Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, center, speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Wednesday night. At right is Dr Shigeru Omi, president of the Japan Community Healthcare Organization. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via AP
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Suga announces new measures to stem virus surge, including penalties, review of medical system

73 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures Wednesday, affecting more than half the population amid a surge in infections across the country.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also said Japan will suspend fast-track entry exceptions for business visitors or others with residency permits, fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place.

Suga's announcement comes less than a week after he declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby prefectures. The new declaration, which adds seven other prefectures in western and central Japan, takes effect Thursday and lasts until Feb 7.

"The severe situation is continuing, but these measures are indispensable in turning the tide for the better," Suga said at a news conference, bowing as he sought understanding from the public.

He said he put the seven prefectures in urban areas under the state of emergency to prevent infections from spilling over into smaller cities where medical systems are more vulnerable.

The government is asking bars and restaurants in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Tochigi prefectures to close by 8 p.m., employers to have 70% of their staff work from home and residents in the affected areas avoid going out for nonessential purposes.

Suga has been criticized as being to slow to act as the country's reported coronavirus infections and deaths roughly doubled over the past month to about 300,000 and 4,100 respectively. Both states of emergency were declared only after local leaders pleaded with him to do so.

Experts have warned that even the emergency declarations, which are nonbinding and largely rely on voluntary cooperation, may be insufficient to significantly slow the infections.

Unlike an earlier seven-week emergency Japan had in April and May last year, schools, gyms, theaters and shops will stay open.

Suga has faced criticism for not taking strong enough government action earlier in the outbreak. He mostly limited his interventions to asking the public to take basic safety measures such as wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding drinking and dining in groups until mid-December, when he finally announced the suspension of a government-subsidized domestic tourism campaign.

Suga eventually took action after calls from the local leaders, while his support ratings nosedived in polls showing the public increasingly dissatisfied with his handling of the virus. He also came under fire for attending a pricy steak dinner that had eight participants in mid-December.

Suga took office in mid-September and pledged to keep the infections under control while also getting the economy back on track. He also promised to successfully hold the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed from last year until this coming summer.

Despite the current surge in infections, Japan has reported far fewer infections than many countries of its size.

Japan made it through earlier surges in infections without a lockdown, but experts and officials warn that people are growing fatigued and are becoming less cooperative than before.

In a bid to more effectively enforce virus measures, Suga has said he will seek a legal revision in parliament next week to allow authorities to penalize business owners who defy official requests for coronavirus measures, while legally providing compensation to those who comply. Suga's government also plans to revise the infectious disease control law so it can penalize patients who defy self-isolation requirements, hospitalization or cooperation with health authorities, Japanese media reports say.

Japan is already facing a possible medical system collapse because coronavirus treatment is largely concentrated at public hospitals in a country where most hospitals are privately run and not equipped for infectious diseases. Suga said the situation should be reviewed.

The government has provided financial support for hospitals admitting coronavirus patients, while struggling to secure more beds as infections rise.

Officials in Tokyo, facing a hospital bed crunch for coronavirus treatment, are considering turning three prefecture-run hospitals into centers for COVID-19 patients.

Japanese coronavirus measures have relied heavily on widespread mask wearing, contact tracing and other safety measures. But the number of new cases in the current outbreak has made contact tracing impossible, prompting Tokyo and neighboring prefectures to announce a cutback on the strategy to relieve the burden on local public health officials.

Experts have also raised concerns about cases of more contagious variant of the coronavirus that has spread across Britain. About 30 cases of the new variant have been detected since late December. Another variant was also detected in four people arriving from Brazil this week.

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73 Comments
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Waited too long to get a handle on something everyone could see was out of control back in November. Guess they had to convene a meeting to confirm the committee that holds another special session to approve the panel's recommendations that gets faxed and then requires everyone's hanko. Too little, too late.

33 ( +41 / -8 )

Give me ¥300,000 per month and i will gladly comply and stay home.

14 ( +28 / -14 )

I would be a millionaire by now if I was give one dollar every time a Japanese politician 'pledged' to do something ....

32 ( +35 / -3 )

How many moths before he's gone? I'm leaning toward 2. (And just in case my comment is deemed 'off topic', I mean because of his support for GOTO when he should have been telling people to STAY HOME).

26 ( +30 / -4 )

Iʻm tired of hearing that Japan has fewer infections compared to other countries. We all know why that is of course. First world facade...

35 ( +44 / -9 )

avoiding drinking and dining in groups until mid-December

Suggesting people to avoid drinking and dining while giving out GoToEat coupons?

Unlike an earlier seven-week emergency Japan had in April and May last year, schools, gyms, theaters and shops will stay open.

Half emergency, in April and May cases even not high as today but they provide measures that still better than current one.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

The government of Japan has been instrumental in allowing the virus to spread by their ill conceived campaigns and failure to act to prevent tourists from China entering the country as Taiwan did.

