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Packed trains, drinking: Japanese impatient over anti-virus measures

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Yes boredom and frustration. It’s finally starting to click with the majority that time waits for no one and these are our precious months and years we will never get back, time to live !

-14 ( +24 / -38 )

... or die.

15 ( +31 / -16 )

And I don't blame them. It's been over a year later and how much longer do they expect people to disrupt their lives? This isn't a Japanese thing as many here will proclaim, it's worldwide with people needing to get on with life.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

Japan has had about 621,000 cases including about 10,600 deaths 

Should read "has reported... ...although research by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggest the numbers could be 10 times higher"

37 ( +41 / -4 )

agreed. way past time to move on. i am not going to waste months, let alone years of my life at home, cowering behind the sofa.

that said, government needs to move on with the vaccines.

-10 ( +15 / -25 )

Hypocrisy and unfairness are what anger this Tokyo resident. Several children's soccer and baseball teams have migrated into my local park after their facilities closed, while I cant play tennis because all the courts are closed and my normally tranquil park has become a jam-packed circus, where I'm not allowed to have a glass of wine on a warm spring day anymore.

And then there was that cruise ship with hundreds of people packed aboard. Too many examples to cite here. It seems they are generally targeting small groups of individuals while leaving organizations alone.

41 ( +41 / -0 )

it's worldwide with people needing to get on with life.

time waits for no one

I 100% agree.

People are tired of getting their lives and well deserved freetime destroyed by stupid measurements.

And it is worldwide now...look at the event tonight in Texas.

Boxing fight, Alvarez vs Saunders.

70.000 people in a sold out fully packed arena.

You can watch the weigh ins on youtube now.

Thousands of fans, nobody wears masks, zero social distance and everyone is shouting and cheering up their Boxing Idols.

But it is like Oldman13 said,

how much longer do they expect people to disrupt their lives

-11 ( +15 / -26 )

Wait! I was told Japanese are VERY patient! This article proves that they are humans as well. Time to make some changes to society!

23 ( +24 / -1 )

"I understand there are concerns about hosting the Olympics," Suga said. He said foreign athletes and other participants will be strictly separated from the Japanese public and that "it is possible to hold a safe and secure Olympics while protecting the people's lives and health."

I beg to differ, Suga. If you truly do understand the concerns it would have been officially cancelled. There is no benefit to hosting the event when more Covid cases are rising on a daily basis. Why would you risk jeopardizing your people by allowing foreigners in?

If you want to try and restore the faith in your people do so by cancelling the Olympics and redirect all that effort, resources, money, etc. into vaccinating your people and improve their quality of life.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

From the BBC

In one nursing home in Osaka 61 residents were infected with the virus, and 14 died while waiting to receive hospital treatment, broadcaster NHK reported.

That is a wake up call, unheard by Government.

31 ( +32 / -1 )

do so by cancelling the Olympics and redirect all that effort, resources, money, etc. into vaccinating your people and improve their quality of life.

if the Tokyo government cancel the Olympics, they have to pay the IOC a large amount of compensation for breach of contract.

But if the IOC decide to cancel, that’s a different story

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“When the holiday ended, many defied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains.”

Oops, the editor really dropped the ball on this one. Let me fix this for you.

When the holiday ended, many were denied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains.

There you go. Now your sentence makes sense.

28 ( +28 / -0 )

That is a wake up call, unheard by Government.

Oh it's "heard" alright, just ignored.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

"I understand there are concerns about hosting the Olympics," Suga said. He said foreign athletes and other participants will be strictly separated from the Japanese public and that "it is possible to hold a safe and secure Olympics while protecting the people's lives and health.

yup! go ahead and blame the foreigners, even though MOST of the athletes have been already vaccinated unlike the Japanese people thanks to YOU!

But Ironic that he uses an international event designed to bring the world closer together to sow division.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Hypocrisy and unfairness are what anger this Tokyo resident. Several children's soccer and baseball teams have migrated into my local park after their facilities closed, while I cant play tennis because all the courts are closed and my normally tranquil park has become a jam-packed circus, where I'm not allowed to have a glass of wine on a warm spring day anymore.

And then there was that cruise ship with hundreds of people packed aboard. Too many examples to cite here. It seems they are generally targeting small groups of individuals while leaving organizations alone.

Not to mention the schools are still up and running. Yesterday, my son's kindergarten shut down because someone tested positive. With this inept gov NOTHING will get fixed. Nothing.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The indecision, half-measures and gross mismanagement of risks is an international embarrassment for Japan.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

I personally find it offensive that Suga can report with a straight face that all the athletes will be vaccinated, so not to worry, when most of the country will not be. And does this include support staff coming from abroad, and Japanese staff and volunteers here?

