national

Osaka accidentally mails out funeral service ads to people infected with coronavirus

37 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Imagine you’re a person living in Osaka who’s tested positive for coronavirus. After talking the situation over with a doctor, you’re told that you’ll need to self-quarantine at home, and that you’ll be receiving a packet in the mail with more detailed instructions in a few days.

So you head home, and before long your information packet arrives…in an envelope with a large ad for funeral services on its backside.

Screen Shot 2021-02-02 at 8.21.33.png

“Osaka Municipal Funeral Hall – For questions about funeral services, call Koekisha CO Ltd,” reads the large-font text splashed across the top-left section of the ad. The company’s free consultation services promise to explain pricing and options to give clients a concrete image of what kind of funeral the company can provide.

In different circumstances, that’d all be nice to know. When it’s plastered on an envelope being sent to someone with a difficult-to-cure and potentially deadly disease, though, an ad for funeral services starts to feel like a proclamation that your impending death is a certainty, and it’s time to make arrangements for disposing of your corpse. Alternatively, it could be seen as a stern warning that if you’re not going to follow the packet’s instructions, you’re pretty much signing your own death warrant.

“All my energy drained away,” says one Osaka resident who received the packet/envelope combination, “and I felt so hopeless. It was like my very existence was being denied, and every time I think about it, I start to cry. This kind of carelessness can be a source of psychological distress for people who are infected.” Other recipients have also lodged complaints about the envelopes, and some have pointed out that the 567 sequence in the center of the ad’s phone number can be read as “corona” (by altering 5, ordinarily go, to ko and taking the first syllables of 6/roku and 7/nana).

However, it’s neither misguided helpfulness nor grim intimidation that’s to blame for the envelopes, which were mailed by a ward health office in Osaka. Back in 2006, the city began selling ad space on the back of its envelopes as part of a fundraising initiative, and it’s simply an unfortunate coincidence that the envelopes distributed to the health offices had the funeral service company’s ad on them. No deliberate choice was made to connect correspondence with coronavirus carriers and the funeral ads. 

“We used the only envelopes we had available at the time, without being conscious of the potential problem,” explained a spokesperson for the health office,” and a spokesperson for Osaka City’s accounting division said “While we did not purposely put the information packets for coronavirus carriers into envelopes with funeral service ads on them, we did not show proper consideration.” Likewise, Koekisha has been using the 567-inclusive phone number for more than 10 years, so it dates back to long before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s surprising that no one had the wherewithal to funnel the funeral service envelopes to other city departments, whose correspondence doesn’t deal with matters of life and death, in the first place, but at least the health office is now in the process of obtaining new envelopes without the funeral service ads.

Source: Asahi Shimbun Digital via Livedoor News via Jin

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese supermarket’s funeral ad sparks controversy, debate over “blasphemy”

-- Do-it-yourself funeral kits go on sale in Japan

-- Tokyo temple holds funeral for personal seals in effort to reform outdated business practice【Vid】

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
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Did those people know they have a 0.000 something chance of actually dying from it? But that wouldn’t make for a zany SoraNews article.

-16 ( +9 / -25 )

death

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

When I read the title of this article...sorry...but I had to laugh...

I can not judge if it is awful or funny.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

If you're that easily depressed, you probably have one foot in the grave already.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Did those people know they have a 0.000 something chance of actually dying from it? But that wouldn’t make for a zany SoraNews article.

I still haven't met or heard of anyone amongst my family, friends, coworkers, 100+ students who have gotten the 'rona. Haven't seen any people coughing or sneezing in public.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Sad. Does this mean that all the information about tested people are passed to 3rd parties? How it comes they know to whom to send it?

I repeat again as jn other posts. Infected does not mean sick.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Never understand why there are funeral service ads in this country. I often receive ad like that in my mail box with beauty salon ad and housing ad.

At home, when somebody of your family die, you receive information from the hospital or doctor and generally they contact the nearest funeral service...

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Hahaha!

Welp...it's probably the most accurate Government comment about their feelings toward the general public.

