As days pass and more people go out, the masses will likely deem it safe to emulate the behavior and crowds will be seen getting larger.

Although it's also worth pointing out that if people don't go back to normal, it means a majority of the country (or at least Tokyo) is still quite scared of the virus and therefore accept the fact the government isn't testing adequately and doesn't know how many cases there are.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@burning maybe you want to check what Norway, Sweden and especially Denmark did with the covid pass: they are simply a year in advance of Japan, have already used the pass for months and now partially abandoned (it is still necessary for many people to enter the country) because when the whole population is fully vaccinated it doesn’t make much sense. But they had it and still have it for some specific situations.

Japan values the social cohesion and norms according to the older and more powerful.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Doesn’t seem the restrictions have been lifted. it’s just more ok than ever for bars and restaurants to ignore them.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

A huge advantage Japan has over other countries is an inherently healthy population so things are looking positive. Vaccines, momoclonal antibodies and a healthy herd so future outbreaks should be contained. Countries with a herd where the more than 50% of adult population are in for a bad time.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Such virus are never gone away. Those are always out there and changing to new strain. It looks like humans have no choice and have to live with virus. This is a human's fate.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Let’s see.

-Close bars & ban alcohol but not coffee shops

-Ban visitors & fans but ship children to Paralympic Games

-Pack more people into restaurants in a shorter period of time

-Provide free masks and a slap in the face economic package for the public

-promoting a travel campaign during the middle of a pandemic (I still can’t even with this one).

-Producing numbers that are so obviously manipulated & controlled that even kids can identify it.

-Electing a PM that selects a cabinet that only produces more of the same and actually regressive to to the Abe era.

Policies like these are what caused the general public to pretty much ignore any government suggestions & govern themselves for the duration of this pandemic. Now that most realize this is an endemic, they will continue to govern themselves accordingly. If numbers go up, it’s the people that will control their conduct, not the government.

The ONLY credit even remotely linked to government are vaccinations, and they bumbled the rollout of that. If it wasn’t for the contributions on private corporations, we wouldn’t be where we are so they don’t get credit for this either.

Im sorry LDP, you can try to polish a turd, but in the end, it’s still a turd. Trying to polish your reputation off of the merits of what the public accomplished is just more hypocritical crap for the pile.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This article is misleading.

There are no restrictions in Japan on restaurants, so phrases like

The government has indicated that for about one month, it will permit restaurants and other dining establishments to serve alcohol in Tokyo and other prefectures until 8 p.m. and remain open until 9 p.m. as long as they take anti-virus measures.

Are just plain misleading.

What they are talking about the government recommendations and their 3rd party certificates for "following the goverment rules", which gives business a sticker they can place outside their business, some financial incentives, but they need to follow the recommendations of the goverment.

Businesses that do not follow these will just not get the sticker or financial benefits, and it isn't like they are not allowed to operate.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

On the subject of face masks discussed above, I also despair at the thought of them being standard wear in Japan forever.

Yes, in Japan they have always been worn but not by everybody, all year round and in all seasons.

Yes, it’s not a huge sacrifice to have to wear one but I too am tired of having to. They aren’t comfortable and, on hot and humid days they make it difficult to breathe properly.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@N1K1: I see your point of view. I guess it has to do with where you put the accent on the Pervert word. Thanks for questioning it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A further point on masks - I’m an English teacher and it is virtually impossible to gauge students reactions and whether or not they understand something when they are all wearing masks.

It’s also nigh on impossible to remember everyone’s names when you never get to see their faces, only their eyes and foreheads.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It’s a useless discussion. Of course wearing masks and vaccinations are helpful in some situations and can bring the infection rates down. But they can also be not so helpful in other situations and ring the infection rates up, because you keep more of your own virus loads inside your body, so they can replicate and multiply themselves inside you while wearing masks and many people vaccinated forces the viruses to more quickly find escape mutations that are higher infectious and faster spreading. There’s of course not the one and only problem solution here, although you might think or wish for that.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The young woman’s shirt seems appropriately captioned to celebrate the end to Japan’s SOE’s. “Pervert The Norm” seems an ‘adequate’ yet loose translation of, possibly “Drastically Change Course” or “Alter From The Status Quo” ?? while still, playfully conveying a sexual undertone for any perspective suitors.

Enjoy IT while it lasts !?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

What's the problem? Don't like mask don’t wear one, it is not a crime, and let people do whatever they want.

