Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday about the online booking system for reservations at large state-run vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka, following problems that occurred Monday. Photo: KYODO
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Gov't pledges to fix embarrassing vaccine booking system flaw

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More comedy from Japan...

46 ( +48 / -2 )

"It would have been better if we had fixed it from the start,"

Gold!!!

44 ( +46 / -2 )

This government is the embarrassing flaw that needs to be fixed.

35 ( +38 / -3 )

Oh, no, c'mon not another pledge, not another promise!

There were quite too many so far. And if this should happen, how long will it take to implement this?

Another couple of months or years? Another couple of meetings with the so-called experts?

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Kishi said he takes the actions of the companies "very seriously," calling them "malicious and very regrettable" despite the significant flaws they brought to light.

..instead of thanking them like he should for exposing vulnerabilities.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

Low pressure job working for the Japanese government, doesn't matter if you do your job well or not. Conbini clerks are under more pressure to perform well.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

Imagine that! Japan failed again, again, again, again, again, again, again, and again. How does one fail at literally EVERYTHING they do.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

J-gov and technology do not really mix. They instated a 68 year old cyber security person 3 years ago who had never used a computer before!

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Surely the Department for Health should be organising the vaccine rollout.

30 ( +31 / -1 )

It’s beyond parody now. It’d be easier if they put the vaccine phial, a syringe and instructions inside every tax bill they will be sending out like clockwork next month.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

If I read pledge or urge again on here I’m gonna vomit! Oh no too late! blerrrrr..

24 ( +30 / -6 )

So, the government make an unnecessarily complicated system to do something that should be simple and fast to do, end up botching things because the system is badly done and get angry when people prove it?

In any rational country this would be enough to make heads roll, but in Japan this is just becoming a new routine. I can't remember any new system involving informatics that the Japanese government has put forward that has not ended up full of problems.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Low pressure job working for the Japanese government

Complacent.

No opposition breathing down their necks. No need to even look alive.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

Hold up! Didn't they pledge to have 60 million vaccines by June? Didn't they pledge to put life before the Olympics? I must have been dreaming.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Japanese IT capability is third world.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Journalism is so embarrassingly inconvenient for the Jgov isn't it.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

@Yubaru

remember the covid track/trace app that the gov't outsourced to a company paying them billions? That was a fail as well. The app was never even available fully working, and the developer just walked away with the ¥. This is prob the same situation. Some cabinet members family has a "Japanese IT Degree" (which is worth NOTHING) and was able to become rich while they sold a broken/failed system.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

A pledge, I suppose that’s better than an urge.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

"We plan on fixing (the system) so we can confirm the inputted data are genuine information,"

Good to know they're planning.

The word "embarrassing" would be appropriate if these weren't human lives they're dealing with.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

If the bureaucrats didn't consistently screw things up requiring time-consuming fixes, half of them would be out of a job.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

How does one fail at literally EVERYTHING they do.

And get paid for it too!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

It's a little late to be making pledges... are you all not aware we're in the second year of the pandemic? Embarrassing. 恥をしれ.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Journalism is so embarrassingly inconvenient for the Jgov isn't it.

And this comes from Kyodo, so this puts them in the best possible light. Imagine if there were any non-JGov controlled press in Japan.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Reading about the never ending incompetence of J- bureaucracy brings a smile on my face and spring in my step, or something like that.

Japanese IT capability is third world.

Now now, no need to insult the third world...Japan has a way to go before getting there.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

In the Philippines, you don't have to reserve. They inoculate in nearby elementary school, basketball courts, gymnasium etc. walking distance from households and a venue for every few thousand population.

You just have to line up as the first few hundreds that will be served, get a number, wait for your turn. If you miss it, you go back the next day.

Maybe Japan should learn from third world countries.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Can these inept morons do even a single thing right?

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Shinzo's kid brother Kishi had time to tweet his support for Israel's mass child murder over the weekend but no time to oversee this implementation of the vaccination program correctly. Yeah, right.

