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Gov't considering mask-free school graduation ceremonies

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John-San

Mask wearing has been part of the Japan society since SARS.

No, John-san. People in Japan work masks before SARS — but certainly not while driving alone, hiking alone, or inside their residence alone conversing with others via telecommunications.

20 ( +35 / -15 )

I hope this worldwide trend toward unmasking will help Japan residents overcome their domestic masking paranoia.

In particular, if Japan’s leaders, like the emperor and prime minister, are not going to wear masks when traveling outside Japan, isn’t it rather hypocritical to recommend that face masks be worn inside Japan?

19 ( +51 / -32 )

The Japanese long before the pandemic used masks for different reasons and that's good, it's part of their culture, 

We see the term “culture” being used more frequently to explain Japan’s masking. 

Pre-COVID, masks were mostly used as a temporary, short-term measure to address seasonal allergies or the common cold or influenza.

19 ( +47 / -28 )

Does the Government do anything but 'consider'?

Be nice if they actually did something in a timely manner.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

This pandemic seems to have triggered some strange permanent behavioural change in Japan. They seem to believe the masks show how 'clean' the person is, or something like that, because they are not interested in removing them at all. Especially outdoors everyone is still masked. It's beyond comprehension since many months ago.

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Everyone seems to love masks here in Osaka. Walking along on their own 10 at night nobody in sight, but masked up.

I feel like its just a good way to be more of an introvert as well.

11 ( +25 / -14 )

Many students and teachers wore masks in ceremonies before the covid pandemic.

Many? The only kids I saw wearing masks were the random ones when catching a cold and visiting the clinic. I have never ever seen students wearing masks at school.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Many students and teachers wore masks in ceremonies before the covid pandemic. 

Here are photos from the 2019 entrance ceremony at Waseda University. See any masks?

https://www.waseda.jp/top/news/64300

9 ( +30 / -21 )

Why in a extremely "dangerous" panndemic are they asking children remove masks just for the graduation ceremony, anf then to remask up immediately after? If the masks really stop the spread, then this proves the absurdity of it all. Nothing to do with science. You've been sold a lie.

9 ( +31 / -22 )

JtsnoseToday  07:37 am JST

While the Covid is still around, it's better to be safe and wear masks . . . ? We don't want graduates to risk getting sick . . . .

Just look at the recent publications about the effectiveness of masking. Hint: it’s not. People are NOT wearing mask to prevent or reduce infections. They are wearing a mask to FEEL LIKE they are doing something.

8 ( +25 / -17 )

@thepersoniamnow - That’s true. Fanatical masking gives people the excuse to avoid social interaction. It’s attractive for a lot of individuals but detrimental to society in the long run. We are social animals after all.

6 ( +34 / -28 )

Here are photos from the 2019 entrance ceremony at Waseda University. See any masks?

https://www.waseda.jp/top/news/64300

Excellent point!

Where are all the masks that so many continually claim were so prevalent before the pandemic?

I thought the older age of the students might have been a factor, so I searched for photos of entrance ceremonies featuring students entering junior highs and high schools. Same story. No masks on students, parents, or school officials.

A link to photos from one of those schools in Hyogo Prefecture is below.

https://www.sandagakuen.ed.jp/blog/gakuen/38721

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Wearing a mask should be up to the individual.

Walking on a street here and 90% are masked up unnecessarily but they feel ‘safe’-it’s not a problem for me

6 ( +16 / -10 )

I love the cohesiveness, harmony and unity of the Japanese but it does get extreme at times and this is an example.

Probably the only nation on earth where everyone feels compelled to wear those suffocating masks.....and in most cases just not needed, especially for high school kids who have strong immune systems.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The Diet is now in session, maybe the lawmakers should get the ball rolling and stop wearing masks now.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

John-san no you are mistaken again

5 ( +11 / -6 )

They should wait another 3-5 years and get a few more vaccine shots into all the kids before unmasking.

By this time, kids won't be able interact with each other anymore so at this point, it will be safer to replace human kids by robot kids. They will be safer, smarter and less dirty. And we also solve the issue of not having enough kids.