I never wear a mask (unless verbally requested by the people in charge of a place a have to be at) and never have problems.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I suspect Kishida will be flying the Mission Accomplished banner just before the election and we’ll be back into a state of emergency by the end of the year.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Friday marked the first time since April that none of the country's 47 prefectures were subject to measures aimed at curbing infections.

except for those that still have such measures, for e.g,, Hokkaido.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh I thought Japan was gonna fall into the ocean because of this thing. At least that's what the comment section told me everyday.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@El Rata

I’m not comfortable with breaking social taboos.

I don’t want to be the one guy sitting on a train not wearing a mask getting dirty looks from everybody.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The sixth wave that will come in December will be the "wave of the un-vaccinated". Those who had access to the vaccine but for whatever reason declined to have it. In August 98% of covid hospital admissions were un-vaccinated. However, many of these patients had yet to receive their appointments. Come December this will not be the case.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

“A further point on masks - I’m an English teacher and it is virtually impossible to gauge students reactions and whether or not they understand something when they are all wearing masks. 

It’s also nigh on impossible to remember everyone’s names when you never get to see their faces, only their eyes and foreheads.”

Exactly!

“I don’t want to be the one guy sitting on a train not wearing a mask getting dirty looks from everybody.”

Agreed. Of course whenever I can get away without wearing one I do

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I worked until 9pm yesterday evening, and I passed by many Izakayas on my way home.All were open.None closed at 8pm or 9pm.Anyway that makes no sense.

But there were not so many people drinking like I expected.I thought it would be an overrun to the Izakayas, but it didn't look like.

Probably most people wanted to play it safe since the typhoon news were on all day ?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They aren’t comfortable and, on hot and humid days they make it difficult to breathe properly.

Funny, I hear some people on here say this, but I never experienced this, nor had anybody who actually mentioned this to me.

Perhaps visit a pulmonologist and see if there is some other issue brought out by mask wearing?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I never wear a mask (unless verbally requested by the people in charge of a place a have to be at) and never have problems.

Really, so you just carry around a mask without wearing it, or use it as a chin warmer?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@El Rata I hate masks but I try to do the right thing and that is to wear one if you cant realize that well you are the problem...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

Japan had the mask obsession already before Corona, so the situation is a bit different here. It is not like the face napkins were completely alian to this country. On the plus side, I have not seen any fanatical self-declared mask enforcers here, such we have seen in some Western countries.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

We don't know why infections are declining.

Every variant follows pretty much the same pattern, regardless of vaccinations or lockdowns.

I don’t want to be the one guy sitting on a train not wearing a mask getting dirty looks from everybody.

Yeah, I understand. But a few times I have gotten on a crowded bus and only realizing when I get off that I forgot to put on a mask; I never noticed and dirty looks. I find people here quite tolerant.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It can't be done the same as in Europe and the United States

Urgh. I hate this kind of statement. The 'we are special' type comment.

I wonder if people in Europe or America ever say the same thing regarding Japan? Probably not as they aren't so self conscious and obsessed with comparing to others

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Perhaps El Rata (“I’m a rebel!”) has a life which doesn’t involve much interaction with the general public. If so, good luck to him.

However, if he does interact with the general public and is in Japan, very few people are going to challenge him about going maskless, if any. This is Japan, and conflict is not going to occur, and probably that will been even less likely if he is a foreigner.

Other people, however, are probably thinking far less of him. Far less. There may be a few who admire his rebelliousness, just like I was envied for being able to where a colored shirt when working in a Japanese business (I apparently got away with wearing colored shirts because I was not Japanese).

Still, I doubt that, being a rebel, El Rata cares one whit of what others think of him.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In August 98% of covid hospital admissions were un-vaccinated.

Whatever the actual percentage is, I'm pretty sure a higher percentage of Covid19 hospitalizations were among the unhydroxychloroquinated or un-ivermectinated....

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@blvzpk

Yeah, he probably doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.

I do care what people think about me, especially my work colleagues and people I am in regular contact with.

I know of one foreigner who is a Covid non-believer, anti-vaxxer and general conspiracy theorist who refuses to wear a mask and only makes a token gesture of waving his hands under sanitizers when instructed to do so by restaurant staff.

I find him really childish and embarrassing to the point of me not wanting to go anywhere with him in public.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan definitely has its own way of doing things in typical stubbornness but its not necessarily bad, just different.

And for those commenters that don't realize that a large portion of Japanese never stopped wearing their masks since the Spanish flu pandemic .

I think wearing a mask in public when traveling via public transportation or large crowds regardless of a pandemic is a sign of cautiousness and intelligence.

We can all speculate what might happen in the future.

Until then try to enjoy the lifting of the lockdown.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan will be the last country on Earth to remove face masks, long after the pandemic is over. Sad but true I'm afraid.

why are you so afraid of masks?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Raw beer...

