Customers buy Christmas cakes at a Ginza Cozy Corner cake shop in Tokyo on Thursday. Photo: KYODO
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Tokyo reports record high 888 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,737

73 Comments

The Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday reported 888 new cases of the coronavirus, up 140 from Wednesday. The number is the result of 12,511 tests conducted on Dec 21.

The tally brought Tokyo's cumulative total to 54,018.

By age group, the highest number of cases were people in their 20s (240), followed by 184 in their 30s, 143 in their 40s and 121 in their 50s.

The number of infected people hospitalized with severe symptoms in Tokyo is 73, up four from Wednesday, health officials said.

Nationwide, the number of reported cases was 3,737. after Tokyo, the prefectures with the most cases were Kanagawa (495), Osaka (289), Aichi (270), Saitama (251), Chiba (234), Hyogo (152), Fukuoka (149), Hokkaido (123), Hiroshima (85), Gifu (56), Okinawa (48), Miyagi (48), Gunma (43) and Ibaraki (39).

Fifty-three coronavirus-related deaths were reported as of 9 p.m.

© Japan Today

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73 Comments
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record high 888

LDP: "Move along! Nothing to see here, move along!"

16 ( +31 / -15 )

1000+ for sure next week, if not this week. Tokyo hospitals will be overrun.

12 ( +25 / -13 )

Inching up to 1000 per day in Tokyo alone. I am shocked the testing number is still tiny for one of the worlds biggest cities. The Tokyo govt MUST step up and take some action NOW.

16 ( +27 / -11 )

And when they health system collapses in the near future and deaths sky-rocket over the holidays because most clinics and hospitals will be closed, they'll say, "Who coulda thunk it? How could we have known? Oh, and the Olympics budget just tripled again, and there's no way it'll be cancelled, and we will loosen restrictions on proximity. Now, how could we have known this would happen?"

21 ( +31 / -10 )

Who coulda thunk it? How could we have known?

Now, how could we have known this would happen?

I expect to see a lot of bowing to the ground and crying on TV.

20 ( +28 / -8 )

From NHK:

121 50s 

49 60s

38 70s

30 80s

6 90s

So that's 244 from the vulnerable population, very likely requiring hospitalization. That's a very large number for an overstretched and unprepared health system.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Any deniers, herd immunity defenders still out there?

People said this months ago: it will get worse.

And how about that age group?

Nope, not the older ones but the folks in their 20s and 30s get infected the most.

Get out that vaccine and lets hope for the best!

8 ( +16 / -8 )

888

like the gambling number.

Ironic that J gov is gambling with all this situation and hoping for the best!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

My son reluctantly came back to Okinawa from Tokyo, as he is getting concerned, because there seems to be little information on contact tracing, and the numbers just keep rising.

Fortunately he can work remotely so it doesnt matter where he is.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

and no deaths.

just "cases".

thank you for exact information.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

In a country that doesn't do autopsies who really knows the death rate...

The government seriously failed the Japanese people and continues to do so....

18 ( +23 / -5 )

This hasn’t aged well.

“In a characteristically Japanese way, we have all but brought this epidemic under control in the last month and a half,” said Mr Abe. “Surely, it shows the power of the Japan model.”

16 ( +21 / -5 )

And, still no action by the J-gov to stop the spread. Meh!

6 ( +13 / -7 )

“In a characteristically Japanese way, we have all but brought this epidemic under control in the last month and a half,” said Mr Abe. “Surely, it shows the power of the Japan model.”

To his credit, he did declare a national emergency that most business and people have followed, even if it wasn't a hard "lockdown." So I think he is correct in what he said then.

The government have failed the people of Japan since then, though, with the GoTo campaigns and wishy-washy messaging.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Do you guys realise that this is the highest amount of tests ever?

Last week it was 820 with about 10.000 tests, and today you have 888 with almost 13000 tests.

About 3000 tests more, and about 50 more positive.

Yesterday you had about 700 with about 1900 tests.

Today you have almost 11000 tests more than yesterday, but only about 190 more positives.

You guys are always begging for more tests, here you go.

-16 ( +13 / -29 )

Approve the vaccine already...

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Approve the vaccine already...