Problem solved. Don't thank me

Absolutely hysterical. I take it you are of mandatory education age.

If they want to wear them, let them. If they don’t, let them.

Seems like a rational, mature approach.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

In particular, if Japan’s leaders, like the emperor and prime minister, are not going to wear masks when traveling outside Japan, isn’t it rather hypocritical to recommend that face masks be worn inside Japan?

When those people are travelling abroad, they are not wearing masks at all. You can see it regularly in the news. They‘re only wearing masks all the time when they‘re at home to present themselves as good examples and in the expected manner to Japanese society.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

My impression is, masks became a convenient method in Japan for certain people to hide themselves due to whatever reasons. It could be that the lady did not find the time to do some make-up in the morning or the guy at work who does not want others to read his emotions or mimic.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

How trivial and childish of those very very few foreigner how refuse to wear mask yet they are the ones scream and kick the loudest about the Japanese mask wear.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Wearing masks in school has got to cause some sort of long term mental issue. Not seeing people's facial expressions, especially for small children, it can't be good. Time to unmask for the sake of the children.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Stephen: So people wearing mask bother you ? what the problem ? because your not wearing a mask ? So everyone should not wear a mask so to please you. Government also asking young couples to have babies. By your reasoning yes they should have babies. It call choice mate. they choice wear a mask. So what. build a bridge and get over it.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This is good news. For those people saying that people wore masks before Covid... Well yeah, some people did... when they had a cold or allergies. But nobody stared anybody down for NOT wearing one.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This was debated in the Parliament.

There is no law and obligation to wear mask. So why the Parliament takes time to debate that. Isn’t there any more essential issues concerning the citizens

2 ( +5 / -3 )

How about May 8 = February 8

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Probably the only nation on earth where everyone feels compelled to wear those suffocating masks.....and in most cases just not needed, especially for high school kids who have strong immune systems.

I can think of 2 more countries: Korea and China.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As Japan still struggles to deal with COVID, what does science say about masks now?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good. Let's be rid of masks in general.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

it’s currently -25 in my hometown and if you consider the windchill factor it is -40°

i’m sorry but Tokyo is not even close to a temperature that could be even considered cold

Irrelevant

1 ( +3 / -2 )

About time we get rid of masks that don’t protect the public from catching Corona.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Burning BushFeb. 4 03:01 pm JST

No one is being forced to wear one. They can be removed as and when people wish.

Please tell that to the staff at gyms etc...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those masks are useless for the application of biological protection. Only a full face mask that covers and protects the eyes and the airspace between the mask and the person isolated with a canister type filter is the only type that works. The best filter is an nbc-77. But the bio load of pathogens in the air will be mostly from those ear loop mask propagating them after the moisture level in the mask achieves a certain level. Causing the mask to culture new pathogen growth and releases in the air as the person moves. I am the pandemic response expert in the United States up to 2005, and this and other issues I must address, in the US with my former colleagues. But Dr. Fukushima over there should have insisted on wearing visors. Which would be a minimum protection for about an hour, but a sealed full face mask with a filter air supply is optimal for hours of use. The ear loop mak is only a dust mask and its only valid for that application for 30 minutes. Any longer, can cause respiratory illnesses. This is why I am pushing for a ban in them in the US for anything other than using it as a dust mask.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@“THEPERSONIAMNOW 

I agree!

Masks have had their time and place and it’s time to move on. I believe they are not good for society, and they breed introverts. Especially here in Japan.

I’ve seen it first hand as a teacher, and it’s such a sad comfort that many young kids find acceptable.

Some students would freak out ! Some students probably would never have had to have shown their classmates their face.

0 ( +14 / -14 )

So for those that defend using masks, here's this: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub6/full

Basically, the only masks that might make a difference are well fitted N95 masks. All others were pretty much useless.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

When it comes to the issue of masking within school, even the Singapore government - hardly a bastion of freedom and democracy - emphasises that children’s development is necessary without masks

0 ( +11 / -11 )

@Elvis is here

No one can deny masks keep you warm in the cold Tokyo wind.