They'll probably replace this 'mistake' with a donation address for the Olympics.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

dkm, because it is a great business and it's lucrative market is very competitive, so they advertise as much as possible

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bwhahaha that's hilarious!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How blinking insensitive ???? "Are you ill, and about to die?" well dont worry were here to help.........

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Never understand why there are funeral service ads in this country. I often receive ad like that in my mail box with beauty salon ad and housing ad.

Maybe because business is scarce

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“We used the only envelopes we had available at the time, without being conscious of the potential problem,” 

Unconscious (and unconscionable)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe it wasn’t an accident..

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“We used the only envelopes we had available at the time, without being conscious of the potential problem,”

Let me get this straight - one person put the papers inside the envelope, not noticing it. Probably other person bringing it to the post also didn't notice it (even worse if it was the same person).

That's called being incompetent and incapable of doing the job. Not mentioning being unable to think in consequences.

And that's an epic fail on so many levels.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It’s called SFP, self-fulfilling prophecy....lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if their utilities were cut off as well as pension payments

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Simian Lane

death

Ha!

It's the way you tell 'em :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

NOT An Accident, if this receiver did not post it or flag it out, the public would NOT find out, and they would have scored few $$$ funerals.

How in the H$ell did this funeral company find out about these people, the answer is simple, YOUR doctor is giving them heads up and getting paid for it using your unfortunate situation to make an extra $.

It happens all the time in Japan, from hospitals, to pharmacies, and drug companies were they push and shove their products down your throat.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well, it's not exactly "Osaka" who did this, is it? It's some brain dead government worker in the Health Office. Find out who it was and get rid of him/her. No ceremonies, no deep bows and ceremonial regret.

Out!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It could be an Osaka joke (boke thrown as an ice-breaker). To complete it you would also need to respond with another joke.

"Damn, it's so outrageous. I will go demand an apology and GoTo Heaven special discount for my funeral."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have the driest sense of humor, but to accidentally mail out funeral service ads to people infected with coronavirus, is lightyears beyond deadpan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There ARE several places in the world (Southern California in the USA for one) where the funeral homes are overwhelmed right now. So perhaps these ads were sent so that people could make a reservation before the deluge. I wouldn't want my missus to have to wait weeks before she could schedule my ceremony.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you don’t know anyone in Japan that had corona then there are multiple reasons.

people don’t talk about it due to the stigma

information being suppressed

you don’t know many people.

Ive heard of many cases in various companies, schools, nurseries, as well as people taking a sudden two week leave of absence for some reason.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well that provided my first laugh out loud of the day!

No doubt the recipients didn’t find it quite so funny.

The brain dead half wits (there have to be more than one person involved in the process) responsible for this certainly need to be disciplined.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese bureaucracy at it's best.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder if Osaka city has shares in Facebook or Apple with their targeted advertising?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brian WhewayToday  05:08 pm JST

How blinking insensitive ???? "Are you ill, and about to die?" well dont worry were here to help.........

(cont.) relieve you of your money before, as well as, after you die.

What a relief!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Soooooo......I heard you're gonna die. Well, we have just the thing for ya!!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wow glad they clarified it later on in the article for a moment there I thought it was the tennis player.

But on a serious note the fool who employed the fool who sent this out should be sacked along with the other fool .

Bunch of damn fools in every govt office , everywhere !

If they had a clue they would be in the public sector, working for a living instead of paper shuffling forms around trying to tell everyone else how to live and what to do.

Less govt is much better.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All about money ??? VERY sad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The true meaning of DOA Dead on Arrival

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osaka accidentally mails out funeral service ads to people infected with coronavirus

Ouch! Someone will have to do a lot of moshiwake arimasen and profound bowing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bjorn TomentionToday  09:33 pm JST

Wow glad they clarified it later on in the article for a moment there I thought it was the tennis player.

But on a serious note the fool who employed the fool who sent this out should be sacked along with the other fool .

Bunch of damn fools in every govt office , everywhere !

Amen to that thought for the day.

I take it you've never been to a town or city office in Osaka; If they sacked every fool...

Still, on the plus side, there'd certainly be no need for city taxes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dont think it was an accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a lawyer chasing an ambulance ON THE WAY to an accident. They certainly want to ensure the potential deathee has money to pay for the "services offered."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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