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Gov't eyes punishment for refusal to comply with COVID-19 measures

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...it may infringe too much on personal freedoms.

Why? The Japanese authorities are in the habit of issuing explicit orders such as evacuations during earthquake, volcanic and nuclear emergencies. Why is this emergency different?

"It's a gray zone of sorts."

No it isn't. The risk is political.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

This government couldn’t punish a fly.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Unworkable

11 ( +14 / -3 )

even prison sentences on people.

Getting sick is not a crime.

-3 ( +20 / -23 )

Testing positive, then tracking on Japan’s public transportation network? Good luck.

And how the most vulnerable being protected? Where are most them concentrated?

I was at the city hospital recently. It resembled a nursing home. I am sure it’s the latter that Japan is lacking. Especially if all these prone seniors can’t be gainfully employed in the Diet.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Bungled response backed up by further bungling and the government has had a whole year to eye a response? Their absolute stupidity is breath taking. Next thing they will send tiny masks to everyone, perhaps urge pay rises, or take one Friday a month off work? It's just not a functioning government.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

administration is readying legislation to punish those refusing to comply with government-mandated COVID-19 measures

That's a plan that not yet being implemented yet. For foreigners the rule is exist and is being implemented already. That's including from naming and deporting if foreigners found breaking quarantine protocols. While for Japanese rule are more easy so far.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/01/588c26cd3f00-breaking-news-japan-to-revoke-foreigners-resident-status-if-dont-quarantine.html

4 ( +7 / -3 )

to impose fines or even prison sentences on people who test positive for the coronavirus but refuse to be hospitalized or cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

This is Number 1 BS!

It is exactly like Burning Bush said;

Getting sick is not a crime!

How to impose fines on companies who refuse people to work from home, and force them to take a high risk for their health by using the full packed trains every day!

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Using ever day full packed trains, using Shibuya Station, Shinjuku Station every day, stucked every day in a full packed office with 300 colleagues...

Good luck with tracing my contacts!

10 ( +20 / -10 )

You should have come with a plan that is clear, firm, and precise like 9 months ago. And being an island nation should be an advantage as well. How in the world can there be so many incompetent people in Japanese politics?

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Wouldnt it be great if the politicians could be charged for not doing their jobs.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Why would anyone refuse to go to the hospital? I mean you have to be pretty sick if they suggest hospitalization. How are you going to survive at home?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Gov't eyes punishment for refusal to comply with COVID-19 measures

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's administration is readying legislation to punish those refusing to comply with government-mandated COVID-19 measures, as Japan on Friday marked one year since the first case of coronavirus infection was confirmed in the country.

As expected, slow as a snail, but they’re getting there.

A state of emergency, under which people are urged to refrain from going outside unnecessarily

These are the ones that need to be punished severely...

Punish stupidity. It’s because of stupidity and ignorance that things got where they are now.

a proposed revision to the infectious disease law making it possible to impose fines or even prison sentences on people who test positive for the coronavirus but refuse to be hospitalized or cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

...

that would enable the government to fine businesses that fail to comply with its requests to shorten their operating hours or temporarily close.

Those who are infected are already being punished by being sick, but they should make sure they don’t spread the virus. Refusing to be hospitalized or giving false information is serious, so the 500,000-1 million is understandable. Businesses need to survive so that complicates things. Instead of fines, how about more financial support?

The government's top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, said at a press conference Friday it was "a matter of course" that such emergency steps be discussed before they become necessary.

These people love to “discuss” things, don’t they... Thousands of meetings to catch up with the rest of the world.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This government couldn’t punish a fly.

They can only punish foreigners.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Why would anyone refuse to go to the hospital?

Because unfortunately they fear retribution from their employer or the social stigma of being revealed as being a positive case.

Its a disgrace, but it happens.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

They can only punish foreigners

This is Number 2 BS!

-27 ( +1 / -28 )

They should have done this ages ago. I wonder, any punishment for that Japanese guy who came back from the UK, ignored quarantine measures, had dinner with friends which resulted in 10 people getting the new strain.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Why would anyone refuse to go to the hospital?

Because unfortunately they fear retribution from their employer or the social stigma of being revealed as being a positive case. 

Its a disgrace, but it happens.