And now, the politicians want to fine people and restrict their freedoms to conduct business without compensation?

Farcical!

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Suga has been criticized as being to slow to act

Its not just that, it’s also the fact he was actively promoting the mass movement of people all around the country for the stupid GoTo Travel campaign.

With that decision alone, the guy has proved he has no common sense.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

With that decision alone, the guy has proved he has no common sense.

The guy is a sock-puppet of big business. I am sure he means well, but he cannot really do anything without upsetting those who are really in charge in Japan.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Sugar’s legal revision seeks to impose penalties on violators but  paying compensation for lost sales will be optional. The bill reads: “the government may provide compensation”.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

or others with residency permits

or Japanese citizens?

No return to last year's Apartheid, thank you. Our long intestines may be shorter, but that's the only difference.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place.

Extend that until after the chinese new year!

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Those of us who reside in Japan are not banned. I think this ban would apply to those who have the Certificate of Eligibility but have not established residence. It’s not clear however and the omissions of this information from NHK leaves some people wondering

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Iʻm tired of hearing that Japan has fewer infections compared to other countries. We all know why that is of course. First world facade...

well said!

The guy is a sock-puppet of big business. I am sure he means well, but he cannot really do anything without upsetting those who are really in charge in Japan.

NONE of them can. This is NOT a democracy.

or others with residency permits

or Japanese citizens?

No return to last year's Apartheid, thank you. Our long intestines may be shorter, but that's the only difference.

Japan will always return to its apartheid and scapegoating of all foreigners. That's who the the movers and shakers as well as a good chunk of the electorate is all about. The sad thing is, the Japanese spouses and Japanese children of these people will always be caught up in this racism.

Blaming the virus on foreigners and banning all foreigners including residents again. Wow and people call Japan a good country rofl. Absolutely pathetic by Japan once again..

Absolutely! And all this banning of foreigners less than 6 months before they host an international event! You can't make this up! Japan should be banned from hosting any international event- conferences included.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Chinese new year isnt until Feb 12th. GO TO JAPAN!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japanese government is very conservative in taking strong measures to hold down the pandemic. The government is not given power to control people and society in emergency. Japan is too "democratic." Opposition parties are against a new special law to contain the pandemic which includes punishment.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

A huge increase in cases, yet continued silence about testing. All we have are the previous broken promises. Complete silence about any testing of the new strains. All government advice like the 3Cs and public understanding is based on the original strain. A more contagious strain is likely to have new infection routes.

This is about Ireland, now home to the highest infection rate in the world.

Mr Martin said he was told by the country's chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan that the new variant of the virus accounted for 45% of the most recent 92 samples that underwent additional testing, compared with 25% of those tested in the week to 3 January and 9% two weeks earlier.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55615791

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So it took to Suga and the cronies at the helm months to slightly react to the pandemic and again with little logic like they showed before,the GOTO thing,then the ban resident foreignerd to return to Japan but allow only Japanese to re-enter breaking families and lives and now the COVID-Dracula new rules that urge shops to close after sunset because the virus comes out only at night,and on the top of that tone down the number of tests in order to keep their Olympics in the name of the pennies even if common sense would ask at least to postpone the thing for another year if not better cancel it.

This pandemic for sure shows the darkest side and ineptitude of many so called leaders in this country.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Letting Japanese back into the country without getting them to take a test before boarding the plane was asking for trouble and also putting the health of non-Japanese people on the same planes at risk.

And I hope that Japanese who ignored quarantine rules after returning from the UK gets the book thrown at him. And more. Name and shame.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

He said he put the seven prefectures in urban areas under the state of emergency to prevent infections from spilling over into smaller cities where medical systems are more vulnerable.

BS..if he ever was concerned about that, he would not have insisted on keeping his Go To pet project going for as long as he did and spreading the virus far and wide. But LDP cronies in Dentsu, JTB etc needed more dough so....ya know , priorities.

employers to have 70% of their staff work from home and residents in the affected areas avoid going out for nonessential purposes.

Have pigs started to fly yet?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I would be a millionaire by now if I was give one dollar every time a Japanese politician 'pledged' to do something ....

Comment of the day !

How many moths before he's gone? I'm leaning toward 2.

I was thinking along those lines too, since Suga has proved himself a complete incompetent as a PM and a "leader" but in a perverse way I actually hope he stays until the next election. With him as a "leader" LDP is bound to loose a lot more votes / seats than if he gets replaced with a fresh face before the election.

Iʻm tired of hearing that Japan has fewer infections compared to other countries.

Yeah, its really a tiresome propaganda, guess LDP continues to subscribe to the "if you repeat it enough times , people will believe it."

Japan is too "democratic."

ROFL...it hurts.

Opposition parties are against a new special law to contain the pandemic which includes punishment.

LDP/Komeito have majority in both houses and can push through any legislation / change they wish ( as they,ve proven a number of times ), blaming opposition is groundless.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

R. T.Today  06:42 am JST

Give me ¥300,000 per month and i will gladly comply and stay home.