It pays to be the grandchild of a war criminal here.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Respect to the Asahi Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun for doing proper journalism. Proving once again the value of a free press.

Shame on JGov for calling them out on it.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Do we need to check to make sure all the registrations are legitimate? Isn’t the most important thing ensuring that we get vaccinations in as many people as quickly as possible? Why are we wasting time with this booking and checking system?? Just get on the with the vaccinations!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

yes indeed, what's the difference between a pledge, promise or urge? No difference as far as the J government is concerned, they all mean nothing will be done.

The J government can't even get the vaccination booking system right. Appalling

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The shivklingly low rate of vaccinations this late in the game is far more embarrassing than the booking system not being up to par.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I’m sure you’ve heard the Japanese explain it to you: it’s because the officials have a great sense of responsibility and are very careful with every decision because they have to take responsibility for their failures. The resulting inaction stems from their fear of taking responsibility.

So basically they are so responsible that they don’t want to take responsibility.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Shinzo's kid brother Kishi had time to tweet his support for Israel's mass child murder over the weekend but no time to oversee this implementation of the vaccination program correctly. Yeah, right.

"We did not think it appropriate for the Defense Ministry to retain private information of every individual in the country subject to vaccination," Kishi said.

Edward Snowden revealed in 2012 that the Japanese government kept secret files on 72,000 muslims resident in Japan. Only the most naive would believe a word of this.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Need to fix a lot more than that!!!!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Gov't embarrassing vaccine system

The headline is fixed......

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I wouldn't trust these people with servicing my air conditioner.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

remember the covid track/trace app that the gov't outsourced to a company paying them billions? That was a fail as well. The app was never even available fully working, and the developer just walked away with the ¥. 

Yes!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Did the SDF outsource?

Software is not Japan's strong point.

That's the real reason the rollout is so slow. You can't send one million faxes per day.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Just like clockwork, here is today's regular blunder, mis-step, error, mis-use of funds, lack of proper planning and poor execution.

Exactly how difficult is it to organize a 6 digit number linked to a window of time and given date and then simply check the persons I.D. and 6 digit number upon arrival at that time and on that date then poke them in the arm?

Am I missing something? (serious question).

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Exactly how difficult is it to organize a 6 digit number linked to a window of time and given date and then simply check the persons I.D. and 6 digit number upon arrival at that time and on that date then poke them in the arm?

Good question.

How is it that places in other ‘developed’ countries can give the vaccine to walk-ins with no appointment necessary and then see them on their way with cash vouchers?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Proof that Fax machines are are the centerpoint of advancers societies. Or that mentality

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Software testing, anyone?

In a western company this would be a firing offense.

At least in the old days, the official would have the good grace to stop breathing.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Elementary school children could run Japan better than the old fossils at the top. Get rid of them all. Power to the school kids.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

How about duplicity? @Zoroto 4:42pm

“Can these inept morons do even a single thing right?” -

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The words pledge, urge, encourage, do the utmost are used due to the lack of vocabulary knowledge from English speakers. If English speakers were more educated, they would have a broader vocabulary base and other words could be substituted for the easy words most speakers of English use and understand.

Goodnight sweetheart.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"It would have been better if we had fixed it from the start," the minister said

Ummmm, ya think??!!???

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It is evident in the photo once again, that they are taking the social distancing (and measures they preach) very seriously. We are in good hands everyone.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So what is this 'malicious' they speak about?

