People cram Tokyo's Omotesando area on Saturday, the day after the Japanese government designated Tokyo and Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures as requiring stronger measures to fight COVID-19. Photo: KYODO
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Large numbers of people out and about despite gov't antivirus pleas

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People are tired of being colored up and have become complacent. The ineptness if the government is forestalling the remedy. Stunning.

16 ( +34 / -18 )

That’s what you get when you use pleas, urges and suggestions instead of enforced laws. The new case numbers in Tokyo will be back into quadruple figures and beyond within a few short weeks.

5 ( +25 / -20 )

Quasi” may be the reason for the failure in communication:

*- “I don't know the difference between the measures this time and from the SOE so don't know what to do," said a 19yo student shopping with her friend. "I don't think politicians have fully explained the issue to us."*

...”quasi-state”, ...”quasi-measures”...

8 ( +16 / -8 )

The govt calling something a "quasi-measure" is sure to cause confusion or apathy among the public.

"I cannot miss it, so I have to go even under such a situation...

A memorial service? You can surely miss that, buddy.

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

He questioned whether the government's decision to impose a quasi-state of emergency over the virus is worthwhile

Is that even a decision? Unlike other countries that show real enforcement, in Japan just only government public statement put on media that's it.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The government said the quasi-SOE was set to start on Monday. So the population listened and assumed it was fine this weekend still.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

The government said the quasi-SOE was set to start on Monday. So the population listened and assumed it was fine this weekend still.

Current pandemic will take that announcement like ordinary people?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

although the area is still less crowded than before the pandemic.

The area would be less crowded with or without the SOE, the quasi-SOE, stronger measures, or medical emergency.

There are no tourists.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Well, the government should expect this, they keep on harping about shutting things down at night, so it goes to reason that the population has started believing the virus only comes out after 8PM

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Current pandemic will take that announcement like ordinary people?

Sorry, I missed a word: The inept government said the quasi-SOE was set to start on Monday.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

@Do the hustle: Do you really want to go down that road of affording more power to wield over your head? Because once you do, those powers will never be relinquished.

As Thomas Sowell says, nothing is more permanent than a temporary government measure.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Remember folks! The Virus only transmits person to persin after 8 P.M. It also only transmits in bars and eatries.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

The government said the quasi-SOE was set to start on Monday. So the population listened and assumed it was fine this weekend still.

That’s not how it works? Are you sure?

Think about how heating and air conditioning here work, not to mention business attire. When the government says it’s time to turn the thermostat up and not wear a necktie, it’s hot.

Personally, I stop drinking right at 8:00 because that’s when the government said the virus becomes active and attacks those drinking.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

As Thomas Sowell says, nothing is more permanent than a temporary government measure.

I don't know who Thomas Sowell is, but the pandemic measures that were lifted in every other country proves him/her wrong.

-13 ( +8 / -21 )

After one year of asking people to refrain on a voluntary basis, but no improvement seen, that’s what happens. People will keep going out, especially from now on with the good weather

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Personally, I stop drinking right at 8:00 because that’s when the government said the virus becomes active and attacks those drinking.

After 8pm, the chances of getting drunk are much higher, then you might release your attention and prevention. While before 8, the brain is still working enough to keep awake and spot the virus flying around

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Good to see human selfishness isnt Limited to the Western world. By all means spread the virus around your local area, but dont start travelling to other prefectures. Idiots.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

No surprise here. I'm sure there are a lot of government officials out partying and going on tours as well. Seems to be the thing to do now...

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The Japanese population has managed to make it up until now without a big disaster thanks to their efforts but the government appears fixed into throwing all that to the trash with confusing measures and counterproductive campaigns. The country should be lead to safety, not work against the leadership to get there.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

“All work and no play makes jack a dull boy.”

They’re not worried about the trains, stations and workplaces from Monday to Friday ( that’s 5 in 7 ) but a little fun on a sunny Saturday is a sin.

blame it on the

”Please, we kindly ask you to ...” / with sugar on top requests

; and the greediness of this government that cares way too much about money.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

The j-gov doesn't give a boohoo. Cases will drop just prior to the Olympics. Just think back to the time pre and post cancellation of Olympics last year. Case numbers are under control by the J-gov - literally.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Every single news report on the ‘virus’ is a manipulation. The interviews and answers; all used to ‘gauge’ everyone’s actions and reactions while living their lives.

We are being set up to judge each other’s actions during this, so when they take more freedom away, it will seem justified!

