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Scrapping cherry blossom parties like taking hugs away from Italians: Koike

53 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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Stupidest analogy ever.

30 ( +36 / -6 )

Preventing Japanese from gathering to enjoy cherry blossom season because of coronavirus would be like "taking hugs away from Italians," the governor of Tokyo said on Thursday.

In case she doesn't know, after lock down, Italian don't hug anymore.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

And what she fails to see in her own analogy is that hugs have, in fact, been taken away from Italians.

29 ( +31 / -2 )

from the looks of the photo, assuming it is recent, it doesn’t look as though people are not listening to recommendations. This said, and you all already know I’m not an Abe fan, no one will have the right to blame Abe. I watch the news (left and right media) from around the world, mostly USA (ustv247.tv). Country leaders are being blamed for the uncontrollable spread, even calling Trump racist for stating the virus is China born, criticized for stopping entry to the US from China and now criticized for not doing it sooner. The left is just all over the place on this. Companies need to close because its the right thing to do, not because the president or prime minister of the country told them to do so. Sick of hearing “it’s Abe’s fault so many people are sick in Osaka.” Try blaming the idiot that went to the live house sick! Or the people who learned about it and didn’t get tested. Or the hospitals that refuses testing. We all know from passed events that corporate does not listen to Abe! I.e overtime/overwork issues, premium Friday, and so ma y others. The public needs to stand up and do thing. Shigatanai does make things better!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Well the hugs have been taken away from the Italians and everyone must be one meter apart. All shops except for food and pharma are closed. All bars closed.

I guess she does not read the foreign press?

22 ( +24 / -2 )

LOL!

Been there, am Japanese...if theres one thing we know nothing about here, its how to give hugs.

Worst affection nation of all time! :)

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Ridiculous analogy.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Koike knows nothing about Italy or Italians. When Italy's Prime Minister announced the lockdown he was not concerned with hugs. What you got was stern stoic logic.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Italians have been advised not to hug. The woman is an idiot.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Hanami is an outdoor event where it doesn't create "cluster" spaces and drinking (alcoholic beverage) which is disinfectant to virus or germs. It is fun to anyone to spend time under sakura blossom trees to feel spring season coming around the corner. Just to refrain too much drinking to touch others with hugs and kisses.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

Ok, go ahead and have the hanami. Do it. These are not normal times lady, and you still want your Olympics?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Would you rather have a hanami or have potentially more coronavirus cases? This shouldn't be a difficult choice. There's always next year and a year after that

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@Alexander T Ishii

Drinking alcohol kills viruses and bacteria? Are you drinking hand sanitiser? You need at least 70% alcohol in a liquid or gel to disinfect a surface, drink that and you'll soon be dead.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@Ishii

drinking (alcoholic beverage) which is disinfectant to virus or germs.

This is a joke right?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Go out and enjoy hanami! But if you get infected you should only blame yourself and not the honorable Prime minister Abe or the Government! Abe has already requested that people should avoid crowds, events and asked for cancellations! He can’t be a dictator and just declare a curfew which personally I’d support ( the number of infection has increased drastically from last week ). He is giving people advice and yet people don’t take heed of it and have gatherings. It’s not that difficult to put your social life on hold for two more weeks! People can’t have it two ways of not taking the advice of the Government and then blame the Government for the spread of the infection. Bottom line is that it’s each individual who is responsible for controlling or spreading the virus!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Italians have been told to keep at least a meter from each other 

The Japanese need to be told this too, but it wouldn't work very well on the trains.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I think it's not to make public such an analogy. It surely hurts many people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Italians have been advised not to hug. The woman is an idiot.

what do you expect from a Nippon Kaigi muppet?

Drinking alcohol kills viruses and bacteria? Are you drinking hand sanitiser? You need at least 70% alcohol in a liquid or gel to disinfect a surface, drink that and you'll soon be dead.

Hahahahaha! Brilliant!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It seems more people would come to parks for enjoying hanami as I saw many parents talking and children playing in any parks now. People seem very sick and tired of children staying home everyday.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Koganei park yesterday was overflowing with kids like I have never seen before; literally crowds. Not to mention the mums and retired folk. The annual popular blossom party there is nothing in comparison.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I never thought Koike is this stupid!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Another great example of the stupidity and ignorance of this woman. Is it like taking hugs from Italians? Or is it different in every conceivable way.

Clueless.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@since1981

People are not criticizing Trump or other (generally conservative) politicians for saying the virus "is China born."