And I agree with the poster above about "When the holiday ended, many defied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains." That is so tone deaf. Wow, did we want to WFH!! But the company expects all walking workers to do their duty -to paraphrase Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

This is the second year I am writing off as my plans to move to another country have been shelved as majority of countries at the moment are reluctant to open borders to foreigners.

May even be half of next year before I see any progress.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

When the holiday ended, many defied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains.

Again this mis-characterization. Defied requests or were compelled?

The LDP playbook is to download all the misery and blame for the pandemic response upon the working public and maintain an easy life for the privileged with subsidies that go exclusively towards them.

During the holidays, significantly more people than last year were seen at tourist spots in Kyoto and Nara despite stay-at-home requests. With drinking places closed, younger people carrying canned beer and snacks gathered in parks and streets in downtown Tokyo.

And then pushback in a uniquely Japanese passive-aggressive way.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Impatient? Complacent is more like it.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Yes I agree. That was certainly a curious way phrase the fact that the company forced them to go back to work!

these defiant young people with their canned beer, snacks and “insistence”to go the office....when the company refuses to let them work from home.

When the holiday ended, many defied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@Aly

I was going to say the same thing. The athletes arriving from overseas would have been vaccinated and tested vigorously prior to departure. The greater risk would be from local infection hence the bubble.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

People are selfish and stupid.

I'd like to formally thank all those who refuse to take the pandemic seriously for drawing it out for more than a year, and forcing people who have risk factors to stay at home all. the. time.

You all deserve a slap upside the head.

8 ( +22 / -14 )

Suga disgusts me this man is no leader just a muppet of the worst kind...forget about your own people and vaccinate athletes that a coming for an Olympics that nobody wants....

15 ( +15 / -0 )

And I don't blame them. It's been over a year later and how much longer do they expect people to disrupt their lives? 

Not being able to have alcohol while singing, or a with your dinner, counts as "disruption"? Get real. Buy a half dozen cans and drink at home, save money and reduce your risk. Shops are open, supplies are fine, transport is running.

People who moan about these tiny (grossly inadequate) measures would never, ever be able to cope with an actual disaster.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

We all have been saying this for the past 12 months.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So what happened to the cruise ship?? I remember the furore over the Diamond Princess and the fact that the numbers were singled out and directly stated in the news every time the COVID numbers were brought up.

Was it just a case of the previous cruise ship being foreign compared to the ship being Japanese this time?

This comment isn’t off topic as it may initially seem - it is an indication of a clear pattern being purveyed by the Japanese government and media: Japanese incidents of COVID are being played down.

A big consequence of playing down incidents relating to Japanese people is that Japanese people don’t think the virus situation is so serious. This is one reason why people continue to ride packed trains; go shopping unnecessarily; don’t really practice social distancing etc etc.

A big percentage of the population are reported to be against the Olympics going ahead - presumably because it involves foreigners coming into the country en masse (not in a racist way - because of incidents like the diamond princess. That is the bigger danger). The same percentage of people should have been against Golden Week going ahead as normal, or people continuing to commute to work on packed trains etc. but that doesn’t seem to be the case... or it is the case and the message isn’t being communicated by the government and the media in the same way.

So, why are the trains packed, people still drinking, and why are people impatient over anti-virus measures? Well, it’s largely down to the way the government and the mass media are playing down the situation by not reporting on domestic cases such as the recent cruise ship, allowing GW to go ahead largely as normal, and generally allowing people to have a serious false sense of security.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

And the vaccines will not normalize anything. Most definitely not in the few remaining weeks before the games. The realization that negative vaccine side effect numbers are being underreported (possibly intentionally) along side government bungling, will likely result in further delays .

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

respectfully-

When the holiday ended, many workplaces defied requests to allow their employees to work from home. It left them no choice but to return to their offices on packed trains.

When the holiday ended, many defied requests for remote work and returned to their offices on packed trains.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

He said foreign athletes and other participants will be strictly separated from the Japanese public

This does make me feel a bit better for the athletes - reduce the risk of them getting the virus from the general public.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

if the Tokyo government cancel the Olympics, they have to pay the IOC a large amount of compensation for breach of contract.

You keep repeating this, but

1) It's unknown if it's true. The contract is not public and nobody who knows commented on this.