If you do, then your opinion is not worth ¥1.

it’s currently -25 in my hometown and if you consider the windchill factor it is -40°

i’m sorry but Tokyo is not even close to a temperature that could be even considered cold

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I can spot two critical thinkers in the crowd.

nah. Look closely. You see mask marks on their faces.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what does science say about masks now?

the science I’m reading says that Scientists have found evidence that some face masks which are on sale and being used by members of the general public are laced with toxic chemicals & even carcinogens

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The pandemic has morphed into the realms of a psychological virus now, and is much harder to eradicate. Masks finally coming off? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Japan being the sort of place where mandates actually work, where people follow along with the crowd instinctively and without thought.( No need for thought when you have conformity )

Imagine magically waking up and seeing peoples faces again. Children see the world as it’s supposed to be for the first time. That’d be huge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gov't considering mask-free school graduation ceremonies

Ahh...the old "considering" a policy........this has already been decided and they are letting the J-public get comfortable with the idea before giving the definitive instruction. J-politics 101. LMAO....just grow a pair and say....you don't need to wear the useless bits of tissue on your face anymore because actual science has provided us with protection.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those masks are useless for the application of biological protection. Only a full face mask that covers and protects the eyes and the airspace between the mask and the person isolated with a canister type filter is the only type that works. The best filter is an nbc-77. But the bio load of pathogens in the air will be mostly from those ear loop mask propagating them after the moisture level in the mask achieves a certain level. Causing the mask to culture new pathogen growth and releases in the air as the person moves. I am the pandemic response expert in the United States up to 2005, and this and other issues I must address, in the US with my former colleagues. But Dr. Fukushima over there should have insisted on wearing visors. Which would be a minimum protection for about an hour, but a sealed full face mask with a filter air supply is optimal for hours of use. The ear loop mak is only a dust mask and its only valid for that application for 30 minutes. Any longer, can cause respiratory illnesses. This is why I am pushing for a ban in them in the US for anything other than using it as a dust mask.

Shh David......facts don't work in Japan and with the mask Nazis. I also worked in a job where we had to wear real masks for safety.....I also told people that those paper masks and "medical" masks that doctors wear would have no safety effect....that it actually would print this on the boxes of the masks....but to no avail. Thankfully though, in Japan there was never a law that stated you HAD to wear a mask, so I usually wouldn't. The only place I did wear one was at work in a school because they paid me to wear it. Ironically, I caught corona there while wearing my mask, from a student who was also wearing her mask. I then passed it on to my wife, who took it into her work and passed it to her boss and a few others....despite....drum roll....them all wearing masks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ya think???

Seriously, wake up!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

"Most students"

Indeed it's not the law

No one is being forced to wear one. They can be removed as and when people wish.

nicely put Bush San. Just as the picture demonstrates.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Ironically the masking has been protecting people in every way the government has not

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is kinda funny. I see one of the students in the picture (on the left) not wearing a mask.

That's The Wolf and he has infiltrated the flock of sheep.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

A decision will likely be made early this month based on an assessment by experts.....

In other words, they will wait to see what kind of backlash or support they will get over this issue and make a decision at the very last minute, as usual?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Baby steps

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A photo filled with such joy.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@John-San - There’s nothing childish about not wearing a mask. Your own government states that ‘masks are really not needed outdoors or even indoors if you’re not speaking’. Do you disagree with the medical authorities guidance?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This is kinda funny. I see one of the students in the picture (on the left) not wearing a mask. I guess the is why the captions says "Most students" instead of "All students".

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's High Time to go maskless !

Japan !!

Not only in schools !!!

But Everywhere !!!!

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Awesome for the kids! They should start to prepare people who are still afraid for the maskless wave in May. I'm glad the government is doing its part. I encourage everyone who's got a a business to not only encourage people to go maskless into their premises but to ban masked people altogether.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@John-san - It bothers me yes because we are social animals and communicate through our facial expressions, especially young children. I agree masks were perhaps necessary at the beginning of the pandemic but not any more. Now it’s just an absurd fanaticism; they’re bad for the environment as well and clearly don’t work as intended.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Government said it will be in May, they might let mask off

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/01/15/national/mask-guideline-reconsider/

However a minister dropping its recommendation that people wear face masks at school graduation and entrance ceremonies this spring earlier than than, March/April.

