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Japan eyes lifting COVID quasi-emergency next week as infections fall

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Great news.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Great news but I am still wearing my mask.

-13 ( +16 / -29 )

Only to Japanese.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Great, looking forward to walking around Tokyo seeing all the Japanese people maskless again from 22nd.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Can we please start April 1st without mandatory masks.

5 ( +21 / -16 )

A new variant is growing in those distant shores....be prepared for (partial) quasi emergency 6, or is it 7, then again perhaps 8.....anyway, another quasi emergency. Definition of quasi....apparently but not really, seemingly or almost.....

In summary, they can't even decide if it is an emergency....and after so many attempts, you would expect them to know....apparently...but not really.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Great news but I am still wearing my mask.

and you should have the choice. I will not be wearing one

1 ( +20 / -19 )

Monday pondering.

Tuesday considering.

Wednesday discussing.

Thursday deciding.

Friday announcing.

Just like every other SOE or Quasi-SOE.

23 ( +34 / -11 )

Japan eyes lifting COVID quasi-emergency next week as infections fall

Let me fix that headline.

Japan eyes lifting COVID quasi-emergency next week as election looms.

You're welcome.

15 ( +31 / -16 )

Serious question:

When will it be okay not to wear masks in Japan, (aka socially acceptable)?

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Officials hope the downward trend of daily coronavirus infection tallies will be enough for Tokyo, Osaka and 16 other prefectures to meet the government's criteria for lifting the emergency.

"Hope"? They fully control the numbers by testing. So there is no "hoping" going on here.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Time for another 'Go To' campaign.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Can we please start April 1st without mandatory masks.

What country do you live in?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

When will it be okay not to wear masks in Japan, (aka socially acceptable)?

Not for a very long time, if ever.

Assuming you are not a Japanese citizen, obviously you have a choice to escape from Japan.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Tokyo, Osaka and 16 other prefectures to meet the government's criteria for lifting the emergency.

Amazing that all 18 prefectures would be meeting the government's criteria at exactly the same time... This could only happen in Japan.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

mandatory masks

and you should have the choice.

Masks aren't mandatory in Japan. It is surprising that people still don't know this and wonder what other facts they seem to misunderstand. Just to remind people, it is socially acceptable to not wear masks. People have choices to wear them or not. It is people's own self-consciousness and self-awareness that is pressurizing themselves to mask up.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Amazing that all 18 prefectures would be meeting the government's criteria at exactly the same time... This could only happen in Japan.

There's an election coming. Hence the magical halving of cases and the easing of restrictions as a result of the "reduction" of cases.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Most people will wear them in crowded places and in trains but once out of the city no.... Its like taking your bra off when you get home LOL

6 ( +11 / -5 )

When an emergency is called quasi - thats when you know its a cruel joke.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

It's fallen because testing has. Period. Also, it is no coincidence they are trying to lift it just when all the drunks are prepping in this warm weather for hanami. I saw more than 10 people stumbling around or sleeping on park benches beside beer cans and one cup ozeki bottles. Not going to be pretty.

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

Japanese have been wearing masks regularly since the Spanish flu.

Its part of Japanese culture long before the pandemic.

They're not just warm but Japanese enjoy the privacy and protection from other airborne viruses that are more prevalent in Asia.

Not to mention dental configuration shyness.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Its like taking your bra off when you get home LOL

Don't know about you, but I don't wear a bra, bro.

LOL

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

About time!

Hurry it up people have hanami parties to enjoy!

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

sleeping on park benches beside beer cans and one cup ozeki bottles

I will be probably one of them!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Can we all just begin to live again?

im financially bankrupt and haven’t really seen anyone in 2 years. All my savings which was about 100 k is down to the last 500,000 yen and my current income is now 100,000 yen a month. I will take any job at this point!

atleast buy a damn plane ticket off this rock!

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

When will it be okay not to wear masks in Japan, (aka socially acceptable)?

I stopped wearing this ridiculous thing already from a while ago. And I have never worn it outside. Never.

It is people's own self-consciousness and self-awareness that is pressurizing themselves to mask up.

No that's not that. This is BS! Japanese stupidly keep wearing a mask all the time even outside because they are scarred to death from being judged and ostracized for not following the group and the social norm.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Masks aren't mandatory in Japan. It is surprising that people still don't know this and wonder what other facts they seem to misunderstand. Just to remind people, it is socially acceptable to not wear masks. People have choices to wear them or not. It is people's own self-consciousness and self-awareness that is pressurizing themselves to mask up.