Yes, that’s very common in Japanese society. Not just with Covid-19 but with millions of other things too. One of the dark sides of Japan.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Restaurants and corporations compensated for lost income. But if you are a working stiff and it is a choice between going to work or starvation and homelessness, you are put into the position of making hard choices out of desperation, and getting on that commuter train and possibly hiding infection symptoms. Instead of punishing them further it shows how inadequate the safety net is .

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What a joke these ideas are. They will never do any of them. Also, we just read yesterday a man in his 80's died at home as they could not find a hospital to take the poor man, and now they are going to force everyone who is sick into the hospital! Good luck with that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

If I turn up positive but without symptoms no way would I go to a hospital and check in

1 ( +6 / -5 )

those refusing to be hospitalized would face a maximum fine of 1 million yen ($9,600) or a prison sentence of up to one year.

But the current situation is that people willing to be hospitalized face denial by hospitals due to lack of resources or under-preparation. Thus the state should also intervene into hospital sides.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Why not fining those companies that forces people to come to the office, risking them to be infected? Such nonsense.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Bungled response backed up by further bungling and the government has had a whole year to eye a response?

I can assure you that I have had nothing to do with formulating the government’s response to COVID-19.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

No getting sick is not a crime but being obtrusive and endangering others on purpose is . People really start taking this seriously otherwise we will be in this never ending loop of infection waves forever .

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Why not fining those companies that forces people to come to the office, risking them to be infected? Such nonsense.

Pigs will fly before they do something about that. They love money. That’s all they care about. Even when we’re talking about people’s lives. Those packed trains in the morning can be seen as a symbol of Japanese stubbornness and stupidity.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is Number 2 BS! 

Dude, a foreigner resident will be deported and his visa revoked if he refuses to do the same things Suga is proposing!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan is a third world country. Even poor countries handeled the pandemic more efficiently. When are the vaccines going to be distributed? Or are they still holding meetings to discuss the matter? The fact that not even a single research institute tried to develop one speaks loud about the low innovation level in that country.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I thought we were told multiple times that the Japanese government had no powers to enforce this kind of thing. Did you just mean 'have no powers without changing the law, which they can't be bothered to do'?

Getting sick is not a crime.

No, but deliberately spreading a dangerous disease to others is. A number of people have been convicted of it in the past, such as people who intentionally had unprotected sex with people while knowing they were HIV positive.

that would enable the government to fine businesses that fail to comply with its requests to shorten their operating hours or temporarily close.

How about some financial support for businesses that aren't restaurants? Then maybe some of them could comply. And how about some financial support for the people? Then maybe they could comply too.

Since my main income is waay down, I'm trying to work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet... which means I need to go out more than I did before. Stupid.

--

Side note: Aside from the Coronavirus, the government has fruitlessly spent decades trying to persuade people to take more time off, trying to pressure companies to allow it, adding more public holidays when that didn't work, etc... when the obvious solution to the issue would be to give separate 'sick days' that aren't part of the 'paid leave' system. If they'd done that, it'd come in handy right now...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Is there no biosecurity law that already covers this?

In any event having legislation that covers off on punishment for non-compliance if health directions has to be a good thing. So long as it applies to all, Japanese citizens and non citizens alike.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare doesn’t appear to support a full no cost coronavirus testing (COVID-19) authority, incorporating dedicated local prefecture test centers.

Fines/prison sentences should only be a last resort, and applied in an even-handed transparent procedure.

Personally, I find the need to issue threats, fines, incarceration self-defeating/unnecessary, in essence a blunt instrument arbitrary punishment beating.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Punishment for non-compliance and curtailing personal freedoms must go hand in hand with full compensation for the affected individuals, businesses, healthcare workers and hospitals. You can’t have one without the other. But this is not going to happen as long as those in the government are committed to the cult of balanced-budget.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What if someone is asymptomatic? How is this person to know they are infected to comply?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If such a situation continues longer and economy collapses, a revolt will happen in Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Punishing people for feeling unwell or not being able to remember last Monday?

Really?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@kowaicoffee

We are talking here about punishment for refuse to be hospitalized or cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

And that counts for everyone. For foreigners AND Japanese.

And according to your post...how will you deport a Japanese National Citizen?

Why are you guys always whining how bad we foreigners are treated here in Japan.