Low death rates, some in hospital, and this justifies the constant fear mongering?

These interviews are about how much freedom a person exercises before govt steps in to regulate it, under the guise of covid-19.

No joy or peace allowed!

11 ( +19 / -8 )

After 8pm, the chances of getting drunk are much higher, then you might release your attention and prevention. While before 8, the brain is still working enough to keep awake and spot the virus flying around

Lmao! Got it. All this time I thought the virus was dormant until 8:00, but it’s really about not being able to dodge the virus because you are too tired.

Appreciate the correction.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

As long as you look back on this last year, either now or on your deathbed, and feel it wasn’t wasted

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

If the government is so worried about the rising cases, why would they even wait until Monday for the new measures to take effect, start them immediately. Oh but that was on Friday, and they didn't want to lose a good weekend of business did they, showing they don't care one iota about the people, they just want tax revenue and protect businesses.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I think after a year of emergency declarations quasi idiotic policies and the LDP bureaucrats themselves enjoying the 'nightlife' people really don't care anymore! & who can blame them!!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

We are being set up to judge each other’s actions during this, so when they take more freedom away, it will seem justified!

These interviews are about how much freedom a person exercises before govt steps in to regulate it, under the guise of covid-19.

No joy or peace allowed!

Whenever confronted by ideas like this it is always a good idea to ask 2 basic questions.

Who benefits from this? How do they benefit?

Then try to find clear evidence to support both. Specifics, not just ideas.

COVID-19 is a big conspiracy and governments are coordinating across the globe to use it as an excuse to restrict human freedoms? They are deliberately trying to hobble their economies and restrict all international travel? They are administering a vaccine that is unnecessary at huge expense because...?

Who benefits? How?

Specifics please, not big brother fluff.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

All I can say is roll on October elections so we can oust this incompetent government.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Yesterday was a beautiful day and today will be as well. My wife and I went for a long walk before our dinner shopping and today we will take a bento out to a park with a few beers and relax. We need the sunlight and fresh air. Fortunately we do not need to take public transport (our bikes work well) and we know of several places which are not crowded.

On a beautiful day and after being cooped up for so long people will go out and it is necessary to maintain one's mental health.

As someone else pointed out everytime a politician, group of health experts, etc. go out and have a nice dinner while telling the lowly masses to stay home it further detracts from the message (my country of citizenship has had this problem also). Additionally, being outdoors during the day is quite different than joining a steak dinner indoors at night.

I hope everyone else (those here in Japan) have a chance to enjoy some of this beautiful weekend.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Good choice. Time to get back to normal life.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

@virusrex

The Japanese population has managed to make it up until now without a big disaster thanks to their efforts 

I am very surprised to hear that from you!

That is completely contraire what you normaly say. Normaly you always complain that the japanese population dont follow any rules, they dont perform social distance...and so on.

I am really surprised to hear you say, thanks to their efforts.

But it is nice to hear you say that, I am just wondering what changed your mind?

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

The country should be lead to safety, not work against the leadership to get there.

Agreed. Young, fit, healthy, go out and live a normal life with hand washing of course.

old and unhealthy or sick, stay home!

paranoid, stay home and deal with it in your loneliness.

(funny how nobody mentions malaria, HIV, STD etc).

get out there, enjoy life!

0 ( +16 / -16 )

If someone told you they would give you a million dollars if you could go out and catch coronavirus today, do you think you could catch it, even if you wanted to try?

You couldn’t. Not counting going into Covid hospital wards, do you think frantically running around downtown Tokyo or Osaka, asking people to breathe on you....Do you think you could get it?

You’d come home tired and broke.

That’s called odds. I live by odds.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

If they actually did proper testing, released actual figures, including from private clinics, the numbers would be much higher. Then the general population would be more cautious.

If you say there are 500 cases in a city of 40M it is nothing.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Good to see.

Little by little this stupidity is ending.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Agreed. Young, fit, healthy, go out and live a normal life with hand washing of course.

old and unhealthy or sick, stay home!

That is the contrary of what should be done according to the experts, there is no realistic way to protect the vulnerable population with infection running rampant thanks to the asymptomatic transmission.

"Living a normal life" means not putting your part of the effort, you can definitely enjoy life while keeping social distancing measures.

That’s called odds. I live by odds.

That would be more living by the odds of everybody else doing their part, while you just think about yourself.

How do you think those odds would be if everybody did the same as you?