And then what? There are no shipments allocated to Japan until March, the earliest. So an approval will not help in any way. If they were smart, they would try to license the vaccine and manufacture it here, but I haven't heard of any talk of doing that.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

But anyway...

Merry Christmas to everyone!

And the Vaccine is coming soon...

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

@Matej

Information about the number of deaths in Tokyo can be found here:

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en

You can see the total number of total deaths and also the number of daily deaths by clicking on the link that is titled 'Click here to see a running total of deaths over time'

12 ( +12 / -0 )

A public health professional friend predicted 1500+ per day by years end 3 weeks ago. So far bang on track. But hospitals will be able to cope...just.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

At last the Government is taking this seriously.

Koike on T.V. right now, in her emergency jump suit and with someone else holding up her little cardboard sign. and using her 'stern' mother voice.

LOL. Oh well.

Stay safe and Merry Christmas everyone.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

@Monty, do you realize this is still a relatively low number if tests? But you have to realize as well, that in most countries such as in the EU, it is normal for tests to go up if people are feeling sicker, because then more people want to get tested. That is a normal trend: it is not because the government is actively promoting testing (also note, testing prices are still the same and this 12.000 tests in for Monday only, not every day, the weekly average is around 7800).

So you have to look at the % rate which was about 3% in early Nov, and is about 7,5% now, based on a 7day average.

In other words, the tests only increased in this time from ~4000 (early Nov) to ~7800 now, but the positively tested people increased more, from ~150 (early Nov) to ~460 now (again, 7day averages).

Thus, I am again not sure what you are implying with your post, but it seems you are trolling posters about wanting more tests. I don't see the point.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Monty:

But anyway...

Merry Christmas to everyone! 

And the Vaccine is coming soon...

Reminder: a vaccine is not coming soon, compared to most first world countries which start early January, in Japan they will start vaccination for hospital workers and clerks in late Feb/early March, and 65+ old people from late March/early April, which is very late.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

From NHK:

121 50s 

49 60s

38 70s 

30 80s 

6 90s

So that's 244 from the vulnerable population, very likely requiring hospitalization. That's a very large number for an overstretched and unprepared health system.

I am sorry but you wrongly assume that all the people tested positive in each age group will end up in serious conditions with a risk of death (excluding the fact here that Japan does hospitalize people with mild and moderate symptoms). Now if we look at the patients profile of COVID-19 cases in Japan as of December 2020, by age group:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1105162/japan-patients-detail-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-cases-by-age-and-gender/

We see that 1 person aged between 50 and 59 in around 295 dies from COVID-19; 1 person aged between 60 and 69 in around 65 dies from COVID-19; 1 person aged between 70 and 79 in around 18 dies from COVID-19; and 1 person aged 80 and more in around 8 dies from COVID-19. So just adding up all positive cases as you did and drawing any conclusion does not really make any sense.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

drawing any conclusion does not really make any sense.

Do you know what doesn't make any sense? Putting words in my mouth...

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Reminder: a vaccine is not coming soon, compared to most first world countries which start early January, in Japan they will start vaccination for hospital workers and clerks in late Feb/early March, and 65+ old people from late March/early April, which is very late.

Edit:

"hospital workers and clerks in late Feb/early March" - actually from the middle of March

11 ( +11 / -0 )

daito_hakToday  05:05 pm JST

From NHK:

121 50s 

49 60s

38 70s 

30 80s 

6 90s

So that's 244 from the vulnerable population, very likely requiring hospitalization. That's a very large number for an overstretched and unprepared health system.

I am sorry but you wrongly assume that all the people tested positive in each age group will end up in serious conditions with a risk of death (excluding the fact here that Japan does hospitalize people with mild and moderate symptoms). Now if we look at the patients profile of COVID-19 cases in Japan as of December 2020, by age group:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1105162/japan-patients-detail-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-cases-by-age-and-gender/

We see that 1 person aged between 50 and 59 in around 295 dies from COVID-19; 1 person aged between 60 and 69 in around 65 dies from COVID-19; 1 person aged between 70 and 79 in around 18 dies from COVID-19; and 1 person aged 80 and more in around 8 dies from COVID-19. So just adding up all positive cases as you did and drawing any conclusion does not really make any sense.

There's not much point using meaningful stats here. Numbers with little context are what matters. 77% know that.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Post mortem covid19 testing in Japan is not a reality.

