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Shoppers crowd Tsukiji market in Tokyo on Saturday. Image: KYODO

Commercial facilities in Tokyo to reopen under extended emergency


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What tool does one use to "strike a balance", as the story suggests the Japanese government is attempting to do? A small ball-peen hammer? A rubber mallet?

I hope it's not a 40lb sledge hammer, or we're going to have to watch (to Benny Hill music) the Japanese government fumble around for the next 6 weeks as they have meeting after meeting to decide which team of old men will be tasked with attempting, likely unsuccessfully, to lift the sledge hammer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

oh come on, lukewarm measures not having a strong enough effect, so they make them even weaker? this is a joke already

4 ( +4 / -0 )

marcelitoToday  11:46 am JST

Mobile vaccination clinics available throughout Hawaii over Memorial Day weekend......Can we try this?

Sounds like a good idea...let's set up " expert panel" and have a series of meetings over the next 6 month. Will release a report with recommendations as early as January 2022

Oh yes ... you nailed the “ early as ... (distant future) infuriating line!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a complete and utter dog’s breakfast.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

State of emergency is a nonsense scam. It’s just words and the Jgov are using it to make the IOC and international media look like they are taking thing serious.

they are not and they don’t care.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

For people worried about Indian variant - read this news on Asahi below - even for PR and long term residents are banned from entry to Japan from countries like India but - where Olympic athletes were given exemption - total of 1649 foreigners from 80 countries have entered Japan since April 2021 out of which 1432 were given this quarantine waiver - Out of this 1432 there are 24 from India - even these Indians were given special treatment and reduced self quarantine 


These are the news articles which need to be more widely circulated, highlighted and only one question asked to the authorities - WHY?????

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's the right thing to do - but the vaccination program needs to continue to speed up, otherwise we will just keep repeating these COVID waves. That said, things are getting better in Japan, active cases are falling, and new infections are also falling.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Is the goal of the government to trash the economy by this never ending cycle of a weak SOE followed by relaxed restrictions?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You know what encourages people to follow rules? If the rules are consistent and easy to understand. If you keep changing everything people loose faith in the rules and just do their own thing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ridiculous. Just utterly ridiculous. These "SoE's" hold no weight whatsoever. It's just an illusion so that they can hold the Olympics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Indian variant. The UK variant. How about the Japanese variant? They seem eager to blame everyone except themselves for the spread of this virus. After more than a year of the SOE cycles they are no closer to controlling the spread of this virus than they were a year ago and opening shopping districts is only going to continue the cycle.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My local steakhouse which also happens to sell the best craft beer in town has been duly ignoring the government requests (owner is tired of inconsistent requests and lack of income), so nothing changes for me, as long as they are open I couldn't care less about department stores, cinemas or theme parks.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Postpone the Olympics, don't cancel them. Tokyo 2022 or Tokyo 2024 is super fine.

I don’t get the point with your remark. What exactly do you expect to be better or even ‘super fine’ compared to now? For example, if something like that new Vietnam corona variant comes here , you can’t even leave your home anymore or let your lunch delivered. There will be completely other problems, but surely no one ever will think of any postponed games again. Then you’ll simply pray that a JSDF biohazard team brings you a bottle of water and a rice ball.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Who needs department stores opened? I want my yakitoriya reopened!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Shoppers crowd Tsukiji market in Tokyo on Saturday. 

"State of emergency" .....Really?

Social distancing?, you'd be lucky to get a fag paper between some of those shoppers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just take it to the next level already - Japan, you are safe! You are naturally immune to COVID. There is nothing to worry about. It is like the flu. The numbers are small. Everything's under control.

Now, open your borders! I’ll take my risks - I’ve been vaccinated for months - hell, even my Kids got their second shot this week.

My best friends shrine is still at his home in his living room - now, only on my account. Waiting fir me.

I miss my friends, my second family, and they miss me, and oooh.... I’ve got plenty of money to spend...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

So virus only a problem at weekends !

dbsaiya - 3 times referring to ‘UK variant’ it is the Indian variant is the concern now

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Many are so bored and tired of restricting their daily lives for a long period of time and think if they wear masks, they are safe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This whole State of Emergency is nothing more than a Joke!!!!