Let's see now ...

threatening legal action against those who have brought to their attention that their dumb system is broken? Check.

going ahead with these games in the middle of a virus surge, down to their own incompetence? Check.

assuring the people and world that they can promise safe and secure games, even as medical experts assure them that it's not possible? Check.

instituting draconian controls that leave many permanent residents stranded away from home, all the while letting Japanese nationals, flight crew, Olympic athletes, Olympic support staff, and Olympic media in and out of the country without proper controls? Check.

letting 110,000 unvaccinated volunteers loose during the Olympics to act as perfect vectors for any virus circulating, armed with a pair of masks and a vial of sanitiser? Check.

diverting precious health staff and hospital treatment away from public health in the middle of the pandemic, for a vanity project? Check.

suppressing testing since the beginning of the pandemic to massage the numbers, all the while giving a select few athletes daily testing? Check.

being firmly focused on the YYY for a select few, all the while ignoring that 80% of the population want them to cancel? Check.
8 ( +10 / -2 )

What a bunch of losers. ...and here I was thinking our hacks in public service here in the US were a bunch of bozos.

Japan won't hit 40% of population vaccinated until 2022; MARK MY WORDS

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Bow deeper bow deeper thats it now...do some more bowing....

7 ( +10 / -3 )

COCOA anyone?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'd like to read an article where it just says "The government has fixed / implemented / began the process of XYZ." A pledge? Means nothing coming from the ones that are currently, unfortunately, in charge. Once again, J-gov continues to embarrass itself and its country.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Tom

I am sure you and I could make a better working system by just using google amd youtube videos. lol.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If everyone had the "My Number" card

You don't need the actual card, just go to the city office and get your number. It's the same one you put on your tax form.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The government is pledging...no need to read further.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

No worries at all people!

A few moushiwake gozaimasens and some deep bowing (behind perspex screens of course) will fix that.

Next monumental fumble please. We haven't had enough.....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

why didn’t they use my number for verification. dummys

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"It would have been better if we had fixed it from the start..." It would have been even better it it hadn't needed to be fixed at all, but it's good to see that you're taking full responsibility...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nearly half a million people vaccinated just "yesterday." Things are starting to pick up.

Where did that information come from. Please provide source. Statista, Reuters, and every other source doesn't have that and the previous day's the highest was 221,000 and the highest ever was under 300,000 combining 1st and 2nd doses.

Again source?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I just wish they could get their act together re. NUMBERS of vaccinations. Currently administering about 200,000 doses daily (according to Reuters) - that'll take almost 4 years to get everyone completely vaccinated.

Four.

Years.

SMH.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

How is it that places in other ‘developed’ countries can give the vaccine to walk-ins with no appointment necessary and then see them on their way with cash vouchers?

Magic that doesn’t work in Japan?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

When the government or ministries will seriously take responsibility for all that flaws and glitches, and the citizens out power this party

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Scruffy. Put a tie on a get a suit that fits.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Japan's department of health really should have planned all of this out. They had a strategy to get the vaccines stocked, but that is still stuck in red tape since they don't have any guidelines for emergency situations like pandemics. They still did not get a strategy to dispense the vaccines on a massive scale once they received it.

I know Japan needs expert help from other countries that have more effective and active government strategies on these types of situations, but how long do they plan on not listening in the first place? Such complacency on their part...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Nearly half a million people vaccinated just "yesterday."

Even if that was true, it would take 500 days to give 2 shots to everybody.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just ask people to bring identification of whatever kind is good. Let anyone get vaccinated. Issue a card for both doses, if a two dose vaccine is used. The appointment system has been flawed in just about every country it has been used. It is better just to have enough sites with enough daily capacity to deal with everyone who turns up. It will happen much faster, and not so many apologies will be needed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"It would have been better if we had fixed it from the start," the minister said

?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And yet they still want to hold the Olympics in a few months. Then some bigshots had better gewt their asses in gear, fast.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

justaskingMay 18 07:20 pm JST

In the Philippines, you don't have to reserve. They inoculate in nearby elementary school, basketball courts, gymnasium etc. walking distance from households and a venue for every few thousand population.

You just have to line up as the first few hundreds that will be served, get a number, wait for your turn. If you miss it, you go back the next day.

Maybe Japan should learn from third world countries.