That is completely contraire what you normaly say. Normaly you always complain that the japanese population dont follow any rules, they dont perform social distance...and so on.

That is because you tend to simplify things into black and white so you lose the whole meaning of comments.

The disease has not been controlled in Japan because people have not kept the whole range of measures, this is complicated with a government that tells them to travel and crowd shopping and dining out with campaigns and half measures. The population in general is making an effort, so full disaster has been avoided (until now) but that has not been enough to control the spreading thanks to the minority of people that think living a fun life outside and traveling around is a priority. At that point the government role is to support the bigger part of the population by making more difficult for the irresponsible segment to act against the common interest, but instead it supports the self centered and punish the serious considerate people that actually obey the recommendations at the expense of their way of living.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

The complacency common to our species is also one of the most egregious national character traits of the Japanese which, combined with the false economy of the national "cure-all", the overworked "Ganbaru" spirit, may be providing the Covid-19 virus and its variants with a "Trojan Horse" to torch the Olympics and gut the economy. What worked for Aesop's tortoise, doesn't always compute in reality and the unfathomable inaction of government authorities might yet prove to be very costly and ending in tears.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Finally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Contrary to mainstream media misinformation, the doctors who wrote that report did not later retract anything they wrote.

People say they “follow the science.” They rarely do. They follow the scientists the media tell them to follow.

.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

@bokuwamo I agree 110%

1 ( +8 / -7 )

People can change their opinions @Monty 8:20am if their minds are open. @virex 7:38 is acknowledging a % of the Japanese people, like you, have been doing their part.

*- “but the government appears fixed into throwing all that to the trash with confusing measures {quasi} and counterproductive campaigns {GoToTravel}. The country should be lead to safety, *

Yet, the government has continued to fail at demonstrating ANY consistency in its actions and, for some individual, hypocritical behavior while urging the public to ‘march in step’. - Yes, people can change @Monty but governments won’t - ‘too many pockets to keep full’ at the expense of the people. - ‘Peace’ to you, sir ; )

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Finally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal.

So public transport and restaurants are still risky then? Cherry picking excerpts doesn’t do anything other than cherry pick excerpts. It always helps to dig a little deeper.

For example the public letter written by the 3 scientists responsible for the paper, aghast at how their research had been taken out of context:

Article's authors say they intended to 'push for more masking'

In a follow-up letter to the New England Journal of Medicine published online June 3 and in print July 9, three of the article's authors, Drs. Michael Klompas, Charles Morris and Erica Shenoy, wrote some people were using their article "as support for discrediting widespread masking."

"We understand that some people are citing our perspective article as support for discrediting widespread masking. In truth, the intent of our article was to push for more masking, not less. It is apparent that many people with SARS-CoV-2 infection are asymptomatic or presymptomatic yet highly contagious and that these people account for a substantial fraction of all transmissions. Universal masking helps to prevent such people from spreading virus-laden secretions, whether they recognize that they are infected or not,"

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The comments here about the lack of decisiveness, clarity, and particularly enforcement in Japan contributing to the rise in cases are very justifiable. In Australia, and especially here in Victoria, swift application of restrictions, fines for ignoring then, and contact tracing has controlled the situation, and now, in controlled stages, almost all restrictions have been lifted, only on public transport do we have to wear masks. But it was accompanied by explanations by Public Healrh officials and politicians alike for the reasoning, regular statistical information, and a firm impression of authority and the need for it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

If someone told you they would give you a million dollars if you could go out and catch coronavirus today, do you think you could catch it, even if you wanted to try?

You would need the one million dollars in advance to go to a Ginza Steakhouse with around 30 top medical advisors. Then you would only have a 7% chance of catching it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Finally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “

Wait, you think research stopped on May last year? and that one letter (without any original data) is a study? also, how come you did not include the note at the top of the article?

Editor’s Note: This article was published on April 1, 2020, at NEJM.org. In a letter to the editor on June 3, 2020, the authors of this article state “We strongly support the calls of public health agencies for all people to wear masks when circumstances compel them to be within 6 ft of others for sustained periods.

There have been multiple studies about the worth of mask use during the last year, and the scientific basis of their important role in the measures against transmission is now extremely clear.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02801-8

https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/4/e2014564118

People say they “follow the science.” They rarely do. They follow the scientists the media tell them to follow.