Accept it, ignore it, laugh about it...or leave!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

@Bungle think you know I wasn't attacking you. Just an unfortunate user name. J government probably want to use @bungle for all their ministries. You can make a fortune. Again not judging you. Which you well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Who is using science for orders made? What science center is being used? What test kits are being used? A test positive for corona comes in many forms that could go back to before 2019, which has been confirmed. Does not mean a person was recently infected, could be from long ago. The virus does not float in the air outside and suddenly drops out of the sky or inside, as it does not linger in the air and if a person who has the new corona coughs on another and it does enter mouth or nose, chances of getting it are slim at best. Wearing a mask causes more health problems than not wearing one. Walking down a street without a mask and even passing a person isn't going to cause infection. Driving your car without a mask isn't going to cause infection. People losing companies, jobs, homes is going to cause something much worse for far more people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's a plan that not yet being implemented yet. For foreigners the rule is exist and is being implemented already. That's including from naming and deporting if foreigners found breaking quarantine protocols. While for Japanese rule are more easy so far.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/01/588c26cd3f00-breaking-news-japan-to-revoke-foreigners-resident-status-if-dont-quarantine.html

Indeed. There are two different laws in Japan, one for Japanese passport holders (regardless of whether they live in Japan or not) and one for non-Japanese passport holders (even if they are long-term residents in the country). A JP-passport holder at the moment gets "named and shamed", a non-JP-passport holder gets deported and their entire life, and that of their family, destroyed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Or, have I misunderstood the situation? It would be good if someone could clear this up. But right now, it seems very unfair.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And what now remains of the Suga Cabinet's credibility will go gone down the toilet!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Re: sakurasuki's comment about the J-gov revoking foreigners' resident status for noncompliance, I think the meaning of the statement was misconstrued. The article in Kyodo news is referring to foreigners returning to Japan from abroad AT THIS TIME.

"For Japanese and resident foreigners who are allowed to enter, Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of the country's coronavirus response, said it will require them to sign a pledge upon arrival to stay in quarantine for 14 days, and violating it would result in penalties, such as disclosing the names of violators.

In addition, foreign residents who breach the 14-day quarantine rule will have their resident status revoked and be subject to deportation, Nishimura said at a separate press conference."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Experience in Australia, and Victoria in particular, has unfortunately shown that punishment is necessary to get the message across to some stubborn, stupid (or both) people, of all ages, but particularly young adults. A government has a responsibility to protect all its citizens, and needs to do whatever it takes to contain and eliminate this virus.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Monty

Have you ever seen foreigners penalized for not carrying their id cards or being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

No?

Then keep looking

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A Japanese gent and his wife living in my apartment building traveled twice to Europe last year. Once to England and once to Spain. I know for a fact they did not self isolate on their return and on one occasion drove to Nagano to deliver souvenirs to extended family members. When we kind of asked them aren't they supposed to stay home upon returning they just said "it's okay, we don't have coronavirus, we wore masks everywhere".

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

Have you ever seen foreigners penalized for not carrying their id cards or being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

In all my years in Japan, I never saw that.

A few years ago, I had a car accident and I didnt have my drivers licence on me. No problem at all.

Next day Police came to my appartement, checked my licence and thats it.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

This is to punish the politicians more

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@tananegi

So they didn’t quarantine/self isolate or get tested on their return? If none of that happened and people have been travelling around then I’m not surprised the numbers of infections has risen. Like Australia, Japan is an island and could have handled TCU’s way better than it did.

it may have changed a bit now but what’s with the restriction free travel for students and business travellers from some Asian countries previously??! All about the yen?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dude, a foreigner resident will be deported and his visa revoked if he refuses to do the same

As they should be. I think America is the only country in the world where criminal foreigners are not deported.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Here we come tyranny police state Japan. Prison or insane fine for getting sick because jgovt wanted the Olympic more than anything. Not fair getting punished for getting sick

0 ( +6 / -6 )

As they should be. I think America is the only country in the world where criminal foreigners are not deported.

It depends on circumstances, but they are deported. A lot.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

People refusing to answer or giving false information to health authorities seeking to trace infection routes could be hit with a maximum fine of 500,000 yen or prison time of up to six months

Refuse to answer is a fundamental human right.

They'll punish you for not answering.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@zoroto

As they should be

**I 100% agree with you!**

If you do a serious crime as a foreigner...Sayonara!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Are we living in Virginia?

Welcome all to the Commonwealth State of Japan

Governments equation.

COVID-19 + Non-compliance = ¥

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Suga administration is also eyeing a revision to the special measures law on the coronavirus that would enable the government to fine businesses that fail to comply with its requests to shorten their operating hours or temporarily close.