You're selling yourself way too short.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

zatoizugoodoToday  06:57 am JST

Iʻm tired of hearing that Japan has fewer infections compared to other countries. We all know why that is of course. First world facade...

While the count of infection cases is dubious, Japan's tally of deaths and serious illnesses from or with this virus is much lower than other countries of comparable population size and/or density.

Why? Given that Japanese have been pretty ambivalent about distancing, there must be some other factor or factors at play. I think the generally healthy elder population has a lot to do with this.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Give me ¥300,000 per month and i will gladly comply and stay home.

Yeah, where are the announcements of financial support? Even 100,000 a month would relieve a lot of the stress about how to pay for rents, food, etc..

Heck, if they really wanted to, the could give it in the form of vouchers that could be used at supermarkets, drug stores, hair salons, cram schools, etc.. and had an expiry date. That would help with their beloved 'stimulating the economy' priority and also avoid people who didn't need it just sticking it into savings.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

apan will suspend fast-track entry exceptions for business visitors or others with residency permits, fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place.

In so many years, this is the first time a Japanese PM has done something sensible. Just look at Australia. About 26,000,000 and only about 450 deaths.

Lockdowns are being increasingly proven useless. Stagnation of movement is the best approach. Old people out between daytime rush hours then confined to abodes. Office workers home by 10pm. Young party people allowed free range between 9pm and 6am.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Where is the announcement of the return to the GO TO TRAVEL campaign? I thought it was supposed to resume this week. Kind of dropped from the news. I wonder why. Everyone knows it is not responsible for spreading the virus because the PM said so. Just like closing restaurants at 8 PM ( or at least those that choose to accept the government urging to do so, which apparently is far from all) will solve the spread of the virus in Japan, including the new strain, which will soon be rampant thanks to inadequate quarantine rules to stop it.

I guess it will restart on February 7th when the SOE will surely end.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Why are people here so worried about the Chinese New Year and other visitors... it’s already way to late to do so because the virus has spread in full force locally within Japan. Closing the borders now is just for a show. Locally transmissions are 99%. Restaurants closure at 8pm is just pure stupidity and will in no way prevent the spread. Infected people keep going out to supermarkets, restaurants, convenience store, malls, bookshops, coffee shops and keep using the jam packed trains! So the only solution now is wait for the vaccine or have a serious proper lockdown like New Zealand and Australia did before. Personally I don’t favor the lockdown because with the high numbers now it’s already way to late! Japan authorities dropped the ball big time... its only going to get worse with 10,000+ infections on a daily basis even with limited testing that Japan does! Universities need to be closed ASAP because these uni students are the super spreaders!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@kyronstavic

To give a bit of what many experts around the world have observed but not concluded anything yet.

They are pointing at a large number of small factors more or less unique to Japan and other Asian countries.

Mask wearing being one, but in Japan as you pointed out distancing, well ambivalent yes but compared to most Western countries the Japanese do not tend to physically interact with others especially strangers, no hand shakes, definitely no kissing, then there is living conditions, removal of shoes and not bringing dirt from outside into the home, toilets located in separate room, something as simple as children having the long standing practice of washing hands as soon as they come home (this was standard long before covid-19 as my children and their friends did this and was taught in schools), low obesity and related problems ( this includes your point on healthier elderly), other factors included things like the Japanese are less likely to have guest over in their homes and if they do it is often limited to just one or two and more often than not immediate family, a few others one researcher noting that the Japanese also tend to got to smaller hospitals and private doctor offices instead of congregating in large ERs.

So most are looking at in just being a large number of smaller factors that in combination has helped slow the spread in Japan and thus the deaths.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

He said he put the seven prefectures in urban areas under the state of emergency to prevent infections from spilling over into smaller cities where medical systems are more vulnerable.

Go To Travel is on you.

You promoted it, if you want to assign blame for the results, do it with compensation.

In a bid to more effectively enforce virus measures, Suga has said he will seek a legal revision in parliament next week to allow authorities to penalize business owners who defy official requests for coronavirus measures, while legally providing compensation to those who comply. 

"Covid 19" let's "alter" the Constitution?

Say it ain't so!

Officials in Tokyo, facing a hospital bed crunch for coronavirus treatment, are considering turning three prefecture-run hospitals into centers for COVID-19 patients.

They built "temporary" housing for Olympic athletes, why not temporary hospitals

meant for covid 19 patients only?

About 30 cases of the new variant have been detected since late December. Another variant was also detected in four people arriving from Brazil this week.

More rabble-rousing. What was done with these infected people?

When first we heard this story, it was one person "found" with it, now, it's 20.

What measures are being taken an immigration/airports?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I like how so many can take offense or down vote something that just points out what non Japanese researchers are noting in regards to factors than may point to why covid did not spread as far here as in western countries.

If you disagree with the points I relayed that have been noted by non Japanese researchers studying the pandemic.