One single article (specially one where the authors strongly recommend using mask) do not prove scientist do not recommend using masks, forget the media, go directly to the sites of the CDC, WHO, research institutes, hospitals, etc. etc. and see what is what the experts recommend. How many can you find that say mask have no meaning?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Nailed it blue in green (favorite piece on the album).

Those daily televised meetings in masks ... every day — a new record number of cases or new and more dangerous mutations somewhere in Japan ... those 'randomly' chosen interviews of worried people who think the government should take more control, uh, I mean 'responsibility' ... the coincidental flow of wealth from the working class to the corporate sector and their stock portfolios ... and the suspension of the rule of law by emergency measures.

But it's not just Japan. Corporate owned news bites, twitter length attention spans, minimal critical thinking skills, science literacy, and education reduced to 'compliance to authority' .... seems to be fairly evenly distributed world-wide.

Here on the edge of Tokyo, in sunny Noborito ... still waiting for the constant wail of anguish intertwining in harmony with a non-stop drone of ambulance sirens. Still looking for people to suddenly drop down in convulsions in the streets. Still wondering why the hospital staff gave me a grin of 'unnecessary' when I offered my services as a volunteer translator for the ... uh ... 'crowded?' lines of vaguely symptomatic foreigners. Still looking for the socially distanced crowds around the Shinto/Buddhist graveyards with those black-car funeral processions clogging the streets.

So this is what a pandemic looks like?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Very nice weather this morning in Tokyo!

Leaving in 30 min with the family to Ikea, Costco, a nice hawaiian hamburger restaurant and after that, a wide park where we can play badminton and breath some fresh air.

All masked up, no public transportation.

We don’t venture ourselves into hordes of people, but we also don’t stay home the whole sunny weekend, in panic.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Remember folks! The Virus only transmits person to persin after 8 P.M. It also only transmits in bars and eatries.

That's right...in addition virus avoids selected exclusive restaurants and hostess bars in Ginza area that LDP politicians and govt bureaucrats frequent until midnight. Thanks for your understanding.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

p.s. And I suppose that since the last lockdowns were so effective, those jabs will be even more so.

Once we have all been vaccinated, we will no longer need lockdowns, social distancing, hand sanitizers, temperature checks, U.V. lights, or masks. Right?

Maybe just a yearly 'top-off' jab to help those volunteer CEOs of Big Pharma pay their rent?

Or a social credit system ... uh I mean 'vaccine passport' ... to prove we have been responsible for not killing granny with the selfish behavior so common among otherwise 'social primates'?

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

So let me get this straight.... people are supposed to squeeze themselves into the train every morning to go to work, but stay home at the weekend? Not a chance. And isn't Tokyo hosting some kind of huge sporting event this summer? If it's safe enough for that, it's safe enough for a stroll on a Sunday afternoon!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

But it's not just Japan. Corporate owned news bites, twitter length attention spans, minimal critical thinking skills, science literacy, and education reduced to 'compliance to authority' .... seems to be fairly evenly distributed world-wide.

You forgot to mention people quoting short excerpts from medical journals they saw on Facebook as justification for ignoring expert advice. Those kind of critical thinking skills and science literacy?

How will governments across the world benefit from taking your freedom away and how will you be exempt from the coming Orwellian dystopia? Some specifics would be nice.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

That is completely contraire what you normaly say. Normaly you always complain that the japanese population dont follow any rules, they dont perform social distance...and so on.

This isn’t accurate. Virus doesn’t make blanket statements like you do.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The Government agency in charge of fighting this pandemic is out here throwing parties. So why not everyone else?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I guess many people realize that the most severe consequence for them personally of a spike in cases is that the Olympics would be canceled. Since most don't support the Olympics anyways they choose not to cooperate.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There is an interesting story in the news that would seem relevant to this article.

https://mobile.twitter.com/TODAYshow/status/1380134029765263360

This is relevant as there are different modes of thought with different and not necessarily expected outcomes. It will be interesting to see how these trends play out over time. It is something people should be watching as it is an indicator (not the only indicator) of what may happen in the near term.

Japan seems to be philopsophically in the middle of the regions discussed in this segment (not fully open, however no radical lockdown either). I think a major issue most of us residents of Japan (regardless of nationality) have with the government in Japan is the use of a term such as "quasi state of emergency" or other ambiguous terms. This needs a more concrete definition. This virus has been going on for over a year now and it seems there is a lack of planning.

If the government believes the situation is urgent then a state of emergency should be declared and the bars and restaurants should close for a few weeks to allow the medical system to "catch a breath".