If so, companies like restaurants should go bankrupt because the government so far does not say it guarantees the security of their activities. They have to pay back their liabilities to banks, landlords, and so on even though they have been losing the large amount of sales due to the situation, so they may well not be convinced of this law unless the government copes with how to help them while imposing the law on them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Getting sick is not a crime

but being infected and yet still going about your daily life mingling with others is.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

“Dude, a foreigner resident will be deported and his visa revoked if he refuses to do the same”

As they should be. I think America is the only country in the world where criminal foreigners are not deported.

...

“As they should be“

I 100% agree with you!

If you do a serious crime as a foreigner...Sayonara!

And what heinous / horrible / serious crime are we talking about? Is it one that makes these people deserve to have their ( AND their families ) lives turned upside down?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A state of emergency, under which people are urged to refrain from going outside unnecessarily and restaurants asked to shorten opening hours, took effect in the Tokyo metropolitan area last week and was expanded to other prefectures this week.

Having Suga as Prime Minister of Japan is in itself a state of emergency.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who does investigate on tracing anyone who got sick?

If this revised law passed, does police officer also investigate on in addition to the health care center?

It is better to take everyone in Japan PCR test for free than make this law passed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Are they going to fine hospitals that refuse to admit patients with COVID-19 an equivalent amount?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why would anyone refuse to go to the hospital? I mean you have to be pretty sick if they suggest hospitalization. How are you going to survive at home?

No, they were hospitalizing everyone that had the virus (or stick them in a hotel if available), no matter how sick they were. This is why doctors have been complaining they can't treat cancer patients, etc. Now that hospitals are getting full they might be letting some stay home, however.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here we come tyranny police state Japan. Prison or insane fine for getting sick because jgovt wanted the Olympic more than anything. Not fair getting punished for getting sick

So, would you rather lockdown and destroy the lives of innocent people because a small percentage continue to go out drinking and partying, spreading the virus and then lying about it and/or refusing isolation?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ Monty

Good to hear that though it is an offense to not have your license whilst driving-were you not

fined?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Getting sick is not a crime

it is when you know you are sick but you don’t care and want to go out without a mask and spread it around because it is your “freedom”. These guys, I agree, deserves punishment and jail for the most stubborn.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

When was the last time someone got arrested for catching the influenza here in Japan and went to a resturant knowing he has the flu. No one would of known he infected the entire resturant with influenza... that being said infecting others by being sick can not be a crime. I like to see it in official legal documents. When was the last time someone went on the trains with the influzena and everyone on the train got the flu and no one arrested?? This madness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Knowing you have a serious contagious virus and going out in public with the possibility of infecting others should be a serious crime.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This pertains to people who are alone living alone and do not have support the sick poor guy is gonna go out to get food if he cant cook for himself and sure he not intentionally trying to infect anyone. Just trying to survive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Monty

@kurisupisu

> Have you ever seen foreigners penalized for not carrying their id cards or being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

In all my years in Japan, I never saw that.

i haven't witnessed with my eyes but read reports in the media and here on JT, foreigners arrested and fined up to ¥150,000 for not carrying alien card. I never leave home without it even just taking out the garbage.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

No I was not fined.

Probably because the accident was not my fault, and I had my resident card and car insurance with me.

Or because I am a good looking Guy! Lol.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

beats the hell out of "urging"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pretty nice today hanging out a edo riverside and people are out having lots of fun . Where’s the lockdowns?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At least Japan is taking it more seriously than America is.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Pukey2Today  07:59 am JST

They should have done this ages ago. I wonder, any punishment for that Japanese guy who came back from the UK, ignored quarantine measures, had dinner with friends which resulted in 10 people getting the new strain.

MontyToday  09:57 am JST

@kowaicoffee

We are talking here about punishment for refuse to be hospitalized or cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

And that counts for everyone. For foreigners AND Japanese.

And according to your post...how will you deport a Japanese National Citizen?

Why are you guys always whining how bad we foreigners are treated here in Japan.

Accept it, ignore it, laugh about it...or leave!

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/01/15a18e4678e2-urgent-japan-to-restrict-entry-of-all-nonresident-foreign-nationals.html

"For Japanese and resident foreigners who are allowed to enter, Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of the country's coronavirus response, said it will require them to sign a pledge upon arrival to stay in quarantine for 14 days, and violating it would result in penalties, such as disclosing the names of violators.*

In addition, foreign residents who breach the 14-day quarantine rule will have their resident status revoked and be subject to deportation, Nishimura said at a separate press conference.