Give a reason, point out where these researchers are wrong.

All the factors they point to are actual here and on most lists of recommended things to avoid spreading covid-19 in other countries.

Seems say anything thatay be a positive point for Japan will inevitably get down voted.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

And don't forget, a sprinkling of news items that imply foreigners are to blame.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I feel 100 sit ups coming on.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Thank you, @Antiquesaving, for spelling out some of those factors. Too many people here don't understand nuance and complexity.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

@Antiquesaving

You've made a few good points.

Don't be discouraged to speak your mind because of down votes.

If no other response is given, their purpose is to merely invalidate.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

suspend fast-track entry exceptions for business visitors or others with residency permits, fully banning foreign visitors

We're still pretending that the infections come from outside? Got it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan's government response to this has been abysmal.

Possible support for businesses, note the possible.

Nearly a year to late, so many businesses near my home/work have closed.

My own business is down 90% one part of my business was coordinating for smaller Japanese businesses wanting to expand overseas by doing trade shows.

That is now 100% gone, the response was to say I can get a one time 1 million yen payment (still waiting for it they say they are backlogged) but even if I got that what could it do? Not much it would not be enough to pay the people I employed (note employed as I had to let them all go, no work no income now way of paying them). At least 3 of my former clients have closed permanently as they depended 50% of their business from outside Japan and local sales tanked.

I feel more for the people I used to employ as they depended on contracts and now have nothing, I can survive as my business is located in our home and between the little my business is still making and my wife's job we are getting by but barely.y daughter's company went under, my son's work has been reduced to part time if they were not living at home with us things would be even worse.

Time for the Japanese government to start introducing some form of regular support like Canada and most EU countries are doing if not things are going to get much worse.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Experts have also raised concerns about cases of more contagious variant of the coronavirus that has spread across Britain. About 30 cases of the new variant have been detected since late December. Another variant was also detected in four people arriving from Brazil this week.

The experts‘ should be raising concerns about lack of testing in Japan not worrying about other countries.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Time for the Japanese government to start introducing some form of regular support like Canada and most EU countries are doing if not things are going to get much worse.

absolutely !

And good to see you posting again! will message you later!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Antiquesaving....... Don’t worry the “experts” on here who know so much more than the health professionals advising the government, (Advice that admittedly is sometimes ignored) only want MORE testing....They never say WHO they want to test or how often, or where to test.... Just test ...test... test...

Seriously tester crew... Who do you want tested? And how often?

Answers on a postcard or on JapanToday!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

In response to the often pointed out fact Japan doesn't test like the USA or EU so we don't know the real numbers

Well think of this if Japan had the rates even hidden due to low testing.

The deaths would still be happening.

Now if we take the population of Japan and the USA the USA is 2.6 times that of Japan so Japan would have at least 147, 000 deaths.

If we use the UK numbers then Japan would be at 160,000 deaths.

Nearly all countries with high numbers of cases are now resorting to makeshift morgues, funeral homes cannot keep up.

None of that is or has happened here. This is a small country it would be very difficult to hide 147,000 plus funerals on top of the normal number that happen yearly.

We are not seeing reports like in the USA, Canada, UK etc...of morgues overwhelmed, funeral home unable to handle the sharp increase.

If that starts to happen here that is when we know things are really out of hand

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

While the count of infection cases is dubious, Japan's tally of deaths and serious illnesses from or with this virus is much lower than other countries of comparable population size and/or density.

Why? Given that Japanese have been pretty ambivalent about distancing, there must be some other factor or factors at play. I think the generally healthy elder population has a lot to do with this.

In addition to the excellent points made by Antiquesaving, there is also the higher levels of vitamin D found in the older Japanese population, compared to other countries. I suspect it's because of their higher fish consumption.

I know you are aware of this, as you've already linked to Ivor Cummins' (Fat Emperor's) site, but I think it's worth rementioning.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Raw Beer

A recent study found this in looking at which countries has the general health and healthiest diet.

A summary of what they found.

Japan has one of the longest life expectancies in the world. The study pinpointed to its diet high in certain carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits as well as fish and meat.

The Japanese government issued a recommended food guide in 2005, which encouraged the population to eat a diet low in saturated fats, processed foods and high in carbohydrates gained from both rice and vegetables.

Researchers found that participants who closely followed the food guide had a 15 per cent lower mortality rate, and were less likely to develop conditions linked to boor blood flow.

It is not rocket science. Studies are showing that 70% of those that became seriously ill from Covid-19 were seriously overweight or obese and this was consistent in all developed countries.

Japan with a obesity rate of less than 5% tell us a lot.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Antiquesaving

Why are you comparing Japan and the US/UK for fatalities ?

On which ground do you think the population of these countries are similar enough to except same results ? Food, weather, genetics, illness contact history ...