The government needs to take a long hard look in the mirror to figure out why people may not be reacting the way they want them to as people do not respond well to "wishy-washy" proclomations or "rules" that do not seem to make sense.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You gotta wonder how many times you’ll read this exact headline, and then subsequent headlines about new waves, before the government stops simply praying and hoping it’ll go away and they start doing their job. I guess the answer is it’ll never stop, because they never do their job. TIJ

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Yeah basically the population has learned that should do what they, themselves, think is best. The government has done nothing so far - it has been the residents of Japan who have kept themselves “safe”. The Japanese people has done well in spite of the lack of leadership

Unfortunately, this probably isn’t the time to start relaxing... But I wouldn’t don’t bother listening to the so-called Leaders of Japan either. The government have been utterly negligent, damaging, obstructive... useless at best.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Some people are surprised that Okinawa has the second highest infection rate in Japan. (Based on cases per 100k population) It's not so surprising when you consider that the population density in Naha is higher than Tokyo and that tourism is a main economic driver. People are tired of sheltering at home. And, they are starting to ignore warnings not to go out, gather, travel, and live life normally. The only solution is to fully vaccinate the population. When is the government going to begin the vaccination program? The have been getting started for two months now. But, they still haven't vaccinated half of the medical workers. People need to demand that the government ramp up quickly to vaccinating 2 to 3 million people per day. Forget how many infections happen each day, the vaccination campaign should be the main topic in the news!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Maybe the government could consider getting its vaccination protocol underway, given that Japan trails the rest of the developed world by months...

5 ( +10 / -5 )

"Remember folks! The Virus only transmits person to persin after 8 P.M. It also only transmits in bars and eatries."

Remember Folks! Japan has one the of the lowest deaths in the world! You are lucky to be living in Japan.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I do not agree with the Japanese government's current stance of "quasi state of emergency" or other such statements which do not seem to make sense. My wife, her family, and most people I am working with or who work for me feel the same (they are all Japanese).

The situation is getting worse now in Japan and the government is saying it is getting worse however I do not believe saying there is a "quasi state of emergency" is useful. Furthermore it almost seems to me the Japanese government is trying to blame the population (Japanese citizens) of not following rules when the rules are not clear.

I like Japan, I have a life here, a business, and I intend to be around for a while.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Remember Folks! Japan has one the of the lowest deaths in the world!

Are you so sure? COVID is barely being tested for, and post mortem examinations are not usually carried out in Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"I'll keep my fun to a minimum," added the woman

Ah, there's your life summed up in a nutshell, dutiful citizen.

Get on the packed commuter train every morning. Sit through your pointless, ceremonial meetings that could be carried out just as well on Zoom, or even better, scrapped for the tine-wasting rituals they are. Go to busy shops, bars and restaurants to buy things you don't need. Get on the packed commuter train home every night.

Get your hand in your pockets to pay for the Olympics 80% of you don't want, and which the rest of the world has given up on.

Do as you are told. Just don't enjoy yourself, and all will be well.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This is what you get when you obfuscate the truth by not taking necessary actions because of ulterior motives.

Neither the skeptics or the supporters of the Government have any idea what the reality of the situation is in Japan either good or bad. All we know is release of case numbers and testing are being managed and manipulated.

With All of the agencies in charge of managing the Pandemic having been caught partying like it's 1999 it's no surprise that the everyday folks have adopted an attitude of 'meh'.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. 

Did they test if a symptomatic covid-19 patient coughing or sneezing in a public space without a mask is safe for people surrounding him? Did they test if people wipe their noses with their fingers and touch things in public places and then it is safe when others touchs those things?

If you drive without fastening a seatbelt is fine until you are involved in an accident. The wearing of the seatbelt make the whole difference if you comes out of it alive or not.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Leaving in 30 min with the family to Ikea, Costco, a nice hawaiian hamburger restaurant and after that, a wide park where we can play badminton and breath some fresh air.

All masked up, no public transportation.

We don’t venture ourselves into hordes of people, but we also don’t stay home the whole sunny weekend, in panic

Wait, you did just say "going to Costco" and "avoiding hordes of people" at the same time, right? You have been to Costco in Japan before, I assume?

(Mask wearing at Costco is essentially 100%, and it sounds like you are trying to find a good balance, but Costco on the weekend is not my idea of a laid back, relaxing activity!)