Do they really coordinate with each other?

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

If you're not sick, as in no symptoms, you shouldn't wear a mask all day. After about half an hour it's permeated with your breath moisture and useless. The negative effects of bacterial growth are real. It's basically child abuse to force healthy children to wear them. It also has an entire host of anti social effects. Anyone who put one on their healthy child was wrong to do so. "your over reacting, Jeff." No, the past three years of masking was an overreaction. Stop it now!

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

The latest meta study about masks concludes they do not work. Low to moderate confidence as the studies available to study are not always well run:

https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub6/full

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

WHO continues to recommend the use of masks by the public in specific situations, and this update recommends their use irrespective of the local epidemiological situation, given the current spread of the COVID-19 globally. Masks are recommended following a recent exposure to COVID-19, when someone has or suspects they have COVID-19, when someone is at high-risk of severe COVID-19, and for anyone in a crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated space. Previously, WHO recommendations were based on the epidemiological situation.

Similar to previous recommendations, WHO advises that there are other instances when a mask may be suggested, based on a risk assessment. Factors to consider include the local epidemiological trends or rising hospitalization levels, levels of vaccination coverage and immunity in the community, and the setting people find themselves in.

https://www.who.int/news/item/13-01-2023-who-updates-covid-19-guidelines-on-masks--treatments-and-patient-care

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

I can see two boys not wearing a mask in the assembly hall .

Omg what will happen Japan?!!

Everyone panic !

Enough with this mask nonsense already !

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

they choice wear a mask.

My business my choice, don't like it? don't come. It's exactly what they did to maskess people.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

There is no law and obligation to wear mask. So why the Parliament takes time to debate that. Isn’t there any more essential issues concerning the citizens

Yep.

I have always believed in the idea that governments love the populace to get sidetracked on minor issues. They love the gullible who get in a terrible state over things like this.

A country populated by people like this is a government’s wet dream.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I can spot two critical thinkers in the crowd. Wonder if the school will send them off for re-education to comply with the group, so matter how nonsensical the rule.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

This is a good step in the right direction.

But as usual, too little too late. The students are already freezing in classrooms with windows wide open in the middle of the winter. Keeping rooms under 21°C is not safe. Actually, that is probably doing more to make people sick. Again, it's just more awful, abusive gamman philosophy.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

This photo depicts that Japanese school don't allow students to wear coloured masks. They restrict almost everything. Very Japanese.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

No one can deny masks keep you warm in the cold Tokyo wind.

If you do, then your opinion is not worth ¥1.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Give those kids a break, they look so bored, my god.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Testing on the young people?

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Many students and teachers wore masks in ceremonies before the covid pandemic. It’s likely they’ll make it mandatory to not wear a mask in ceremonies. (roll eyes)

-15 ( +20 / -35 )

Present Covid19 deaths is still worst level ever in Japan and also whole world.

But LDP Kishida regime has no interest decreasing deaths, PM Kishida who only wants to strip mask from Japanese general public by G7 summit is insanity. 

Japanese authorities are not yet able to prevent risk of Covid19 death at all, only try to deceive general public as if Covid19 weakenized with baseless virus-downgrade.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Here we go again. Mask wearing has been part of the Japan society since SARS. By bringing up this subject matter. up every week, one could assume this is discriminatory target Japanese society by Japan Today. So back off this subject matter all are doing is embarrassing the Japanese and making yourself bias. That not good for a information platform.

-17 ( +13 / -30 )

While the Covid is still around, it's better to be safe and wear masks . . . ? We don't want graduates to risk getting sick . . . .

-26 ( +8 / -34 )

> I hope this worldwide trend toward unmasking will help Japan residents overcome their domestic masking paranoia.

The Japanese long before the pandemic used masks for different reasons and that's good, it's part of their culture, sorry no bonus..

-32 ( +17 / -49 )

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