For testing as it is a matter of infrastructure and money, Japan as a first world country could easily be compared to these, as a expectation to have the same abilities pondering size. So I get why you make the link. But for effect on the illness on the population, I do not get the criteria which make them comparable and the criteria which have to be used to ponder the result. A instinctive relevant comparison will be with neighbor countries and countries having a high level of Japan descent, as you could more easily find similarities in weather, genetics, food, natural illness contact history, ...

So how is Japan doing comparing Hong-Kong, Taiwan, China, South Korea, ... ?

You also seems to be assuming there is no in between the number in Japan are accurate and Japan as the same number as US/UK. I do not remember much people claiming that moreover for the whole of Japan.

Also, you forgot to take in account the expected yearly deaths which did not happen and the unexpected ones which did happen to put the covid fatalities on top of.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

In addition to the excellent points made by Antiquesaving, there is also the higher levels of vitamin D found in the older Japanese population, compared to other countries. I suspect it's because of their higher fish consumption.

That would be a mistaken conclusion born from a false assumption, vitamin D deficiency is very common in the Japanese population PMID: 30830935, PMID: 25733470, and in the elderly population that is not overly active more than half are considered to be in vitamin D insufficiency even at normal levels that are low for today's standards PMID: 21432355, reviews conclude that the adult Japanese population is chronically deficient PMID: 32168939

If Vitamin D levels were such an important factor Japan would be at a much worse place, so that is not a valid explanation. Maybe you should improve your sources of information, Ivor Cummins have been found to be very mistaken and manipulative in many of the arguments he makes, misrepresenting situations, not including very necessary information that proves the opposite he wants to say, etc. etc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

asking bars and restaurants ... to close by 8 p.m.

It's an airborne virus, rules should be different for indoors and outdoors

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The majority of cases in my prefecture are people above 50, which should be the at-risk group, but the majority of them recover. It seems like most of the deaths are people with pre-existing conditions.

Elderly man with pre-existing condition died in Tokyo because he wasn't hospitalized.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210114/p2a/00m/0na/003000c

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Flute.

Hit a never?

I used those 2 because that is what everyone here keeps going on about.

If you like I can use the others you pointed out, also low rates and again that goes back to one of my firsts posts, pointing out cultural attitudes like wearing masks, removing shoes, diet, obesity, etc...

You make a good point. Most here do always use the western countries as examples of Japan not being honest in number of cases or deaths.

I countered those points.

Oh and I have in the past used comparison to other Asian countries only to be told places like South Korea, Vietnam, China etc... Number also cannot be trusted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"fully banning foreign visitors while the state of emergency is in place."

Wasn't foreigners that brought the mutation in from Britain, Suga. Wasn't foreigners that brought it in from Brazil, either. Once again, doing absolutely NOTHING to combat the virus but promote racism.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Antiquesaving: "Hit a never?"

Nah, I think you hit an "always", as in, all you guys can ever do is deflect. Love the "unique to Japan that other nations are pointing out" bit. NO ONE is pointing out Japan except as, a little earlier, a country that is an example of one of a number in Asia doing well to combat the virus. Problem is, 1) it is a lie -- Japan is NOT doing well, despite the 'mindou' Aso talked about, and as evidenced by comparison to SK and Taiwan in particular, and 2) They care so little about the nation that they are just lumping it in with others that actually ARE doing well. The whole "vitamin D" and other "unique" nonsense is only being pointed out by deflectors.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In fact, they ran already almost out of resources, staff, money, ideas, options. But wait, they can still talk, hold meetings and reviews or penalty someone. I am not sure if the virus is so much impressed from now on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Suga has said he will seek a legal revision in parliament next week to allow authorities to penalize business owners who defy official requests for coronavirus measures,"

Such punishments will include an untoward glance and clicking of the tongue, plus official and free advertising in local media. If shops should continue, they will get a stern warning that they may receive a second, more sinister glance, and names appear for free once again in local media. Barring this, the government may well take the extreme step of sending several people close together to the store to survey them -- a survey which will ask harsh questions like 'Why are you staying open, please?' and 'Could you cooperate? It would be regrettable if you don't,' and, "What do you think of our survey? How can we improve it?" and a potential third glance and more teeth sucking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

how abt cash handouts?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@virusrex

I wrote that: "there is also the higher levels of vitamin D found in the older Japanese population, compared to other countries."

Most of the studies you provided did not focus on the elders.

The most relevant conclusion I found was:

"The observational studies conducted by our group revealed that vitamin D insufficiency does not seem to be a serious problem among active elderly people, but that elderly people with a low level of activities of daily living (ADL) are at a very high risk of vitamin D insufficiency."

Anyway, I could swear that you previously said that vitamin D deficiency was uncommon. But now your saying the complete opposite!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Antiquesaving

You are still going mixing tests, cases and results of illness. You do not even clearly differentiate in between these as you talk about "low rate" of what ? Low rate of positive test result ? Low rate of fatalities by millions ? Low rate of cases by millions ? Low rates of tests by millions ?