2) Even if it's true, try to get this enforced. Bach will be long dead by the time IOC sees a dime from Japan, if ever.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Packed trains, drinking: Japanese impatient over anti-virus measure

Blah blah blah! What a bunch of whiny spoiled babies. Japan doesn’t understand how many countries were in complete lock down! Do the Japanese people even understand what a lockdown is? Seems a Japanese SOE is only a catch phrase for entertainment.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Do the Japanese people even understand what a lockdown is?

The first lockdown, at least here in Tokyo, was effectively not much different from those in places like New York. Minus the penalties, but people and business complied by large, so penalties were really not needed.

Penalties would be needed today, but not to restaurants, but instead of businesses who don't let people WFH. Of course, businesses will never be penalized here since this country is run by business interests almost exclusively.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I'm not allowed to have a glass of wine on a warm spring day anymore.

I suppose you are allowed. Nothing is prohibited under the law. It is up to you

Had a picnic with friends and wine during golden week. Very nice

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Penalties would be needed today, but not to restaurants, but instead of businesses who don't let people WFH

I 100% agree!

This constant refusing of so many japanese companies to let people work from home, is one of the biggest reasons, why numbers of cases increase.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

“but they come as citizens show increased impatience and less desire to cooperate, “

Good

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

The government has also been criticized over its snail-paced vaccination rollout, which has fully covered less than 1% of the population since inoculations began in mid-February.

This should be a headline on all news media worldwide.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“A big consequence of playing down incidents relating to Japanese people is that Japanese people don’t think the virus situation is so serious”

The virus does exist, but the media has blown it out of proportion

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

"Japan has had about 621,000 cases including about 10,600 deaths since the pandemic began."

and

US has had 32.6 million cases and 580,000 covid 19 deaths

UK has had 4.48 million cases and 128,000 covid 19 deaths

Canada has had 1.2 million cases and 25,000 covid 19 deaths.

I wonder why the article did not mention those numbers?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

"Wearing masks, staying home and other measures for the general public remain non-mandatory requests."

and for the most part everyone wears a mask and stays at home.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

A recent article pegged Japan under reporting positives and deaths by 10x, while only 2x for the US.

absolutely

8 ( +10 / -2 )

MontyToday  09:29 am JST

This constant refusing of so many japanese companies to let people work from home, is one of the biggest reasons, why numbers of cases increase.

Not everyone is an office wallah, there are still many who have to go to work to make things, repair things and deal with people face to face, many jobs simply can't be carried out at home.

For those that can then companies should make every effort for their staff to work from home, at least some of the time.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Not everyone is an office wallah, there are still many who have to go to work to make things, repair things and deal with people face to face, many jobs simply can't be carried out at home

Of course, but if you reduced the number of people by 30-40%, it could have a positive effect.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

No Olympics is the best solution and a wise one.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japan - 628,319 cases. 10,712 deaths. (85 deaths per million)

People aspiring to just be "better than the worst" (ie the USA, UK, EU) would be better off aspiring to and learning from the best ie Taiwan. Japan deserves better.

Next Suga will proclaim "our pandemic response is better then India's or Brazil's". Please re-elect me!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

IRRESPONSIBLE not impatient.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The conspiracy theorists are very much out in force today. People wishing violence on those who carried on with their lives and the bizarre one that deaths are really 10 times the reported figure. Deaths in Japan fell last year, yet this incompetent government are alleged to have hidden 100,000 deaths

Covid is a problem but not as high a danger as the conspiracy theorists make out. Take precautions, get on with life and enjoy yourself.

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Quoted from ‘Business Insider’

Over $1 billion is to come from ticket sales. This would be lost if the games go ahead without fans. According to Statista, the Japanese government would face a loss of 4.5-5.1 billion Japanese Yen if the Tokyo Olympics get cancelled.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) generates almost 75% of its income from broadcasting rights. Cancellation of the Tokyo Games would not only affect the cash flow of the IOC, but could also tarnish the Olympics’ brand image.

According to a Reuters report, the IOC takes out almost $800m in insurance for each Summer Games. This covers the $1 billion investment it makes in each host city. In addition, the Tokyo Olympics are insured for around $2 billion, which included television rights and hospitality. In case the event gets cancelled, insurers will suffer losses up to $5-6 billion.