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's the jgovt's own damn fault. Who takes these idiots seriously when they break the guidelines they want others to respect? Don't go out past 8 pm etc etc, but then they get caught partying with 23!!! health ministers until midnight, and that's just one example. I have zero respect or regard for anything this useless government says. This doesn't mean I will go out of my way to put my own health at risk, but I will simply disregard whatever comes out of their incompetent mouths.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

oh no! they'll have to try (gasp) 7PM this time! Monsters

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Where I live in the US, this state is starting to vaccinate anyone 16 or older (currently ~20%). So at least ~25% of the country is done..... We're getting there. But for Japan, it has been the increasingly bureaucratic system that has to get permission to have a meeting to plan a seminar to raise awareness then test before having a panel discuss the merits of a vaccine before doing their own trials.... Arrrgggggghhhh. The countries that are the most successful (as pointed out earlier), copy them. Wether it's Korea, UK, US, AUS, NZ. They seemed to have gotten this right.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan's only saving grace is that the vast majority of people have no qualms about wearing masks, compared to western countries. The government had a big chance to nip this in the bud over a year ago by strictly enforcing a lockdown with penalties given to people or establishments which break the rules. But no, it was all, quasi, please, urge, etc. So now we have the scenario of several states of emergency with people not bothering to do anything because they know they can get away with it. And this is never-ending. Other places, like HK, have a strict track and trace policy, and anyone who has been in an infected area has to get a free test immediately. And have a look at other island nations - Oz, NZ, Taiwan. Hell, even 'poor' Vietnam has done better.

The next wave has started. Just in time for the Olympics. Yeah, well done.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

In many ways, Japan's society is an ideal populace for any government. Based on the culture, tradition, and historical events, Japanese people as a society have been conditioned to be submissive lemmings. That has, however, has bred lazy ineffectual leaders. If Japan's government was half as effective as Germany, The US (Biden's government), or The CCP; Japan could have been a model for other countries during the pandemic. Japan with real clear measures in place could've had social rules for social distancing, business operations, financial support, and vaccine roll out with fewer problems. Unlike the other countries mentioned, Japan has a populace that are more likely to follow the directions of the government. Unfortunately, Japan is not lucky enough to have competent leadership. And, the lemmings continue to vote the same people into office for the same reasons above.

It is simple! The public is tired of the confusing message and ineptness of this government. There are no clear plans, so there are no clear enforcement of rules. The public are at the point where they are just going try their luck and see what happens. In many ways, this is what the government wants. Japan is known for dealing with issues by simply ignore problems and pretending nothing is wrong. The government hopes this will be true for the pandemic, the Olympics, and Fukushima.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

"Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government on Friday added Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa to the list of prefectures requiring stronger virus countermeasures under a quasi-state of emergency."

The emergency is with the government. Japan has one of the lowest of vaccination penetrations worldwide. The government should realize that their slow reaction is the main reason for the emergency and should change their behavior accordingly - not change other peoples' dining habits. Who in his right mind believes that closing restaurants one hour earlier will have any significant impact. LOL, actually LOVL

5 ( +7 / -2 )

...but the "expert" health advisory panel said just a few weeks ago that Suga-san should ease restrictions. How on earth could the numbers possibly go up, when there are no foreigners entering the country to blame for the recent uptick?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Remember Folks! Japan has one the of the lowest deaths in the world! You are lucky to be living in Japan.

Remember folks ! Japan has one of the lowest Pre and Postmortem testing as well as one of the lowest vaccine rollout. How lucky we are living in here Japan.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I have never understood the purpose of the mainstream media announcing about percentage reduction or increase of people at major stations or city centers in major cities after the government issues a SOE or quasi SOE. It is like they are trying to convey the message that the measures will yield dividend if crowds reduce in those places all the while they deliberately don't mention the sardine-packed trains when there is no study anywhere that people cannot get infected in the train.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

We went for a bike ride yesterday but it was only about 6C with a cold north wind blowing. Its nice out there today though, back to double figures again.

You can't blame the people with the messages they are being given, but the situation in Osaka is as bad as it has ever been and most of the cases are a more infectious variant. If it made sense before to tell people to not leave Osaka, the same logic must apply now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Normalized to fear the wolf, the sheep will be devoured by the shepherd. Some used to call this a mere 'business cycle'. But this one's gone viral. ;-)

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

So, the government expects citizen to understand the dangerousness of the current sanitary situation and act in a responsible way, while insisting to organize the Olympics. Wondering why people are not getting the message right.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You can't blame the people with the messages they are being given, but the situation in Osaka is as bad as it has ever been and most of the cases are a more infectious variant. If it made sense before to tell people to not leave Osaka, the same logic must apply now.