I do not understand your logic. If you think it is easier for Japanese to not die from the virus, how can the fact that there is not the number of deaths expected with the fatalities by millions of another country not having these specific a proof that there is not several unknow cases or deaths around ? or that Japan is doing the right number of tests (which is even more far fetched).

US : 1,186 direct translation (*126) - Japan : 149436

Taiwan : 0.3 direct translation(*126) - Japan : 37.8

Do you get why the comparison seems totally illogical ?

If you consider that Kanto area has an average of 2 times more cases from the start, you most likely expect 2 times more death as the same rate will apply thus around 1%. Why would these additional cases follow the mortality rate of another country ?

So to have your 147000 deaths you will need 14.700.000 people being infected so around 48 fold more infected person all over Japan not even just in Kanto.

There is a difference in considering there are cases and deaths which goes unrecorded as covid ones and saying that it is by 48 times for the whole of Japan, which is what some, you included, seem to claiming other people do.

And to come back to the main subject : how is that any proof to determine that Japan is doing the right number of tests ? Should not it go reverse : Japanese are less keen to have strong symptom thus more keen to go around with the virus and spreading it farther thus increasing chance for it to reach people whose body will not be able to deal with it. This should bring to having more testing to quickly identify these people unwillingly spreading the virus and request them to isolate to stop the spread thought at home and instead of thermometer they should have quick testing kit at restaurant and so on.

And if you think the virus is just not spreading in Japan, why bring US/UK deaths number ? And even use it as an argument about the number of tests ?

If you want to compare the spreading in between countries you have to compare with countries which have similar practice which will range a pretty various range depending of the criteria and all over the world, I would suggest African ones for mask wearing and snowy European ones for not shoes wearing in private quarter.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

Yes I know trying to say anything positive about Japan just isn't anything you like to hear.

As with most of Asia Japan is doing fairly well.

I know Smithy the idea that Asia does anything better than a Smith, Jones, etc... World must frustrate some.

The numbers if deaths is a fact.

Japanese as well as most of Asia's funeral homes are not overwhelmed not mobile morgues, etc... Not in Japan not in South Korea, not in Vietnam, not in Taiwan, etc..

Japan has fewer ICU beds than most western countries 5 per 100,000 compared to Canada 13.5, USA 35, etc..

South Korea is about the same as Japan and near have anywhere near the problems the western countries are having, yes they are starting to run our of ICU beds but then they also have far fewer per capita.

If as so many here are trying to say that it is all being cover up that would be one really amazing job.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Flute

Here is a little number.

The death rate in most developed countries is between 1.4% and 2%.

And the death rate is 1.5% in Japan based on the number of cases exactly within the rate of other developed countries.

So boy the Japanese government would be really good to be fudging the numbers that we'll.

I think the over the top western conspiracies everywhere is at work again.here.

The idea that Japan and Asia actually are doing better than the west just frustrates so many.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Most of the studies you provided did not focus on the elders.

I provided one specifically pointed to it, and also, your argument completely depends on the general population not to be highly symptomatic, elderly people are not the only one that would get hospitalized.

The most relevant conclusion I found was:

"The observational studies conducted by our group revealed that vitamin D insufficiency does not seem to be a serious problem among active elderly people, but that elderly people with a low level of activities of daily living (ADL) are at a very high risk of vitamin D insufficiency."

You mistake the important part for your argument. The real important part is "elderly people with a low level of activities of daily living (ADL) are at a very high risk of vitamin D insufficiency" To be able to say Japan has a special resistance to COVID-19 thanks to vitamin D is is absolutely necessary that this population (low ADL) had also normal levels of vitamin D, they don't, so they would be very susceptible to problems with the infection and are numerous enough to be observed as a very important number of complicated or fatal cases.

Anyway, I could swear that you previously said that vitamin D deficiency was uncommon. But now your saying the complete opposite!

No, I said that the sources that you presented to say it was such a big problem said that even on isolated tribes people had normal levels, which is still true. You on the other hand are now perfectly happy with considering 12 ng/mL a good cutoff level for vitamin D deficiency, something that you previously said was absolutely inadequate (and that would make a much higher percentage of both groups deficient) this would be an even stronger proof of your argument being mistaken, because elderly patients do not have the levels you yourself propose to be "healthy".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Want to "stem the virus surge"? Make the vaccine available in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Antique saving: "The idea that Japan and Asia actually are doing better than the west just frustrates so many."

hate to break this to you, but if the average death rate of Japan is higher than that of some Western countries (I notice you like to use averages in such cases), it is NOT doing better than those countries. And in Asia, Japan is fairing quite badly overall. India much worse, but where else is Asia doing so badly, I mean, since it's a fun competition for you?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I can tell you Japan is also worst in testing... pretty much in the world.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Want to "stem the virus surge"? Make the vaccine available in Japan.

No evidence the vaccine will stem the surge. All we know is that the vaccines appear to decrease symptoms (assuming the data is legit).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can tell you Japan is also worst in testing... pretty much in the world.