The criticism is in calling it "the Wuhan Virus" or "the China Virus" which may seem a minor distinction, but it's not. Those words have weight, and the stigma it carries is an unneeded burden.

It's an odd hill for people to plant their flags upon: "Why can't I call it the Wuhan Virus?" Because it does have a name: COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Anything else is unnecessarily inflammatory and born of a fear of anything foreign, and on a site such as this, where people of different nations come together to share opinions, I would say it's something that should not be done.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Just focusing on this bungled "hanami is culturally vital to us" type comment, I would say that yes, hanami is very important to Japanese. It is important in projecting a self-image of appreciating nature. By global standards, I do not think Japanese people actually appreciate nature any more than anyone else. However, it seems very important to Japanese to project the image of being sensitive to nature as part of their identity.

The formal appreciation of nature, hanami, eating seasonal foods etc. is downplayed by the vast stretches of nature that are concreted over. It's just one of the many contradictions in Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

the analogy is weird but why attacking the woman for just pointing out how important Hanami is for the Japanese.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@kohakuebisu: that, entirely.

The act of having the hanami party itself is, of course, more important to the Japanese than, let's say, Americans who don't have such a tradition.

But the idea that a Japanese person can look at a field of flowers and feel an appreciation for it, some stirring of the soul, that, let's say again, an American would not feel while is laughably absurd.

I am grateful for the good life I have in my second home here in Japan, but the Japanese Appreciate Nature More than Others storyline will forever be at the top of my pet peeves.

I am quite certain the average Japanese person does appreciate and enjoy nature, but no more so or less than anyone else. What modern Japanese construction and architecture has done to the country is another, sadder matter entirely.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Haughty foot in mouth

trying so hard to be cute

and missing the mark.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Does Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe or Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike really believe that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will emotionally discriminate, will take time off, so the traditional "hanami" parties can proceed with fear of infection.

Or "stand down" for 2/3 weeks for the 2020 Olympic Games?........

Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe/Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike don’t possess any notable sense of/to the qualities of Leadership between them.

This really is akin in attempting to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is what cluelessness and incompetence wrapped in callousness looks like.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I think she was just trying to deflect attention from Japan and point to the situation in Italy... where they are taking the virus more seriously? Bit of a fail if she's trying to make Japan look better tbh

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Koike has been hiding all this time since her embarrassing loss of the marathon and Ghosn. Now she has emerged with even more nonsense.

This really is akin in attempting to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic....

I like that! I will have to use that some day!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

powderbToday  09:39 am JST

@since1981

People are not criticizing Trump or other (generally conservative) politicians for saying the virus "is China born."

The criticism is in calling it "the Wuhan Virus" or "the China Virus" which may seem a minor distinction, but it's not. Those words have weight, and the stigma it carries is an unneeded burden.

It's an odd hill for people to plant their flags upon: "Why can't I call it the Wuhan Virus?" Because it does have a name: COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Anything else is unnecessarily inflammatory and born of a fear of anything foreign, and on a site such as this, where people of different nations come together to share opinions, I would say it's something that should not be done.

Guinea worm, West Nile Virus, German Measles, Ross River Fever, Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, Marburg Virus, Lassa Fever, La Crosse Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and the list goes on.

So, it would be nice for the left to do some research, stop siding with China, and complaining about Trump and start helping Americans. It’s no time for politics!!!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@since1981

A very fair reply in listing those illnesses; your point is taken.

You write "it's no time for politics" but please do check the timeline on this page. It was most definitely not I that broached the issue of left vs. right politics. You were the fourth person posting on this page and you were the first to do so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Silly.

It is however true that the per capita numbers of infected here are way less than in many other countries.....

Maybe because we don't hug?  Or routinely wear masks?  Or love cherry blossoms?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Actually, it’s not alike at all, the dumb woman. Taking away hugs from Italians would be like banning business card passing between robots. Taking away Hanami parties, which should definitely be take away if bird watching is considered a dangerous group activity, is like taking away a celebration in another country.

to think I used to respect this woman to an extent.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Hi Silvafan, I wish I could have composed that idiom, alas no.....

The phase I believe originated from a quotation in the Washington Post, circa 1976, by Rogers Morton a political public relations officer....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This old lady needs to resign......