Have you seen this 3rd State of Emergency? If you go out and take a look around,

you would never know that it's a State of Emergency if somebody didn't tell you that.

Everybody is out and about. After 8:00pm, many restaurants and bars are still open

with shoulder to shoulder customers. Nothing has changed.

The only thing that this government worries about is their precious Olympics.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

What about gyms?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The gov't appears to be completely flailing at this point. There's a case to be made for adjusting the state of emergency based on the latest understanding of the situation. But now, there's so much back and forth, with seemingly no rhyme or reason, it will give you whiplash trying to keep up. Headless chickens have more coordination.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


No idea why they are asking for more testing as it has been promised many times but won’t be happening except for the Olympic athletes ( such as the Australian team arriving soon to be tested daily for the next two months),

The curtain has been fully pulled back now on the Japanese government. It is more important to satisy the IOC and for the LDP to ensure the Olympics go on rather than care for the Japanese government.

My in laws were over yesterday and I was not going to bring the issue up. It came up about 15 minutes after they arrived and gave my mother in law to vent about this, rightfully so as she is in her 80s and her first shot will be in early July. The former LDP supporters think Suga is completely full of dog excrement when he says he does not put the Olympics before the Japanese public.

I agree with her.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@HBJ "The only logical alternative to this all being due to gross incompetence and ignorance by the Japanese government, is that the plan all along has been to achieve herd immunity"

Never thought of that. And would not doubt it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is the Japanese government conducting some kind of sick experiment on its own people (again)?

We are in the middle of an extended 'State of Emergency', and nationwide positive cases have gone up, not down. Okinawa and Hokkaido are hitting new records every few days, and I would bet other prefectures are too - but those facts never get reported on because those prefectures aren't as famous as Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, or Okinawa.

Double digit clusters are shutting down schools - that isn't being reported on, not even in my local media.

A large school in Saitama has had scores of positive cases (yes, multiples of 20), yet the teachers are being forced to gaman and haven't been tested - I've yet to see a report on this in any national outlet.

Vaccines are being done at the pace of a snail stuck in a puddle of superglue.

All this is currently going on, and the sages that run the country think this is the time to start opening things back up. I presume that the reason there's no dissenting editorial comment about this from the likes of JT is that everyone qualified to write articles have dropped their mechanical pencils in disbelief.

The only logical alternative to this all being due to gross incompetence and ignorance by the Japanese government, is that the plan all along has been to achieve herd immunity. If so, then this is indeed a sick experiment, because every other country around the world has realized (some quicker than others) that such an approach is unfeasible, and the best way of protecting people's lives and livelihoods is simply getting shots into arms, and then thinking about getting back to some semblance of normality.

12 ( +14 / -2 )


Postpone the Olympics, don't cancel them. Tokyo 2022 or Tokyo 2024 is super fine.

I agree with you but I am sorry to say the true leaders of Japan, the foreign IOC, do not agree with you. Their masters (the almight dollar from NBC) say the games must go on.

After all the U.S., the land of greed, with the quarterly revenue and profit reporting and executive bonuses based on those numbers, cannot tolerate the loss of quarterly revenue due to not holding the Olympics on time. Bonuses are to be paid!

We must "get with the program". Listen to our masters Koch, Sebastian Coe, and Coates: In order for the Olympics to be pulled off Japan needs Japanese citizens and the residents of Japan to sacrafice (as Koch said) and thus things need to reopen to ensure the appearance is that all is well in Japan.

After all we residents and citizens of Japan must accept the collateral damage so the LDP cronies can baske in the the glory of the Olympics, the IOC salaries and graft can be paid, the "elite" can enjoy their 5 star hotels which our subsidized by our taxes, and finally advertising revenue flows to NBC. Lives must be sacraficed for this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

My daughter ms nursery has had both teachers and students testing positive yet the government tell them to close said class room and sent teach home but remain open for everyone else.... Now daughter wife and myself have symptoms! This government has no idea what it’s doing. pathetic!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

"Meanwhile, major movie theater operator United Cinemas Co and movie studio operator Toei Company Ltd also announced plans to reopen facilities from Tuesday."

Now you got the Vietnam variant thrown into the mix.

Who the heck would go to the movies right now?

Your surrounding viewers are like those in the picture accompanying this article. They wear masks and then go out and about to crowded places. They stuff themselves into trains everyday. Sit in offices and take of their masks for a 30 hour lunch break at their desks and chat while stuffing food into their mouths.