You can say whatever you want but I will just add it to the rest of your usual negative comments on Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It has been more than a year that my wife cannot come home to Japan.

Since I could not have seen her for a year I have traveled to be with her in our country.

Now none of us can go home.

Thank you japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Canada discovers from Pandemic expert they handled it wrong and Sweden did it right.

https://c2cjournal.ca/2020/12/every-store-and-school-should-be-open-confronting-the-pandemic-with-confidence/

Bob Redmond is being very Diplomatic/Charitable in the interview/article. He knows that in the handling of the management of a pandemic no politician is allowed to do the media interviews least they make into a political endeavor this is what we have seen happen - you can get the jist of that as you read the article.

This is the best quote: "But what happened in the middle of March when Covid-19 appeared on our shores after wreaking havoc in China, Italy, Spain and France? Governments took every plan they’d ever written and threw them all out the window. No one followed the process. They panicked, put the doctors in change and hid for three months. And now, having made that mistake, we can’t get out of it."

Neither Bob Redmond nor anyone he knows nor anyone I trained with were recalled for assistance and expertise in this so called Pandemic - what's more all of us signed agreements recognizing we could be recalled until age 75.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again testing fans..

Who do you want to test that aren’t getting tested?

How often do you want to test them?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Antiquesaving

According to you Japanese are better in various regard making them less prone to have serious cases thus deaths, so shouldn't they have a lower deaths rate ?

And if you go back to this statement, that still do not exclude possibility of part of cases and deaths go undetected as long as they are in the range of the deaths rate.

Going back to a 2 folds (gross number) for Kanto :

41000*2 =82000 ; deaths rate 2% = 1640 ; 1%= 820

Current deaths : 1487

So not so difficult to have undetected cases and deaths. Thus having more tests to find these undetected cases before they take part in an exponential growth could be seen as helpful. You know as they say : no exponential growth no strain in medical system no state of emergency (but no money for any business feeling the strain of the virus).

And why are going about fudging number ? And conspiracy ? Which conspiracy : the government is hiding the virus is spreading ? No, everyone see it. The government is hiding the low number of tests ? No, everyone see it. The government is hiding the fact that there are people dying from the virus without being recorded as cases before hand ? No, everyone see it. The government is hiding the fact that they do not practice autopsy for every deaths thus there potential related deaths going undetected and mortuary take measure just in case ? No, everyone see it. ... A conspiracy is not something everyone can see.

Are you making a competition of a pandemic ? I do not remember people in western countries having a problem with good management in Asia, they even had meeting with experts from there to help them tailor their response. I think it is even Aso which said people from foreign government called to ask advice and he replied mindo thus they must have called another Asian country government official to have useful information. Sorry to disappoint you but the racist bias is only in your imagination.

Again, you still go nowhere to the subject which opened your rant about testing number in Japan and potential undetected cases and deaths. If you think it is accurate and give clear picture, you are free to explain (but if possibly not by contracting yourself as pointed before) or just say it is guts feeling, they can right or wrong.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Bofo Nargourski

Sure if you want to have 5 times more dead than your neighbouring countries.

Even Sweden has admitted they were wrong

More deaths in Sweden than all 3 of their neighbours combined.

Not a great success

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I never said the Japanese are better at anything at least not genetically or otherwise.

They are physically just like all the rest but the vulnerable like it has been reported are just as the rest and obese with underlying problems, those with other underlying problems make up the vast majority of death nothing different, other than the Japanese have far fewer obese or people why those underlying conditios but have far more elderly.

I got my 1.5% from WHO website.

As for undetected death that number would have to be in the tens of thousands and unless the death rate for 2020 suddenly jumped compared to previous years the numbers do not support that.

Why is it so hard for westerners to admit Asian countries with the use of masks and their other local ways of doing things had it right in regards to slowing the spread.

It is clearly evident that countries in Asia that quickly used masks, have different ideas on hygiene (no shoes in houses and how they great or interact with others had far fewer cases and deaths.

But for some strange reason this very obvious fact just has to be wrong because the west knows better. Right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Antiquesaving

I never said your were talking about genetics, I was talking about the recurrent reference you made, in that post too, about Japanese being better in term of health (should have put healthier, sorry). So you again say that you think Japanese have less underlying conditions and are healthier including elderly thus less prone to have severe cases thus die. So you should consider that in that case they should have lower deaths numbers thus deaths rate, to be logical with yourself.

that number would have to be in the tens of thousands

Again imagining some crazy fold that nobody mentioned here except you. How many fold is it this time 20, 50, 100 ? My example was 2 folds, you are the only one here imagining something like the previous 48 folds.

Why is it so hard for westerners [...]

Here you go again. Already explained to you that westerners were perfectly fine with Asian handling as they got advice from them, even give you a well know example. Same goes for random people (did you ever bother looking online about advice ? Guess which countries are used as references).