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do what you want to do, but don't look any further than yourself to blame when you get infected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nice... so many thumbs down to my ( simple ) comment. i,m gonna say it again, why do you feel like you need to attack Koike Yuriko for just pointing out how important hanami is for the Japanese people ( most of you here are not even Japanese). ... yes, difficult times and all that, but she,s gonna keep defending the interests of Tokyo and the people living in Tokyo.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

yes, difficult times and all that, but she,s gonna keep defending the interests of Tokyo and the people living in Tokyo.

and that includes the non Japanese taxpayers?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@rech

nice... so many thumbs down to my ( simple ) comment. i,m gonna say it again, why do you feel like you need to attack Koike Yuriko for just pointing out how important hanami is for the Japanese people

Agreed. That's social media. A lot of people who have nothing better to do than to criticize to make themselves look good.

Don't let it get you down. Your comment was valid.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@since1981

The WHO 2015 guidelines on naming new diseases states that: 'new disease names should not include geographic locations; the names of people, occupations, animals, or food; or “terms that incite undue fear” (such as unknown, fatal, and epidemic)'

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Koike Yuriko

Rech and Concerned citizen.

A lot of people felt her analogy was ridiculous. Of course you two still have valid comments, it’s just that 85% of people don’t agree with you.

Hanami is once a year and involves intoxication for most. It’s a downgraded BBQ.

A better analogy would be...bowing is to Japanese, what a hug and kiss is to Italians. Eating under a tree is not a greeting in another culture.

Also, why would someone wonder why they get downvoted?? :)))

1 ( +1 / -0 )

and that includes the non Japanese taxpayers?

i was careful enough to say “the people living in Tokyo”, not Japanese and/or Tokyoites...

Agreed. That's social media. A lot of people who have nothing better to do than to criticize to make themselves look good.

Don't let it get you down. Your comment was valid.

thank you!

A lot of people felt her analogy was ridiculous. Of course you two still have valid comments, it’s just that 85% of people don’t agree with you.

the analogy was ridiculous. but when people here start insulting her and saying she should resign, etc., that,s when they stop making sense, imo...

Hanami is once a year and involves intoxication for most. It’s a downgraded BBQ.

i think i said in my previous comment that most of the people here criticizing are not even Japanese, so... there it is, you,re not a Japanese so of course you,re not gonna think/feel the same way about it...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

i think i said in my previous comment that most of the people here criticizing are not even Japanese, so..

The majority of people posting on JT are not Japanese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Recently, she seems quite off. Not quite her old, alert self. Olympic burnout? Or, could be the onset of Alzheimer's, perhaps.

Koike: It can take up to 14 (sometimes up to 28 or more) to get symptoms, and you're able to spread it during this time. Or, you could even be completely asymptomatic. You can spread it by not washing your hands, or touching infected services. Also there is evidence it may be aerosol, too.

Koike: you should go and get tested ASAP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are many people who are Japanese who do not like Koike either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I bet we will still see people doing the same in Uneo park, and places like it. Perhaps the Government should hire those recently made unemployed by the Virus, to use Garden Leaf Blowers, to blow the Blossom off the trees in order to discourage people attempting to sit under-neath them... the noise itself would surely be a major discouragement, especially if carried out during daylight hours!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And for those, financially minded, my two recent posts may give you a hint... to ditch the Stock of those providers of Beverages consumed during such times - Asahi, Suntory being the two major players.... these days, as a shareholder, I wouldn't be keen to receive a six pack of cans from them.

Before Cooking foods - we wash our vegetables, likewise for Salads. But when it comes to consuming canned/bottled beverages... we don't consider who has handled them before us.

Maybe this is a good time for Public Houses (Bars) ... since their on-tap products should be less of a problem - (or at least we will know whether our locals staff has had a chance at infecting us). But, the closed spaces they operate within are pretty bad ..

Well. Lent is a good time to give-up such stuff from the can/bottle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@powderb @zichi exactly guys, exactly! I mean geez, I’m all for people being able to go to the cherry blossoms, I’ll bet a lot of precautions, but that was such a stupid analogy! Especially considering the fact that the hugs have been taken away from the Italians like you guys said!

When is the next election for Tokyo governor? Between that and the northern territories comment a few months ago, I would love to see her be defeated, if she’d be running again that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is probably not the best to make such comments during this crisis. I know it hurts but corona virus needs to be dealt with decisive and fast action, look at Taiwan, China and Singapore. Any loop holes and this thing can spread like a wildfire. Hanami is important but it’s every year... saving lives, your economy and your olympics games is more important than Hanami for now...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Koike, you too much meng.

Here's an idea, why not worry about IMPORTANT issues?

Telling people whether they should have or not have hanami parties is a complete waste of time. People will do what they want. They don't need government officials to give guidelines on how to enjoy their leisure time. Stop wasting time with trivial things, and focus on the real problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A case of Racial Stereo-typing ? She should surely be reprimanded.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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