You are right that the government doesn't require them but schools, offices, and shopping centers do based on recommendations from the government. They do so out of risk of shame rather than actual health risk.

I already done wear them on trains or outside but would appreciate the option not to wear them anywhere.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

No that's not that. This is BS! Japanese stupidly keep wearing a mask all the time even outside because they are scarred to death from being judged and ostracized for not following the group and the social norm.

Bingo.

I see a few people out and about exercising without their masks, but most wear them even when there's nobody around when on a walk or run. Pointless really, but the peer group pressure is crushing. "What if that busybody Hayashi-san from work/the PTA/next door sees me without a mask? I'm finished!"

Apart from me and sometimes my wife, the only person in my building I regularly see maskless is a 60-ish Japanese fellow whose well educated and speaks good English. I guess he's smart enough to know it's all BS and confident enough not to care what everyone else thinks of him.

The ones I really feel sorry for are the kids, being forced to mask up either due to paranoid school rules or by parents petrified of social ostracism. Aside from a minuscule minority, kids have almost zero risk from this virus yet they're being denied exposure to normal human communication in everyday situations that TV and online schooling simply can't compensate for. I enjoy the looks on the faces of little kids who smile when they see a maskless face smiling back at them. They can see al the subtlties in the facial expressions that masks hide and helps them learn how to interact with others in a healthy way.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Can we all just begin to live again?

im financially bankrupt and haven’t really seen anyone in 2 years. All my savings which was about 100 k is down to the last 500,000 yen and my current income is now 100,000 yen a month. I will take any job at this point!

Steve, I am sorry to hear that.

atleast buy a damn plane ticket off this rock!

Probably the best investment you will ever make. We are trying so hard to leave to Canada but the pandemic has really made it more complicated.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

Fall? You mean slightly goes down? Am I seeing a different curve?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can anyone…. Literally anyone explain what horrible draconian measures have been enacted with this “Quasi state of emergency?” I see people whining all day everyday about “opening up” “moving on” “about time” and so on. So please , someone factually state precisely what was or wasn’t happening? The only industry I’m aware of that was slightly impacted was hotels . But they’ve been propped up by corporate welfare so they’re not hurting. And okay … so cases a falling …. What about the status of the hundreds of thousands of current cases ?

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@Bronco - Where exactly are masks mandatory? I will continue to wear mine on the train and in the elevator regardless out of courtesy to others.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

hanami actually happening this year? :)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Steven MccarthyToday  10:56 am JST

Can anyone…. Literally anyone explain what horrible draconian measures have been enacted with this “Quasi state of emergency?” I see people whining all day everyday about “opening up” “moving on” “about time” and so on. So please , someone factually state precisely what was or wasn’t happening? The only industry I’m aware of that was slightly impacted was hotels . But they’ve been propped up by corporate welfare so they’re not hurting. And okay … so cases a falling …. What about the status of the hundreds of thousands of current cases ?

You seem to grossly misunderstand the psychological impact, centred on perceived fear, that even the quasi SOE has had.

The damage has gone far beyond the hospitality and tourism industries. Businesses have been reluctant to accept sales representatives on site, making it much harder for the reps' companies to generate new business. Given that so much of Japan's business culture is based on nurturing relationships through on-site face-to-face meetings and nighttime entertainment, this psychological impact has been devastating to economic activity. When you follow this impact through the manufacturing and supply chains, it has affected the income of a huge number of businesses and, by extension, the people who work in them.

And don't forget that this is Japan. Nobody wants to be the one who publicly flouts the governments' urges so as not be be the nail that sticks up, compounding the problem of being slow to get back to business as usual.

It's not too hard to figure out with some basic knowledge of human nature, culture and economics.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I will continue to wear a mask in public out of courtesy to others.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Can we please start April 1st without mandatory masks.

Masks have never been mandatory

5 ( +8 / -3 )

They're not just warm but Japanese enjoy the privacy and protection from other airborne viruses that are more prevalent in Asia.

Haha! What a load of codswallop!!

Masks...a large slice of the population have always worn masks in Japan and yet there is still normal levels of flu. It did nothing to stop the spread of covid. Doctors and nurses still get sick with respiratory diseases despite them wearing a mask for their work. Masks are only good for moral high-horsing, brow beating and finger pointing. I do not wear a mask in public places, on the train or in shops.....I have recently had corona and then magically got rid of it a week later...I am vaccinated....the only time I wear a mask is in work at a high school and yet despite me wearing my mask and the students wearing their masks.....they still contracted covid from me. Masks.....useless.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Never had a still much needed hard lockdown. 