They believe the number of cases in Tokyo to be around 539 yesterday.

No way would I put myself in a movie theater where people will have their masks on for maybe 5 minutes because the rest if the time they are eating popcorn and drinking Coca Cola.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The reopening is all about the Olympics nothing else.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Mobile vaccination clinics available throughout Hawaii over Memorial Day weekend......Can we try this?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I'm bracing myself for another year of this.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Zoroto, yes. And how many Japanese are vaccinated? You can't compare UK numbers with Japan.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Under new guidelines, department stores in the capital and Osaka Prefecture will remain closed on weekends but will be permitted to open on weekdays with shorter business hours."

Which means people will rush to pack them thinking, "Well, it's a weekday, and not many people will go due to Covid, so it's my chance!" and we'll be in a fourth total state of emergency (meaning almost the same thing in terms of restrictions) in a month. In Osaka, Yoshimura STILL will not take responsibility for rushing to do this in Osaka in March, which led to Osaka taking the lead for infection in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Look at all those people in the picture in close proximity to each other. They think the 536 cases in Tokyo makes it safe to be out and about.

But 80% of them are opposed to holding the Olympics, and are in fact angry about it.

Give me a break. They are as clueless as Japan's leadership.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This is what Japan envies:

“Europe saw the largest decline in new COVID-19 infections & deaths this week compared with any other region, while also reporting about 44% of adults had received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.” -

Japan just wasn’t consistent or effective in their previous “measures” to resolve this earlier.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Postpone the Olympics, don't cancel them. Tokyo 2022 or Tokyo 2024 is super fine.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It's a start but not good enough. Fully back to business now!

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

the government hopes to strike a balance between curbing coronavirus infections and reviving the battered economy

without a full shutdown who can take this government seriously, other than the IOC?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

In other words, the message the failed government is sending to the unvaccinated masses is, "Go To Shop" and "Go To Entertainment."

10 ( +11 / -1 )

makes the SoE pointless. Do it right or don’t do it at all. Spineless and useless

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Yesterday’s news the governors said they want more testing to find the Indian variant so they could take preventive measures, this was followed by this story and the opening up of places from June 1st, such as movie theatres despite the SOE. And the governors also asked for stricter border control to stop the variants.

No idea why they are asking for more testing as it has been promised many times but won’t be happening except for the Olympic athletes ( such as the Australian team arriving soon to be tested daily for the next two months), And I would love to know what preventive measures they would introduce if they did test more anyhow. As for better border controls some 100,000 people are entering Japan soon with no quarantine and no tracking app. Meanwhile the story about relaxing preventive measures from June 1st is happening.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Good News, I hope that this will be the beginning of the end for COVID, just keep on Rocking & VACCINATING.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

They have to do it or they risk the establishments opening anyway against recommendations/orders

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a joke.

It's like an alcoholic saying I'll just drink beer.


30 ( +32 / -2 )

My biggest concern is the spread of the new variant from India. NHK showed a map of Japan and the number of known cases of this variant last week. It looked exactly like the map when the UK variant gained foothold here, and just like the UK variant, the cause now is mostly community transmission and not imported. This government is trying to fight the current UK variant using last year's playbook minus Abenomask and Go to. Everything else is the same. They are playing with fire with the new India variant.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Any bets on when they'll have to go back into full SOE?

My guess is June 15.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

This causes total confusion for the Japanese. This is the j-gov't onve again doing a half @ss job, with half @aa measures. There is no balance! There are two choices:

Lock it down-Virus can't spread

Open it and have the virus spread

At this point the gov't has lost their mind and has become completely clueless as to what they should do.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

the government hopes to strike a balance

“Hope is not a plan!”

Let the cycle begin again. Open the shops and new cases will rise to back over a thousand each day in the major cities within a fortnight, just as it has happened every time they remove the SOE. Rots ob rucku wiz zato!

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Once again:

“ **?** ”
7 ( +11 / -4 )

So back to normal? Think the LDP are in a state of emergency by themselves. I can’t see this working as an anti virus measure in anyway.

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Tokyo Skytree tower... is yet to make a decision regarding the reopening of its observation deck.

Totally unnecessary.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

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