Stop trying to victimize Asian moreover in issue matching Asian stereotype (thought not all of it). You are aware that Japanese and some other Asian countrypeople got the worldwide reputation of being utterly clean, right ? So you are saying people have difficulty to admit that Asian are cleaner than them even though they have the stereotype that Asian people are cleaner than them (never watched Westerner movies/dramas ?) and that they can not accept mask as being effective in Asia as the same time that they use these since they are acknowledged as effective all over the world. Still do not get your logic.

Saying that the test numbers in Japan is too low and there are cases and deaths going undetected as nothing to do with that. You should stop focusing on that. Moreover as you have no idea from where people are from and have no way to ever know, you should just stop it. It does not serve your (non) argumentation in any way moreover as it kept getting longer and longer. Neither going for crazy number, you are the only one imagining.

So I will just consider you think number accurate out of guts feeling as your only argument is Westerners do not like Asians.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is about Ireland, now home to the highest infection rate in the world.

total case / 1M pop

Ireland : 31,324

Czech republic : 79,816

Montenegro : 84,918

Belgium : 57,446

Netherlands : 51,479

total deaths / 1M pop

Ireland : 483

Bulgaria : 1,196

Croatia : 1,087

Belgium : 1,738

Italy : 1,321

it's always hilarious reading comments here :D

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Flute

Here is a simple fact.

Japan has fewer ICU beds than most western countries 5 per 100,000 compared to Canada 13.5, USA 35, etc..

By that simple fact and by simple common sense and math, if as you and others claim Japan is not counting death that are Covid, Japan's ICU beds would have been overwhelmed long ago and they weren't.

It wouldn't matter if they didn't test, didn't do autopsies the ICUs would have been full and they weren't.

Dying people that cannot breath are placed in ICU even for influenza, no such overwhelming numbers happened.

Japan's ICU are just now reaching the point of max capacity and remember 5 beds per 100,000 people far lower than most other developed countries which are all near or have long passed over capacity.

Unless someone can explain how Japan's ICUs could not be overwhelmed but there has somehow been thousands of deaths that happened but not counted as Covid please I would like to hear that explanation.

And please no pulling out they died at home thing. That was debunked some time ago by the fact there has been no significant increase in police or Ambulance calls to homes something that is required when someone dies at home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Flute

Read the comments since the start of the pandemic.

It has been a regular thing to act almost gleefully everytime Japan's Covid numbers rise.

From the start many here have been almost wishing that Japan would end up with cases and deaths like many western countries.

Again read the comments.

From the start Asian countries said wearing masks helped prevent the spread and in multiple discussion the WHO and nearly all western nations said Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc... Didn't know what they were talking about.

Only after western cases skyrocketed and Asian countries got a quick handle on things then suddenly the West found new research that masks worked funny thing was that major universities in most of these Asian countries had already done the research over decades and the results were readily available but fully ignore and rejected.

No one can say with a straight face that had it been UK, USA, etc... Research in their universities it would have been dismissed like it was.

Again read past comments here notice how they act as if Japanese doctors and the medical institutions are completely incompetent.

That is a regular theme.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Antiquesaving

thousands of deaths

You seem to be getting more reasonable in your fancy number about Japanese cases and death. Lets continue this way. I never said thousands of death happened. You are the one claiming they did happen by faking being shocked people which never said that did said it. (I noticed I messed up the number for the 2 folds, sorry)

And I remember you that you said Japanese people were less prone to have severe form. Changed your mind ?

You understand there is a difference in between considering that cases and deaths could be/being unaccounted (them not being tested) and claim that Japan in not counting deaths in the thousands ?

From the start many here have been almost wishing that Japan would end up with cases and deaths like many western countries.

I am wondering if you are getting the ones really wishing for it. And the ones afraid of it. And all the variations possible.

So Western nations got it wrong and ? Everybody know that. They also know that lack of masks and situation quickly degenerating creating stay at home order and social distancing was also part of the blindness, not just plain arrogance. As already pointed government acknowledged their handling was poor and requested help from Asian countries. After, they did what they could to make their mistakes disappear as the need for new evidence. But I do not get what that have to do with the testing in Japan.

Regarding the Japanese medical system, people in Japan are using it. If they are not pleased with it, they should be allowed to complain regardless of them being Westerner. Same goes the other way round Japanese using another nation medical system have the right to complain if they are not pleased. Look like you are against critics ? Thought I do not exactly get what that has to do with testing regime except if you consider the testing regime being 100% in the hand of 100% of the doctors.

As said before if your guts are telling you the testing is perfectly fine, good for you. Going for fancy number is not going to prove your argument. Neither trying to deflect it to a Western vs Asia (or Japan) thing.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic on a website from people from all around the world and which have various life history. Just how many of the people you consider as Westerner are not and how many of the people you consider as Asian are not ? You have no way to know who you are talking about neither about what they are thinking and what are their aim. Welcome to the Internet.

I acknowledge this discussion is sterile.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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