Also you never really die by Covid19, as Covid triggers something that will cause death e.g blood clots, pneumonia, heart attack, organ failure and so on.

It is then very easy to hide deaths of Covid under other causes.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

(also note, testing prices are still the same and this 12.000 tests in for Monday only, not every day, the weekly average is around 7800).

Indeed...just to put it in perspective once again Monty , down in Australia , Sydney /NSW responding to a cluster that grew to a 100 cases over this week had tested 60,000 people just yesterday.

Japan testing level remains at ridiculously low levels in order to keep case numbers down & to keep some kind of tatemae facade and prolong the Olympic dream for as long as possible . Abe promised 200,000 test capacity back in summer. Just another bs " pledge". Still let's wait for we know who to tell us that peak has passed and Japan is handling this " better than many other countries".

9 ( +14 / -5 )

You guys are always begging for more tests, here you go.

somebody who doesnt know the science, more testing doesnt increase the number infected, it tells you more accurately how many are actually infected.

so they did 13000 tests with 888 positives, so what if they did 130000 tests that would be around 8800 positive? that many infected in a city the size of Tokyo how fast do you think its going to spread!

3 ( +14 / -11 )

This hasn’t aged well.

“In a characteristically Japanese way, we have all but brought this epidemic under control in the last month and a half,” said Mr Abe. “Surely, it shows the power of the Japan model.”

Definitely, not much talk of mindo either recently.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

justasking - Approve the vaccine already...

Yeah, roll out the magic silver bullet so everybody can forget about the virus and create a brand new worldwide pandemic.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Sifting through the comments I was expecting to see the one word poster that always bleats "Lockdown." Twas surprised that there wasn't more of a cry for one anyway.I guess they all saw how the UK is going through it now,making your Map of Reality a little more balanced of how Japan really is.I'm grateful being in Japan,despite my misgivings of the govt's handling.I had a laugh reading someone would be happy to go back to the UK.Of course anyone can talk BS when there's no onus to prove it.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

News just showed Ameko shopping street near Ueno. Most of the loud hawkers and customers were not wearing masks. But the fish prices looked really cheap.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A better stat to look at is... 4 more serious cases over an increase of 140 new cases.

This ratio doesn't exactly tell us Tokyo hospitals are going to be overrun.

If you live in Japan you know the situation is not as dire as this comment section claims it is.

We have been living quite normal lives since March with no mandatory shutdowns.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Nope, not the older ones but the folks in their 20s and 30s get infected the most.

Well high majority of the folks in their 20s and 30s are auto recovering fine, It's the infection in the vulnerable/comorbidity population which is concerning.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

virus only gonna get better once vaccinated. It’s not Christmas yet it still Christmas Eve Japan. Please get it right. Anyway hope everyone is having a nice KFC dinner tonight. :)

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

It is then very easy to hide deaths of Covid under other causes.

Actually it's only easy to say =)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

oxycodin

Please get it right many Japanese prefer Oshogatsu rather than Xmas still.

yes, Japan celebrate 25th they open presents just like US and other speaking countries. BUT some foreigners come from countries that celebrate Xmas Eve and open presents in the evening and since in Japan Xmas are not holidays I prefer that way more. Nothing worse than open presents and then rush to work and hoikuen.

Merry Xmas everyone!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I really don't think there is much the central or prefectural governments can do anymore, other than shore up the healthcare system. I read the number of infections here and overseas every day and it's numbed me. It's like reading sports results. Even the number of tests seems irrelevant. One country tests 20,000 a day, another this many, another that many. Doesn't change anything.

It's up to the people, all of us. When you look at Tokyo's numbers, the overwhelming majority are people in their 20s and 30s. They have to take more responsibility. Maybe when Tokyo's daily infections hit the 1,000 mark, it might jolt people more.

The only hope I see is that an HK survey showed that 80% of respondents won't go back to their hometowns for New Year. If they stay away from shrines and businesses are closed for four or five days, then there is a chance infection numbers will go down.

But in the end, I agree with the poster on the Sydney thread, who said JFK's inaugural speech is so relevant today. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Zoroto: " expect to see a lot of bowing to the ground and crying on TV."