Why did we need a hard lockdown? Maybe I missed the thousands dying in the streets of Japan. Maybe I missed battlefield style triage centres over flowing with patients gasping for breath on stretchers whilst doctors and nurses struggled to save them.........Japan did well doing what it did and even then it was overkill.

Bars and restaurants shouldn't have to close at 9pm.....there is nothing scientific behind that rule. That's Japan's ticky-box politics at work......"WE'RE DOING SOMETHING!!"....even although it's like peeing into the wind. With the vaccines out, there is ZERO need for any sort of liberty controlling rules. Get vaccinated, maybe contract the disease, but it will more than likely be a mild cold.....I myself have just did this....more than a few friends were also caught up in this "wave". Tactics to stem the disease from before vaccines do not ever need to be used. It is definitely time to move on.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I already done wear them on trains or outside but would appreciate the option not to wear them anywhere.

You have the option in Japan. Seems you are coming down with denialism.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Masks.....useless.

More denialism... In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person's choice to deny reality as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth. Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, when a person refuses to accept an empirically verifiable reality

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@Northernlife: You live here, correct? Borders are open - and quarantine free from most countries now long as you've had your 3 shots.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

im financially bankrupt and haven’t really seen anyone in 2 years. All my savings which was about 100 k is down to the last 500,000 yen and my current income is now 100,000 yen a month. I will take any job at this point!

you are not alone bro. I lost my business and have a 33 year mortgage. Only jobs I can find are 2 hours away, teaching English part time for ¥1200 an hour. But at least I don’t live in Europe or the US. Here, my neighbors give me food. And I have solar panels.

good luck mate. Life has ups and downs. Japan is one of the best places to live in present times. Chin up.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

i believe the borders are opening to the unvaxxed from the 9th of April.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wrong move Japan. Remember the past.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Bert Smithson - They never closed for the unvaxxed either. Incorrect as usual.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Lift all quarantine requirements on residents.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@factchecker: Pretty much are if you are tripe vaxxed, the 'designated' country list shrinks on a weekly basis.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My half japanese children are now in their teens, they haven't seen their grandparents in japan for four years and are lagging behind in their japanese language development.

We really need to go to japan during my vacation during the school holiday in June this summer. We have made no other plans, hoping the border will open up so we can buy plane tickets on short notice.

In case the borders will still be closed to tourists in June, what would I have to do to be included in those exceptional circumstances regarding being a spouse to a japanese citizen? Do I need to go through the hassle of getting a spouse visa just for one month of stay, or will it be enough to present a marriage certificate or an excerpt from the Japanese family register at the border control when I arrive together with the rest of the family and my wife who carries a japanese passport?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Elvis is hereToday  09:07 am JST

mandatory masks

and you should have the choice.

Masks aren't mandatory in Japan. It is surprising that people still don't know this and wonder what other facts they seem to misunderstand. Just to remind people, it is socially acceptable to not wear masks. People have choices to wear them or not. It is people's own self-consciousness and self-awareness that is pressurizing themselves to mask up.

Maybe you should return to Graceland. Masks are not a mandatory demand of government. However, it is NOT socially acceptable to NOT wear a mask. Nor is custom and polite behavior equated with being pressured.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Covid-19 was the worst handled under Kashida! The number of infection rates was the highest, number of deaths daily was 5 times more, there was no strategy to combat it except shutting out foreigners by closing the border and closing restaurants at 8-9pm! Yet, people don’t talk about this! Abe and Suga were terrible to appear publicly to make people calm but better than Kashida who is only good at talking without providing any solution as his common response is “ We will consider that later “! If the number of infections or deaths were as the current ones under Suga or Abe than the public would have crucified them but Kashida seems to be getting a free pass from everyone including the media!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

> The Kishida government eased the criteria last week, citing an increase in the number of vaccinated people, the low risk posed by the Omicron variant of causing severe illness and the need for fully resuming economic activities to boost the economy.

Its a pity that the Japanese government didn’t quit with its pointless measures long ago.

The misery and suffering and economic pain resulting from promoting an endless litany of fear has caused major damage!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

*Its a pity that the Japanese government didn’t quit with its pointless measures lon**g ago.*

The misery and suffering and economic pain resulting from promoting an endless litany of fear has caused major damage!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government plans to make a final decision Wednesday on the possible lifting ahead of the emergency's expiration on March 21, the source said.

If it expires anyway, why does it have to be lifted? Wouldn't the decision be whether to extend it again?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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