Thousand of people move between Osaka and Tokyo daily, there is no way the more infectious variant in Osaka won't spread to Tokyo, Genome test in Tokyo is extremely low compared to Kobe and Osaka hence the misconception that Osaka has a more infectious variant than Tokyo. Like with PCR tests, strangely Osaka is testing more than Tokyo hence another misconception that there are more infection in Osaka than Tokyo.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

It would be a crime not to be outdoors with this wonderful weather. Glad to see Japanese people being rational and not freaking out about the scamdemic.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Large numbers of people out and about despite gov't antivirus pleas

...and so they should. It is time to stand up against these arrogant bureaucrats with their random rules.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

...and so they should. It is time to stand up against these arrogant bureaucrats with their random rules.

Ignore the bureaucrats, listen to the experts with science based recommendations, the pandemic IS dangerous and there is a lot of value in preventing cases.

Glad to see Japanese people being rational and not freaking out about the scamdemic.

Ignoring scientific advice about the dangers of the very real pandemic just to get some instant gratification is not rational, it just mean not having common sense, consideration, empathy, responsibility, etc. Specially because people can completely be outside while keeping proper social distancing measures without problem.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

You show us a competent gov't with a road map to recovery, able to roll out vaccines in a timely fashion and then we'll listen to your pleas.

Everyone's tired of the J-gov't's bull and inaction, near zero support for many who need it so they really ought to stfu with their half-assedness.

Masks on, hand sanitizer in pocket, sun is shining, enjoy the season.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Nailed it blue in green (favorite piece on the album).

@Steve Martin

Thanks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Life goes on as normal for most in Japan whilst the fear mongers tell us the apocalypse is just round the corner, like they did from day 1.

im doing what I want and enjoying myself. I don’t deny Covid but don’t believe it is the risk to the nation as many claim.

Those that believe everything scientists say and run around trains opening windows and complaining about people’s mask wearing are just as deluded as Covid deniers. There is no middle ground with these people, reminds me of those dedicated to a political party regardless of their policies

just be careful people but most of all enjoy yourself and don’t stress out about Covid. Stress is the worst thing for weakening the immune system

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Once again hats off to the LDP and the 3 ring circus show. Ya thought convincing people to stay home would be effective... They never learn do they. Also its no wonder Japanese companies are now forcing many to return back to the office despite we are in another pandemic wave and very close to getting vacindated but no they want you in the office despite that when your capable of working from home via a laptop && VPN.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What do they expect 15million people hell yea its gonna be crowded

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Normalized to fear the wolf, the sheep will be devoured by the shepherd. Some used to call this a mere 'business cycle'. But this one's gone viral. ;-)

The green banana ripens under broad leaves, but the brown potato thrives alone.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

First, Thomas Sowell is a Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a conservative, and like most conservatives prone to making off-hand remarks that are not true. Durning this pandemic off-hands remarks, if taken seriously, may kill us.

Let's take this on first: "Thousand of people move between Osaka and Tokyo daily, there is no way the more infectious variant in Osaka won't spread to Tokyo," This is a very good point. But how do they pass the variant on in the first place? There is one thing you can do more easily on the Shinkansen than on a packed local commuter train: East and drink. For this you need to slide your mask down.

Another thing. viruses mutate on their own. I don't know how. Maybe the Osaka viruses are smarter.

Finally, Suga is guilty as charged. We should be getting our shots by now.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Up being cooped up for so long, you can hardly blame people for being out and about in the fresh air and sunshine. There’s something Kafkaesque in Japan’s litany of failure Covid debacle; a study in official ineptude; people ignoring the advice of the ‘experts’ and their ultimately self defeating travel and dining promotion campaigns which are inevitably followed by pendulum swings in the opposite direction.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Is eating banned on the Shinkansen now? But how about drinking? I cannot imagine a long Shinkansen ride without water.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you complain about the Government only, then first look at your people around you. They're also complaining just like you. Why don't one of you in that group become a governor, take over and do good things like you all want to do? Well, you will fall into the same hole that people will also complain about you. Otherwise, just prove yourself that you will make Japan the all around better place in the world.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This is the fault of the Government! The State of emergency in Japan a few weeks ago was pathetic and now the words state of emergency or quasi emergency mean nothing to the public. The only thing that happens under the SOE in Japan is bars and restaurants closing at 8pm! The words state of emergency has lost its essential in Japan because of the actions from the Government! People becoming complacent because of the lack of seriousness from the authorities ( Government officials ) who are just making crappy strategies to combat corona virus!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

"Pleas" or "Please", it amounts to the same thing - another fail by the Suga administration.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Suga government's insufficient response that distracted with economy and Olympics is not effective to society and Covid-19. 

Governmental experts of Japan are still obsessed with skepticism to PCR test, and they continue to endanger people who can be saved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Byzantine opaqueness of the bureaucracy and the glacial inertia of the executive defies imagination. And while it’s quite justifiable to excoriate Suga for his policy failings, we need to remember that his three wise monkey channeling predecessor was remiss in not setting a much more proactive tone from the word go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Totally selfish.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a seaside hotel, beach walk and drive. Beautiful day!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japanese are most magically immune to covid anyway. Hence death rate, serious cases and cases reported numbers so low.

Banzai !

Everything will be alright.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

If Olympic games are held.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Pukey2

With all due respect, you missed a word in reading my comment : magically.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This people's attitude is not encouraging. This virus will last longer than expected.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

When you're 'governed' by people as incompetent as the bureaucratic HACKS who 'run' the Japanese government (or the US government, for that matter), why in the hell would you listen to much of anything they were trying to tell you to do with your life???

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yes, lots of people out this weekend. Most wore facemasks, a few.. however did not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As long as everyone forgets the government advice on Monday morning and gets onto the overcrowded trains so they can be in close proximity then everything is alright, isn’t it

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no State Of Emergency so what is the problem?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

...and so they should. It is time to stand up against these arrogant bureaucrats with their random rules.

By going to Starbucks without a mask. Stick it to the man!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Michael Machida,

well, when common sense lacks like this, the lockdowns become a necessity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Pleas" or "Please", it amounts to the same thing - another fail by the Suga administration.

The government isn’t your Mother. Make decisions that are right for you. If you are afraid- stay in your house for as-long-as you feel necessary. Meanwhile, the world is still turning and time marches on.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

These are all just stunningly bad reasons to travel.

I don’t go to restaurants, movies or basically anywhere other than the conbini for booze and to work when I have to go into the office.

The reason is two-fold: I don’t want to get infected AND as a responsible member of an inter-connected society, I don’t engage in irresponsible behavior that could cause harm to others.

I fully understand how worn-down everyone is. I’m right there with them. Fat, depressed and ready to be done with this. But now is not the time to let our guard down.

This is merely 1 of the reasons that I’m so frustrated at the slow roll-out by the Japanese government. EVERYONE wants to go back to life. There is a safe and effective vaccine. Where the hell is it? The US vaccinated over 4 million people YESTERDAY Why can’t we get things going here?

Stay in, stay safe, just a couple more months.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

At your own risk. I for one, am going to hunker down until a decent vaccine gets rolled out.

So, it's stay home and stay safe for me and my family.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I feel very sad reading some posts where people are in fear. Getting out of shape and feeling depression while feeling they are doing he right thing. You’re making yourself sick with worry and maybe your family members too. This virus is not as likely to damage your health as being very stressed, becoming obese and being depressed.

I blame the media and scaremongers online for putting fear into others and ruining their lives

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If only the GOJ had declared a SOE this resurgence could have been avoided. Oh wait.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@GDTokyo

You were doing so good until..."stay in, stay safe, just a couple more months".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm confused. Is it the reporter who wrote the article or the folks here in the comments that get to decide which outings are "essential"?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"I don't know the difference between the measures this time and from the state of emergency, so I don't know what to do," 

This is the problem when you urge people rather than tell them there is no clear boundaries.

A 49-year-old man from Saitama Prefecture expressed frustration while waiting to travel to Fukuoka in Japan's southwest to attend a memorial service with his wife and three children.

"I cannot miss it, so I have to go even under such a situation," dont worry Sir next time they might be be visiting you instead, can your travel be put on hold just for 1 year/this occasion? is it worth that risk of contracting covid??

"I'll keep my fun to a minimum," added the woman who lives in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. HA! oh dear, fun is not the issue here, its being or comming into contact with people that are carriying the virus, and passing it onto you and passing on the virus. which intern puts hospitals under pressure to treat people with life threterning problems,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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