Yeah, I don't think so. They're just going to make excuses and say they could not possibly have known, and already some of them are blaming the increase on foreigners coming in again (but still want more to come in for the Olympics!). Mark my words... the very day the Olympics are cancelled, or if Japan is still moronic enough to go through with them, Koike will stand up with about 10 signs in her hands and talk about what an emergency this is. Never forget she denied it was a problem until the very day the Olympics were postponed to 2020, then suddenly talked about declaring a state of emergency five minutes after it was decided.

Koike on March 12th:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2020/03/12/olympics/tokyo-gov-yuriko-koike-says-canceling-olympics-unthinkable/

Postponement announced Mar. 24th:

https://www.olympicchannel.com/en/stories/news/detail/tokyo-olympic-games-postponed-ioc/

March 25th Koike asks people to stay home and hints at lockdown:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/25/national/science-health/tokyo-logs-40-coronavirus-cases/

Right now the government is ONLY concerned about the Olympics and saving face. Once they are either done, or the chance of doing them is, they will finally start to address the issue. Of course, it's FAR too late, so we're getting the hints of "We could not have predicted this!".

4 ( +7 / -3 )

My sister in law and her husband have said they are not coming at New Year due to the high risk of Covid. Thank goodness, it only took 10 months for them to take this seriously.

Spoke to family earlier, spending Christmas apart but they are happy to be in tier 4 as they feel it’s better than getting Covid. One sibling lives in a tier 3 area and is having his in laws around, they are out of their tiny minds. Tier 4 kicks in for them on Boxing Day, being in a lower tier the day before doesn’t make them immune to the virus.

We’re staying indoors until Monday.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

There ain't going to be any Olympics.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

smithinjapan

exactly. it's really sad how some people are still feeling ok and safe cos "no deaths"...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Let's hope that all the little steps that is taking place this New Year's will keep the numbers as they are or lower such as no 24 hour trains, on the 1st of January it appears many stores are closing like years ago when I came, shrines and temples are limiting their hours let's see how that works out.

Regarding the vaccine Japan is really behind the eight ball on that one. My friends on Guam have told me all their doctors and nurses have received their first vaccines and will receive the second one soon. They believe the whole island will be vaccinated by spring time, and so, the Japanese government needs to shake their heads and start to wake up in being pro-active forget the go travel campaign, the Olympics, closing the doors to England and anything else that can hurt the people and the economy further.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“The Tokyo govt MUST step up and take some action NOW.”

Nope. The idiots running this country will continue to do absolutely nothing.

Are other countries even thinking about the Olympics? Or is it just the 80-90 year olds here?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Not bad considering the increase in tests. The holidays are usually pretty quiet except for those fukubukuro sales. Hopefully most of them are online this year.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So far as the target of comparison is Europe and the U.S all is good.

There is no need to test more and making this low number bad.

Koike's pledge to raise the number of test to 65,000 a day is probably a 10 year plan,

plenty of time left to execute it.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So that's 244 from the vulnerable population, very likely requiring hospitalization. That's a very large number for an overstretched and unprepared health system.

The Tokyo mandatory age requiring hospitalization was 65 and as the cases have been

increasing the age was raised last week to 70 years.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The weather will stay colder for longer and the cases will rise on the jam packed trains and in the crowded offices.

My Japanese income will be trashed for next year too.

It’s annoying how inactive the authorities are here...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So all of Japan had more then 3,373 cases. That is almost as much as the 4,000 cases New York City has in one day.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Compare it to waiting at the traffic lights, in april we were told wait for six weeks then its back to open roads.So most people waited, there was time limit and the risk of running the light seemed dangerous to all.

Now its wait indefinitely, and we now know the risk of a fatal accident is small to all but elderly drivers.

So it's no wonder more people are ignoring the light.

Without a clear and near deadline along with a compensation for work hours lost waiting, more people are going to ignore the light and cases are going to go up.

It's all so pointless.