It has become even more difficult to cancel the Olympics as the organizers have already collected huge sponsorship amounts from various companies. The implications of cancellation are not only financial but also come with psychological and moral consequences. Athletes all around the world will be affected and hurt the most if the Games do not take place.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Those are all completely useless discussions, as it ALL has been MISSED at a larger scale, in early spring last year, immediately closing globally all borders, stop all travels and flights, extinguishing the viruses by a strict some weeks long lockdown once and for all. Now you can say what you want, it doesn’t change anything anymore. If you close , the rates go down, if you are happy with those low rates and open again, the ‘game’ starts again. And globally, the viruses rush from one weakest country, there devastating, to the next weakest country and so on, in addition following the lower temperatures a bit, that differ in Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Again and again they trot out the mantra of 'work from home' - WFH.

It does not apply to manufacturing jobs, most service jobs, hospital jobs, transportation and delivery jobs, event and venue jobs, construction jobs, etc.. And they have to travel to work.

And of course staff at restaurants and bars that can open for limited hours, AND get a subsidy.

WFH is just white-collar office jobs/ salaryman that use a computer.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"Japan has had about 621,000 cases including about 10,600 deaths since the pandemic began

and

Canada has had 1.2 million cases and 25,000 covid 19 deaths.

Anybody with a functioning brain knows which country's figures to believe.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I've said this before. Japan runs splendidly until there is a crisis. When a crisis happens everything goes haywire like a Loony Tunes cartoon. With the pandemic failed crisis management has reached a new low. While people are sick and dying Suga frets about the useless Olympics. The breakdown in crisis management has turned Japan into a failed state.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I repeat: old or sick or paranoid = stay home.

young, healthy, fit: social distance, wash your hands and enjoy life.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

defied requests to remote work

Who wrote this? Not all of us can type up a halfarsed article whilst curled up in bed at home and get away with calling it work.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"young, healthy, fit: social distance, wash your hands and enjoy life"

Then take the infection home and kill your family members?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

This was always how it was going to end,

In the first wave people were scared,

In the second wave their were scared of what their neighbors would think if they ignored government requests

Now, people are neither scared or the virus or worried what their neighbors think because they don't care either

Good to see this mass hysteria is ending

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

“Good to see this mass hysteria is ending”

I live in hope

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“Then take the infection home and kill your family members?”

I am not denying the virus exists - so do a million others we are currently not caring about. But overreacting doesn’t help

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

“While people are sick and dying”

While more people are dying from suicide than the actual virus. But we don’t get to talk about that

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@While more people are dying from suicide than the actual virus. But we don’t get to talk about that

see quote from website below

Japan, Egypt and several Central Asian nations — the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's death toll estimate is more than 10 times higher than reported totals.

from https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/05/06/994287048/new-study-estimates-more-than-900-000-people-have-died-of-covid-19-in-u-s

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Then take the infection home and kill your family members?

cut the hysterics !

lock yourself in your house & we’ll let you know when the world is safe for you to venture out again

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

First, Suga says there are going to be one million a day vaccinated full-on impossible. There are not enough vaccines to go around to all the countries including Japan who is way behind the eighth ball on everything surrounding this virus. I am so glad my 11 year old son is not in Japan anymore I brought him to Guam to live with a family and go to school there where there are less people and less cases and where 50 percent of the people are vaccinated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

if the Tokyo government cancel the Olympics, they have to pay the IOC a large amount of compensation for breach of contract.

But if the IOC decide to cancel, that’s a different story

Here, I believe is the rub. However as Zoroto pointed out, Japan is a sovereign nation and can just refuse to pay.

Moreover, I would be absolutely flabbergasted if there was not a Force Majur (sorry for the missp) clause in the contract. This is not a situation in which the IOC can say that Japan didn’t make every effort to get ready to hold the games. Japan should tell the IOC to go pound sand. No games and not a yen in compensation

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Packed trains, drinking: Japanese impatient over anti-virus measures

How is this different from any other month since March 2020 in Japan?

The gov't isn't gonna cut the crap and develop competence anytime soon, why would anyone expect any differently from the public? They are just copying what the gov't does. Not giving a damn.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hard lockdown, online classes for kids, remote work for all workers not deemed as esssential services, curfew at 8:00 PM, and mass vaccine rollout even if that means the second dose is due in 3 months' time. That's how you crush the curve.

Now that every half-hearted effort has failed, why not go one step harder? It's time for that government to either stop burying their heads in the sand OR to go out with their heads between their legs in shame.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Danny Ngyuen

Lockdowns and curfews? This isn’t the Middle Ages or Nazi Germany.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Lockdowns and curfews? This isn’t the Middle Ages or Nazi Germany.

Well, it certainly seems that many people’s attitudes toward science and medicine reflect the beliefs of those times.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@falseflagsteve

Lockdowns and curfews worked in Britain, in some Canadian provinces (willing to go that far), and in other Western countries for the time that vaccine rollout could reach full speed. Impatient, selfish and neglectful people are the reason why emergency measures drag on and on when the problem could be solved with enough society-oriented discipline from everybody.