Whatever the actual percentage is, I'm pretty sure a higher percentage of Covid19 hospitalizations were among the unhydroxychloroquinated or un-ivermectinated....

The actual percentage was 98.4%... I rounded it down. The 1.6% who were fully vaccinated (so-called breakthrough infections) and still caught the virus were 8 times less likely to end up in ICU.

And I surely hope none of them received drugs that have been shown to offer NO benefit for covid.... Luckily also shown to have no adverse effects so carry on if it makes you happy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

At Snow: You are making me smile and understand your humor more and more daily. Thanks for posting.

That "Pervert" connotation can really be looked at in so many ways along with the following word depending on the situation, accented parts, etc. English is a tough language. Thanks again, and keep staying positive. I appreciate it and my wife and friends enjoy your comments as well. T

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Stewart: I had to but did not feel good about it but got a person, a foreign person dismissed from a hotel job because he refused to follow safety protocols when my wife and I were traveling. Even pointing it out to him at the posters throughout the nice hotel expressing covid situations he refused to adjust and I had to call a manager on it and it was not a nice scene. He is gone and it should be that way. We follow the rules and travel a bunch but we follow the rules completely. (Not law but suggestions to make harmony: Peace and stay safe)

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Every variant follows pretty much the same pattern, regardless of vaccinations or lockdowns.

The scientific literature proves the contrary, both in the differences the strains have and the difference the vaccinations and other measures make, against the whole of the scientific community opinion your mistaken conclusions are irrelevant.

Whatever the actual percentage is, I'm pretty sure a higher percentage of Covid19 hospitalizations were among the unhydroxychloroquinated or un-ivermectinated....

Compared with what? neither treatment is allowed in Japan because of complete lack of efficacy, there is no suprise that no treated people are hospitalized when there is no treated people at all in the first place.

With vaccines the opposite is true, out of all the people that have been vaccinated a much lower percentage end up with serious health problems or dead, thus proving without doubt vaccines are effective. Hopefully enough people will be vaccinated to make control of the future cases much easier.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

virusrexToday  03:50 pm JST

With vaccines the opposite is true, out of all the people that have been vaccinated a much lower percentage end up with serious health problems or dead, thus proving without doubt vaccines are effective. Hopefully enough people will be vaccinated to make control of the future cases much easier.

One of the many doctors in my family, my one niece, is running a Covid emergency ICU unit in Bend Oregon and she is amazed at how many deaths and serious health problems occur due to not being vaccinated. The hard part is she has to tell people begging her to be vaccinated when it is too late and another aspect that really breaks her down is not having room for vaccinated people that have other issues and not being able to get them beds or help them because the unvaccinated, the obese, and the unhealthy in general with bad eating habits are taking up space. But it is basically first come first serve and as a doctor, she has to follow her oath. So sad.

Everyone, get vaccinated.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Shinkansen

What an idiot that guy was.

He put his job in front of some daft “principles”.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Perfect responses Mr. Zoro!

ZorotoToday  12:47 pm JST

They aren’t comfortable and, on hot and humid days they make it difficult to breathe properly.

Funny, I hear some people on here say this, but I never experienced this, nor had anybody who actually mentioned this to me.

Perhaps visit a pulmonologist and see if there is some other issue brought out by mask wearing?

-2( +4 / -6 )

> ZorotoToday  12:48 pm JST

I never wear a mask (unless verbally requested by the people in charge of a place a have to be at) and never have problems.

Really, so you just carry around a mask without wearing it, or use it as a chin warmer?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes, wry true Stuart

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

And Dr. Kazuhiro Nagao was on Japanese TV talking about how he has treated successfully treated 100's of patients. These treatments are allowed.

One single doctor acting against the best available evidence (and without providing actual scientific evidence of what he is supposedly doing) do not represent the general situation in Japan. In general neither of the drugs are being made available for patients and there is no need to do it since it has already been proved they offer no advantage over not using them.

Doctors have "successfully treated" thousands of patients (including people with comorbidities) by giving absolutely nothing, which is terribly poor proof of efficacy, for that it would be needed to prove people get better at higher rates, when using the drugs compared with patients where those are not used but otherwise treated the same. His reasoning is the same doctors use to keep prescribing antibiotic for viral infections, and it is as invalid.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“A further point on masks - I’m an English teacher and it is virtually impossible to gauge students reactions and whether or not they understand something when they are all wearing masks. 

That is a crock! Masks dont cover the entire face and any decent teacher will easily understand and be able to read reactions and understanding, mask or not.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites