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Okinawa closes schools as COVID-19 infections spread

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Would this have happened had Japan not dragged its feet on getting the vaccine to its people?

2 ( +20 / -18 )

Good Job Tokyolites! You spread the Virus to us! We should have closed our borders!

-15 ( +11 / -26 )

One day they'll wake up and start the school year in September, end it in June and let the kids be free for the summer (yes, I know, typhoon season, but typhoon season has intervals of incredible blue skies and sun.

@P.Smith, let's not be condescending.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Don't worry! the japanese government has everything under control. Don't you watch TV?!

11 ( +18 / -7 )

The problem is that business where lots of people also congregate and mix for hours in a closed environment should also be closed. Doing things halfway is just going to prolong the period where measures are necessary.

And obviously vaccines, that could have prevented this state of emergency and the many losses easily.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

At least we have some news from Okinawa albeit bad, try to get figures for Tokyo, hidden nicely to let the games go ahead

12 ( +17 / -5 )

The prefectural schools all closed (for the overwhelming majority) from yesterday, and nearly all the municipal ES and JHS, from yesterday and today.

The only ones actually staying open, are one's on the outer islands, that have yet to be "infected"!

Deny has been a waste as Governor, as he ran on the "All Okinawa" anti-base platform, and is in well over his head on actually managing the prefecture now! He says one thing, does another, and the apologies later and makes excuses.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The State of New York switches to remote learning when the positivity rate is above 5%.

Tokyo was at 5.5% yesterday.

But ONLY a few hundred cases.

Life goes on. For the unaffected.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Begins closing schools?

Whats that saying about horses and gates?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

There is a very large American military base on Okinawa, an island with a population of only 140,000.

Currently, the US has an excess of doses of the proven vaccines, with southern states returning unused doses back to the federal government. With permission from both Japan, the local government, and the US government, it would not be a difficult thing to ship enough doses to Okinawa from America to inoculate everyone on the island who wants to be inoculated.

I got my shots at Anaheim Disneyland, where they were giving out over 7,000 shots a day. At that rate, all of Okinawa, over 12 years of age, could be vaccinated in about three weeks.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Stop testing and there won’t be a virus!

14 ( +19 / -5 )

“This is crazy……only if they had something to help curb this pandemic……

Well, I’ve got nothing. Close them schools!”

-Okinawain government

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In hindsight, the way Governor Denny Tamaki handled the pandemic brings the following quote to mind:

"If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Those Japanese who came on vacation during GW should be fined to pay for all the loss Okinawa is now now experiencing, that might, just might, see selfish acts and thinking stop. GW travel brought about this in Okinawa.

@1glenn. You are off by a couple of factors of ten in regards to Okinawa's population.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Everybody suddenly forgot that these infections skyrocketed after the 4th of July parties last year.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

There is a very large American military base on Okinawa, an island with a population of only 140,000.

Think you probably missed a zero, Glenn-san. The current population of Okinawa is 1,480,000 and there are large American military bases all over, and a new one being built in Henoko.

I agree that they could do something to help. Maybe they could do another "Operation Tomodachi" and get large numbers vaccinated. It would certainly help their PR.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

More J-gov. incompetence!

Where is Abe? Where is Koike? Where is Denny?

All hiding with a tummy ache.

Denny had no problem being in the spotlight when he ran on "foreigners bad" campaign to get elected.

What about now when those native Nihonjin flying into Okinawa spreading the virus?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Think you probably missed a zero, Glenn-san. The current population of Okinawa is 1,480,000 and there are large American military bases all over, and a new one being built in Henoko.

Do you really think the Okinawa Government would accept help from the US military? It would be the mother of all loss of face instances. When it comes to putting the people first the Okinawa government falls in the same category as the IOC. Their priority is to appease the huge money donators that keep them in power and the anti-base machine going. Did you ever stop to think who benefits the most from this? I did not know they were building a new base at Henoko, what is it called?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There is not a new base being built. They are extending Camp Schwab. Ugh, the anti base faction at it again.

I do agree it would be very difficult for Denny to say to the populace that the "Americans have the vaccine, come to the bases and get it". The Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times would skewer him.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think the reason behind closing school is to avoid infection among children. Current vaccine is not recommended for children, also their lungs are not mature enough to fight pulmonary disease. Data for Covid-19's long term effects on children are not available so its better to avoid whenever possible. Recently there is rise of clusters at numerous schools, which might have led to this decision. I heard lot of them (BOEs) are reorganizing themselves for online classes, hopefully soon. Okinawa is an island so those people who are moving in-out during this pandemic is solely responsible for this outbreak. Genome analysis show most of the infected one in Okinawa carries new variant (70%) the highly infectious type.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

1glennToday 08:40 am JST

There is a very large American military base on Okinawa, an island with a population of only 140,000.

Something is wrong here, the city of Naha alone has a population of about 320.000.

Last count of all Okinawa Prefecture in 2020 was 1.457.162.

I don't really call this situation to be an emergency, there are about 2730 people reported to be infected with covid-19 now and 153 people died so far since February 2020.

Now the number of infections is also starting to decline slowly.

However I do not find any information about how many people received so far their vaccination.

Did they even start to vaccine in Okinawa?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@1glenn @BertieWooster,

The USG is currently in negotiations to administer vaccines to Japanese base employees only but many are skeptical of getting them since one of GOJ's caveats is that these people WILL NOT be covered under the national healthcare for any costs or complications arising from (US-administered) vaccine side effects.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Finally some common sense! Lockdowns do work! Close the schools, close the bars and restaurants and give everybody two weeks vacation except essential services workers then, watch the virus disappear. A virus can only survive with hosts and can only be spread through close contact. Remove the two things from the population and the virus will disappear. Two weeks of inconvenience is much better than months of hardship.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Good Job Tokyolites! You spread the Virus to us! We should have closed our borders!

But it is Ok to leave the international borders open to nearly 100,000 coming from outside Japan.

Your position of pro Olympics but isolated Okinawa makes no sense.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is not a new base being built. They are extending Camp Schwab. Ugh, the anti base faction at it again.

Exactly! Two runways and some dormitories and support hangars are being constructed. Camp Schwab has been located at Henoko since 1959.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With permission from both Japan, the local government, and the US government,

very good point but, Jgov will not ask help from the Americans because,

1 it will make them look weak

2 it will make them look incompetent

which is all causality of being weak and incompetent.

nfections skyrocketed after the 4th of July parties last year.

not sure how this is possible when the bases have above 90 % vax rate

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan's stubbornness and reluctance to adapt to modernity will ultimately be its own undoing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe they should be vaccinating the 12-18s. But they'd probably face threats and backlash like in that town in Kyoto.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In some parts of the world with the majority of the people vaccinated they are starting to live again and revert little by little to normality,in Japan thanks to these clowns and with a fraction of a big population vaccinated they are still at a dead point.

A major failure and a big loss of face in everything,this time the world noticed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So much for boasting about keeping things under control and no need for closures.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least kids in Okinawa can go to the beach when schools are closed, unlike being confined to a 2DLK apartment in Tokyo

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Okinawa prefecture cannot get enough assistance from central government about Coronavirus because ruling party LDP wants to harass to "rebellious" Okinawa on US military base issue.

Suga government and LDP exploit Coronavirus epidemic, try to decrease local support to present governor of Okinawa.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do they suddenly deem it necessary to close schools in Okinawa but didn't think it was needed in Tokyo or Osaka?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why do they suddenly deem it necessary to close schools in Okinawa but didn't think it was needed in Tokyo or Osaka?

That's the problem of federal governements. From one state/prefecture to another, the rules can be different depending on the governor.

It's such a bad system if you want my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Golden week got us......This place was packed at the hotels here and I was right in the middle' :(

I Plame it on my girlfriend. She got a "Good Deal"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Apologies, my first google search came up with a population of 140,000 for Okinawa. Still, the idea of flying vaccines into the American base seems reasonable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The USG is currently in negotiations to administer vaccines to Japanese base employees only but many are skeptical of getting them since one of GOJ's caveats is that these people WILL NOT be covered under the national healthcare for any costs or complications arising from (US-administered) vaccine side effects.

Guess what, a few months back this was already offered and turned down. It's NOT current, but really old, in today's world, news!