Where I live, we are crushing the curve mostly thanks to drastic measures while the province next door has been too soft on the same job of preventing new infections. I will not apologize for it nor I will give any credibility to anyone unwilling to do the part for society instead of whining.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@ Danny

i have to agree with you. What your proposing will bring about hardships, but doing little to nothing - as has been happening for the last year plus in Japan - is just extending the problem.

What’s going on here is akin to someone putting off the trip to the dentist or doctor when you know something’s wrong with you.

People are unwilling to take any appropriate action because of their selfishness and unwillingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Danny Nguyen

if you or the government or anyone else pays me to stay in so I cannot work then things may be different. Going out earning a living and supporting local businesses Is far from selfish and ignorant. Yeah lockdowns went great in U.K. with half the Japan population and 127000 deaths. High deaths there are caused mostly by high obesity rates, low physical fitness, closer day to day contact and poor hygiene compared to Japan.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

For Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the emergency declaration is both a health measure and a political tightrope walk as domestic criticism rises of Japan's seeming determination to hold the Olympics at any cost.

Hopefully, that cost will include the demise of the LDP and the removal of Suga and his cronies from office.

These clowns have bungled the entire response to the pandemic. Only 2% of the population have been inoculated. Recently, the claim is to vaccinate 1 million a day and it will take SEVEN MONTHS! When this will begin is unclear. In Japan the pandemic will have lasted over two years, if the current progress vaccinating the citizenry continues at its actual or even proscribed pace.

The USA, which has been a pandemic disaster, has managed to vaccinate over one million a day since mid-February. With highs of over four million on several occasions.

The response is unreal. Completely incompetent.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

People are unwilling to take any appropriate action because of their selfishness and unwillingness to sacrifice for the greater good.

if you are willing to sacrifice your income to pay my salary, I am willing to take appropriate action

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

if you are willing to sacrifice your income to pay my salary, I am willing to take appropriate action

Sacrifice is not all about salary - that should be obvious. It’s about temporarily changing your lifestyle.

If you’re getting a salary, then that responsibility should fall to your employer or to the state. I don’t know why I - who am also sacrificing - should sacrifice for you.

My family and friends in Australia all received their regular salaries during the lockdowns. People either went to work or teleworked. I didn’t have to sacrifice for them.

If you’re a salaried worker, your employer should have come up with a logical solution under the circumstances we have been experiencing - and are continuing to experience.

If not, I think you should rethink your occupation. You’re clearly not being treated well as your employer doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Blvtzpk

This is not Australia, if you work for a company and don’t go you will be sacked. They will not pay you to stay at home, your living in a dreamworld if you think that is likely anytime soon in Japan.

People have changed their behavior, wearing masks etc. Every person is different as is every nation.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I work in Japan. My best interests were taken into account. I worked from home. I was not sacked. I am not living in a dreamworld. This applied to most of, if not all, of my friends here.

People have changed their behaviors in very limited ways. Wearing masks is one of them, but that’s clearly not enough. Behaviors need to be changed more radically.

In your posts you’ve promoted the idea of ‘popping out’ with your ‘partner’ and eating and socializing outdoors. In your posts you’ve also applauded the fact that so many other people have done this. Please let me express the opinion that you’re not sold on the idea that this is a crisis.

However, the crisis continues and will continue with half measures. People I know have died. I don’t want this. My apologies if this bothers you.

And pardon me if I have seen a model that has worked outside of Japan and feel that should be adopted more widely and seriously here.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@blvtzpk

well, we all see things differently. I see this as something that needs and will be dealt with. I don’t believe the virus is as deadly as made out and I don’t believe all the doomsday scenarios either. Personally I take precautions, such as not going to bars, not meeting friends at all. I only go out with my partner and yes we go for picnics etc which I encourage all to do if they take precautions. With my work I have to travel around parts of the country, meet people and view things in a way impossible online. I have long term contracts which mean it would impossible no to fulfil commitments if I stayed indoors. My work may not be the norm but with sensible precautions I have no fears at all for my or my partners health.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The big difference is that the Aussie government paid people either jobseeker or jobkeeper for the duration.

Japanese government gave a one-off payment of $1000.

That doesn’t pay my bills. I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I love my job, & I have no plans to rethink my occupation.

Not everyone is as fortunate as you, being able to work at home in your pyjamas & slippers, while still receiving your full salary.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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