I don't think, Japan should learn from third world countries like Philippines, where a national health care system - even for children - does not exist. Many poor people in Philippines do not have any form of a health insurance, asking for donation from neighbours before able to visit a medical doctor or buying some medicine. The guideline is 'Pay cash or die early', every Filipino will tell you that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If everyone had the "My Number" card, it would be a lot easier. But they had to go and make the application for that over-complicated, with all the passwords and what-not. They should have made those parts opt-in, and just given everyone a darn card.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"We plan on fixing (the system)

WHEN??!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The clock has been reset. Countdown to next embarrassment.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I thought Japan was high tech, that's the image outside, funny about the reality.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

A total of 75,000 vaccination bookings between the two sites? Not bad. Only 925,000 to go to reach the "1 million per day" goal, eh Suga-san?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"At a separate press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato warned the government may consider taking legal action against people or groups deemed to have taken advantage of the system failure in a malicious manner, such as making many reservations using fictitious data."

Legal action against people or restaurants, etc. that don't follow guidelines? nope. Legal action against those who embarrass them, yes, if they can.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The way the Japanese government has handled things would have made a great screenplay for a three Stooges movie.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Doesn't feel like a vulnerability

Gov't pledges to fix embarrassing vaccine booking system flaw

As opposed to doing nothing?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nearly half a million people vaccinated just "yesterday."

Japan is now powering up the world vaccination rankings, past Myanmar and Jamaica, and is now in (drumroll) one hundredth place! As supposedly the world's third economy, it has a lot of explaining as to why it is doing so badly, specially as the whole Olympics hosting thing has been on the horizon since the start of the pandemic. If Japan could just learn to tie its shoelaces, for example do what so many are suggesting, and open up vaccination on demand. But no, it seems to prefer to tie its shoelaces together and fall flat on its face.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Catalogue will be an understatement, more like Encyclopedia of blunders.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cross-referencing bookings and fixing the system will delay things even more. It would have been helpful if the papers had simply told those in charge of the flaw rather than publishing it. In general, you report a bug but don't go public until it has been fixed. Going public in this instance is irresponsible.

Some of the delays are rank incompetence. Some suggest a lack of adequate logistics.

In the UK, the NHS already had most of the infrastructure in place to organise vaccinations. It just needed to add people and sites.

Everyone in the UK has an NHS number as well as a National Insurance number. But there is no requirement for an identity card. The NI number is tax-related and the NHS number is health related. As a result, UK citizens are easy to computerise for tax and health, but do not have to walk around with ID. It takes the 'Big Brother' element out of the system, but allows for better data management. Any nation lacking such a system has a much steeper curve to rolling out vaccinations, or has to take a different route.

The My Number system has had a low uptake as it is seen as ID related, government controlled and may include banking information. It is important to have data infrastructure that feels benign rather than Orwellian. Uptake will then be greater, or it can be made universal without the concerns that have been raised over My Number.

The UK also has GPs at the centre of healthcare delivery. Almost everyone is registered with a local GP. They act as first points of contact in all health matters beyond a direct rush to A&E. They deliver basic healthcare, monitor patients and arrange outpatient appointments at hospitals. They do vaccinations too, although for Covid they are merely acting as data hubs, phoning patients to offer jabs and hosting vaccinations at the weekend. Without GPs or an equivalent, vaccination delivery may be more difficult to organise.

No system is perfect - the NHS has been persistently underfunded and Brexit has cost it staff, so it is also understaffed. Most government IT schemes in the UK underdeliver or fail, despite costing a fortune. But the fundamental structure works well if you need to give everyone a jab. Any nation without a public healthcare infrastructure may need to consider one. Private healthcare can plug into it, but you need the universal structure for situations like this. There is more to public healthcare than subsidies and price fixing.

None of which excuses the ridiculous delay in green-lighting the vaccines, especially the AZ one, which is the easiest and fastest to deliver.

I would worry about relying too much on online booking for the elderly, as they tend to be the least 'wired' members of society.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You don't need the actual card, just go to the city office and get your number. It's the same one you put on your tax form.

Without the card, can't you just fake the number though?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Software is not Japan's strong point.