He said the new measures will be taken from Thursday because of a recent case where a man who returned from Britain dined with multiple people during his 14-day self-isolation period and caused the spread of a new strain of the virus."

Yes Monty, they've decided to issue punishment for foreigners for a Japanese person's 'misdemeanour'. The article forgot to mention the person returning from Britain was Japanese, tacitly implying and misleading people to jump to the conclusion they were British or, shall we say, foreign.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The law has not passed yet. Nishimura said that for political appeal. Lets wait. Not sure that in reality they deport a PR with a family here. The crime won’t be serious enough, Wait and see

0 ( +0 / -0 )

246% debt to GDP ratio, Bank of Japan buying everything on the stock market, low birthrate, greying population, dilapidating infrastructure, negligible immigration rates, dying countryside, 500 unstable and dying regional banks, uncompetitive companies, products and services for future markets, old and out of touch governmental bureaucracy, huge lack of global skills especially in I.T and language, low pension payments, outdated business models and working styles (hanko), young people hesitant to venture into the world, Risk aversion is the most prioritized business strategy, revolving door political leadership, progressive reduction of social services... and then Covid 19!!!! Guys I hope you start thinking of the future. It's gonna get really tough!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When was the last time someone went on the trains with the influzena and everyone on the train got the flu and no one arrested?? This madness.

Right, this is about the COVID-19 which is overwhelming hospitals and killing more than the regular flu. If you still can't figure out that the flu and the covid-19 are different, then discussion is over here.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The problem is that health care workers are not trained to investigate crimes, or to record and document them in a manner that a prosecutor can win a conviction. This will mean a further drain on police as they try to investigate a significant number of cases in an urgent manner, for which they have never had training themselves. Look at most of the stories we read on JT's Crime page. Most cases take months to arrest the suspects. Chasing down someone months after he is Patient Zero for a cluster is not likely to be the deterrent they think this criminal law will be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"246% debt to GDP ratio, Bank of Japan buying everything on the stock market, low birthrate, greying population, dilapidating infrastructure, negligible immigration rates, dying countryside, 500 unstable and dying regional banks, uncompetitive companies, products and services for future markets, old and out of touch governmental bureaucracy, huge lack of global skills especially in I.T and language, low pension payments, outdated business models and working styles (hanko), young people hesitant to venture into the world, Risk aversion is the most prioritized business strategy, revolving door political leadership, progressive reduction of social services... and then Covid 19!!!! Guys I hope you start thinking of the future. It's gonna get really tough!!!"

OK.

Why are you staying then?!

Makes it to look like the joke is on you,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Indeed. There are two different laws in Japan, one for Japanese passport holders (regardless of whether they live in Japan or not) and one for non-Japanese passport holders (even if they are long-term residents in the country)".

Indeed!

Just ask any EU national in Brexit UK/

Foreign passport holders are just that.

Foreigners.

Simples.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichi

Knowing you have a serious contagious virus and going out in public with the possibility of infecting others should be a serious crime.

I don´t think it is as clear-cut as that. Infecting others on purpose with a disease is clearly a crime, and people have been charged with that. On the other hand, going in public might be necessary, and if you take precautions not to infect others I can not see what crime would imagine there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The biggest loser of Covid 19 (other than the victims who succumbed to it) is the erosion of citizens' right and the increasing power to the government worldwide in surveillance, detaining, and locking up people (call it quarantine if you want) in the name of keeping you safe.

Let's hope the Japanese government and people are sensible enough to not going down this slippery slope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not sure about the details, but that will fill up the prisons, with all those infected who refuse hospital or cannot pay fines, and of course the already stressed hospitals , with the rest of all infected who abide, and make both kinds of facilities , no, in addition also police and justice buildings for example, a nearly perfectly distributed super spreading network throughout the whole country, additional ideal for the viruses to mutate into new spreading variants and spread, because the staff is of course not imprisoned or locked up in the hospitals and will distribute that high concentrated virus load in all surrounding directions. It’s the same sick logic as with concentrated eating out time spans until 8pm and shortening commuting possibilities, leading to even higher densed platforms, trains , station buildings and surrounding shopping stores. It will probably work, but only for the virus....lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They ought to. With a pandemic like this, people around have a right to live and get around healthy, in safe conditions and in peace. And these CoVidiots don't care about anybody else and they are breaking the law!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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