And by the way, it's not the USG that offered it was USFJ!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hiroshi13, while many people I know complained about extreme soreness for a day and a half following their second shot of either the Pfizer of Moderna vaccines, I do not know anyone who had to seek medical attention, other than myself. I had a bad asthma attack seconds after the second Pfizer shot, and the people at Disneyland called over the paramedics to keep an eye on me. Still, I did not go to the hospital, and my inhaler did the trick. The next day I felt fine.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Did they even start to vaccine in Okinawa?

Simple answer YES, but at the pace they are going it will be a very long time before it's completed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Think you probably missed a zero, Glenn-san. The current population of Okinawa is 1,480,000 and there are large American military bases all over, and a new one being built in Henoko.

Huh? You must be talking about the landfill at Camp Schwab, right?

Let's see, did Mihama become a "new town" when that landfill was finished? Oh no, right, it's part of Chatan, and not it's own entity. Do we now have TWO Naha Airports? They just finished a landfill, destroying all the coral seabeds, and killed the fishing grounds in the area, when they completed the new runway, so is Naha Airport "new"? Or is it Naha AP 2?

Funny how "logic" gets left behind when it comes to military projects and how people become suddenly ignorant when it comes to Japanese ones!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Completely the fault of Tokyo people going there for vacations.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

GoodlucktoyouToday  02:50 pm JST

At least kids in Okinawa can go to the beach when schools are closed, unlike being confined to a 2DLK apartment in Tokyo

Not now, Beaches are closed. And students are told to stay home.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Yubaru

First I am not America so no real stake in any of this but even if we add in the highest number of USA military personnel, spouses, children, non military staff that is only 80,000

Add that to the 1,480,000 Japanese on the island and it is still only 1.560,000 at around 580 people per square kilometre and somehow Okinawa is having more cases than Tokyo with 14 million people with over 6,100 people per square kilometre.

Either Okinawans are in poor health ( I doubt that) or they are doing something very wrong (again I doubt that also) or the numbers for Tokyo and much of the rest of Kanto are extremely off.

My guess is Okinawa having a good general distrust of the central government is doing things right counting and testing correctly and the rest of Japan is living in a fantasy world.

But that said, Okinawa did sort of bring this upon its self by not shutting down over golden week and basically inviting people from around Japan to vacation there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kids in schools now in Tokyo. Jammed packed trains. You would think there would be way more cases. Ive heard that the military members coming in, don't have any limits place upon them. So they are free to roam as soon as they land. I would think this is why the numbers are high. Plus 30 percent of the military members have used their freedom of choice to not get the shot (its not a vaccine, its a shot. like the flu shot and its not even FDA approved) When and if the shot is taken by most people at highest risk then numbers should be controllable. Unless the shot doesn't work....hmmm. .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We know a lot of the hostesses and their boyfriends, and lovers, have been going to okinawa, and not wearing masks. It is all over social media. apparently, some locals called the hotel some were staying at and complained their guests were going around without masks. It is said when common sense does not take over, but then again common sense and mizushobai don't mix. Its all dirty money for dirty people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's the problem of federal governements. From one state/prefecture to another, the rules can be different depending on the governor.

It's such a bad system if you want my opinion.

That's why it's your opinion then.

Any system that moves more towards decentralization of power and not toward centralized power is a good thing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Add that to the 1,480,000 Japanese on the island and it is still only 1.560,000 at around 580 people per square kilometre and somehow Okinawa is having more cases than Tokyo with 14 million people with over 6,100 people per square kilometre.

Please, before you actually comment, do at LEAST a little fact checking! There are roughly 1,1 million who live on the main island of Okinawa, and the rest on the outer islands.

Next do not even begin to talk about how many people per square kilometer. At least look at google street view, or google earth! The numbers mean nothing!

First I am not America so no real stake in any of this but even if we add in the highest number of USA military personnel, spouses, children, non military staff that is only 80,000

What "non-military" staff are you referring to? COntractors and such? You still are using a number here that is double the reality!

I really dont understand what you are trying to say, you play with numbers to try to make some point, without knowing the reality of things here!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

YubaruToday  02:06 pm JST

I really dont understand what you are trying to say, you play with numbers to try to make some point, without knowing the reality of things here!

Sounds like Antique is trying to say Okinawa has a higher percentage of cases than Tokyo, per its population. Maybe he is casting doubt on Tokyo's number of cases in comparison.

But the simple answer is, Okinawa tests more than Tokyo does. More tests, more positive cases. Military and others under SOFA are a minor number of cases there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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