As long as it works according to specification, then everything is good.

Doesn't matter what the specification says, lol.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I am in a forgiving mood today and so I will consciously recall that the US healthcare websites crashed at first too... So it is harder than one thinks to write good software. But... yeah, not a great rollout Kishi-san. And not too cool to blame Asahi and Mainichi.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

A politicians oath is "PROMISES Are Made To Be Broken". If the government promise anything don't believe it. They never do what they promise to do, because they know say only what they know the people only what to hear and what the people think then the politicians do as they please!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nearly half a million people vaccinated just "yesterday." Things are starting to pick up.

really?!

It's like nothing for a developed country. But i would be so proud of Japan if they could do half a million people in one day.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I’d rather had a China company like Alibaba to build this system for them at some so-called risk of data privacy so that I could get vaccinated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Incompetent leaders and politician, low software development skills in Japan comes from more than 40 years back .. lastly lack of common sense will kill us all. Lost decade they said in the 90s .. 30 years passed and Heisei finished. The Covid-19 smart phone monitoring SW (COCOA) sponsored by the Ministry of Health was another disappointment. Surprise Surprise!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Without the card, can't you just fake the number though?

You can fake a card.

I received my National Insurance number in the UK at age 16. It was written on a piece of paper. I lost the document years ago but the number is still necessary for employment, getting benefits and registering with a GP etc. Not having a card has never been an issue as long as I have the number.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It doesn't surprises me the lack of proper security in these systems, these kind of problems have happened all the time in anything It related by the goverment, and makes you wonder how you taxes are wasted.

That said, it is also extremely irresponsible to make public a security flaw before it has been fixed, which makes me think this was a political move by the newspapers.

Usually, a white hat hacker who finds a security flaw in a system first and foremost informs the developer or responsible for the system to fix it before the flaw is made public, so that others do not exploit the flaw after they read about it by the public information.

White hat hackers publishing unfixed flaws only happens if the developer was informed but after a while the developer has not fixed the problem, or shows no intention, and even these cases become controversial.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Could be this the Worst Government from the history of Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can power be GREEN or do you stay co’s first individuals after that.?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Don’t blame one man

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Didn't they also pledge it would work?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Surely the Department for Health should be organising the vaccine rollout.

well who knows what the central planners will come up with on any given day of the week, but it does seem like common sense...

on the other story about health systems there is a bit of debate about whether health systems should be “free” or if a small fee at least ought be imposed to incentivize good consumption decisions.

who remembers the Abenomasks the central planners sent out to the public last year? Great use of money wasn’t it. Now everyone is using masks sourced via the plain old free market...

Would not vaccine distribution too have been handled far more effectively if operated by free market, free enterprise forces? If government just gave each of us the money that they were going to spend on vaccinating us, and let us spend it, there would be a wave of decentralized innovation in Japan to distribute vaccines as fast as people want them.

of course the government has all sorts of anti free enterprise regulations in place that preclude this, but I think it’s high time the Japanese public needs to take control of their spending from the central planners. Every second news story at JT is about a government failure. It’s Orwellian in a sense.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Unique problems for a unique country?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

My view on this all along is that the government should do what it does best, and that is making Laws and rules.

They need to turn this task over to the private sector because that is what they do BEST.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Wow... dreams ahead to potentially come true... I will be potentially be the last man alive after all the vaccinated suddenly inexplicably die out, leaving me, the only male among our Species... what a responsibility to fall upon one's shoulders!

;-)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The government should be most embarrassed due to the fact it's only giving the population a choice between American vaccines which are inferior to Chinese vaccines and far inferior to Russian vaccines.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Nearly half a million people vaccinated just "yesterday." Things are starting to pick up.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

The words pledge, urge, encourage, do the utmost are used due to the lack of vocabulary knowledge from English speakers. If English speakers were more educated, they would have a broader vocabulary base and other words could be substituted for the easy words most speakers of English use and understand.

-26 ( +1 / -27 )

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