Anyway merry Christmas

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If you can work from home with a VPN there is no reason to go to office. The trains and convinient store have covid lurking around everywhere. How effective you think those mask really are? The weather is getting freezing and people are catching colds and the kids are going to school spreading the cold and viruses and the girls in harajuku and shibuya walking around in their mini skirts like always its just going to get worse. Was this something the Japanese Govt wanted? It doesn't take a nerd to understand this crap.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Just some advice for the hypochondriacs the more you worry about this problem the more you will start to manifest covid symptoms in my opinion as it too much fear monger for your mind to handle mentally. Merry Xmas! and be safe.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Those famous three Cs=closed spaces,crowded places and close-contact settings are the reason. It’s a big misunderstanding. Instead of avoiding them they are daily intentionally established what of course directly leads to those high numbers. Watch the packed station buildings, platforms and trains during rush hours, for example. Triple as much trains than before corona, to decrease the average passenger number and make it possible to keep a minimum distance? No, of course not. What a strange idea, the numbers are of course cut , less trains and shorter trains instead, just to give those viruses the most possible ideal replication conditions. On one side it’s clear that all those daily commuting crowds are extreme virus superspreading clusters, but on the other side I wonder if coronaviruses even can still find any place in all those overpacked places and trains and are already completely squeezed out of all trains. lol

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For everyone whinging about the number of cases going up...

Why aren't the bodies piling up too?

Hmmmmmm

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Im pretty sure Koike is having a pandemic power trip over Tokyo and Japan with her green trainers. Those 3c are a joke as not sustainable in this crowded Japan. 2 meter distancing not possible...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan increased its testing so that's why so many cases have been reporting recently. The best way to control the transmission is to limit the movements of People. This year people should pay tribute to the medical staff and the people who died from these diseases. Instead of spending on Christmas people should donate the money to the national fund. As a Muslim, I decided to celebrate Eid by donating the money to the National Fund.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

From the start of this pandemic (and observing comments on JT) it would indicate that japan has had an attitude of "this can't happen to us".

Well it's happening. Viruses do not think about "uniqueness".

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So all of Japan had more then 3,373 cases. That is almost as much as the 4,000 cases New York City has in one day.

@ gokai wo maneku - Bizarre how you keep wanting to bring New York into the thread about Covid cases in Japan. With respect, the vast majority of people in Japan are not concerned with whats happening 7000 miles away.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The true numbers are being hidden by the lack of official testing. Brain washing the population to keep the economy going, big business happy, lying to it's people.

The government is not interested in solving this issue, they are just hoping it will go away.

Madness.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hospital workers in Japan exhausted amid plans to stay open during New Year holidays.

Nurses dealing with the pandemic resigning.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

zichi

but the news looks so positive...if you would refer to the country in Europe then I would take it. But Japan looks okay still (at least that's what the numbers says) not that I necessary believe in that...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Contact tracing here is a joke. Local school has an infected student, they close and sterilize the school but don't even test the students from the classroom and teachers who frequent the classroom even though everyone's in a confined space without 6 feet of individual spacing for extended periods of time. To be honest, I'm surprised they even tested the student to begin with since they refused to test for worse cases.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh, and on top of my previous post, club activities are to continue from tomorrow. Today is the disinfection day and yesterday it was reported the student was infected.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Which countries are successfully using contact tracing? Not working in the UK.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do you guys realise that this is the highest amount of tests ever?

Last week it was 820 with about 10.000 tests, and today you have 888 with almost 13000 tests.

About 3000 tests more, and about 50 more positive.

Yesterday you had about 700 with about 1900 tests.

Today you have almost 11000 tests more than yesterday, but only about 190 more positives.

You guys are always begging for more tests, here you go.

South Korea, for comparison, has less than half of Japan's population and performed more than 150,000 tests yesterday. This is what we are asking for when we ask for more tests. Japan's testing is a joke

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@zichi Track and trace works occasionally, but not often enough. My SILs sister got an alert on Wednesday telling her to isolate as she had been in contact with an infected person.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hustleDec. 24  04:31 pm JST

And, still no action by the J-gov to stop the spread. Meh!

They're doing a better job than what American cities have been doing. 888 in a city of 35 million + is a much better ratio than most US states. They've been getting 10X that amount per day.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I know several doctors and nurses who I email and share regular messages with. They are exhausted and tired from the Covid work.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good news for Japan.INC

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get ready folks for the 1000 number, according to a friend the local governments are expecting the number to go up.

There are COVID outbreaks on the US military bases just heard this one, yesterday. I am not sure if this info is accurate or not, however, I expect the person who told me was being truthful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A ban on foreigners entering the country would do wonders for my job hunt

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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