People sit in the outdoor seating areas of restaurants and bars in Tokyo on Tuesday. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato
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Suga to declare state of emergency in Osaka; no decision on Tokyo

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the state of emergency would not impact hosting of the Olympics

why would it...That would defy all logic...in what universe are they related...

6 ( +18 / -12 )

I’m not a science expert, but it seems to me that SOEs in a few locations isn’t going to be terribly effective in a country slightly smaller than the state of Montana given people can easily travel from the hotspots to other areas.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Well will he be closing schools or not? No mention of that here, but it was talked about before.

Schools are much bigger meeting places and much much more important than department stores and amusement parks.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Suga, either continue with the SoE or don't. Quit screwing with people's livelyhood.

Also why isn't the govt increasing hospital bed space? Convert fields, stadiums, gyms, etc. into field hospitals to take care of the less severe patients and leave the severe one for the actual hospitals.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

Very easy to fix this latest wave by just vaccinating everyone and then no need for another SOE but this incompetent government couldn't organize a p***up in a brewery.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Good Morning Mr. Suga,

All what needs to be done is ramp up the vaccination to about the same rate the virus is spreading plus 100,000 more, simple formula that worked in other countries.

NO need to seek experts opinions, and it is a NO brainer.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Again SOE.... Really not healthy this way.

Anyway GW is coming next week, I'm wondering how this will be handled.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I guess they have to wait until people are sick enough to do the same for Tokyo.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

@Fiddlers

Absolutely right. It was a two birds with one stone had Japan spent its time vaccinating. People stop getting sick, stop spreading the sickness, no need to close things down and Olympics as icing on the cake.

Instead they chose some awkward balancing act of “Please social distance, but also Go To campaign by going out and spending money.”

He who chases two hares catches neither.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

You’re right @GrungeHamster 7:12a. We shouldn’t be “splitting hares” either. The J Gov will just do ‘as it pleases’.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Osaka Gov Hirofumi Yoshimura said he intends to close major amusement and commercial facilities such as theme parks and department stores in addition to current measures including asking restaurants and bars to shorten opening hours

In other words, another of the same old.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Tokyo measures to control the current spread: cancel Olympics and start testing everyone.

You’re welcome Suga chan.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Also why isn't the govt increasing hospital bed space? Convert fields, stadiums, gyms, etc. into field hospitals to take care of the less severe patients and leave the severe one for the actual hospitals.

It's not about the spaces or beds, or anything like that. It's all about doctors and nurses, which they don't have. Each ICU bed in Japan requires ICU 5 nurses. It doesn't scale.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Time for GOTO-Olympics Suga to step down and bring in a leader who actually cares about people.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Another state of emergency.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They declare again here in Tokyo they better shell out some support money this time the cheap SOBs.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Well will he be closing schools or not? No mention of that here, but it was talked about before.

Schools are much bigger meeting places and much much more important than department stores and amusement parks.

Excellent point. Forget about containing the virus if the schools remain open. Forget about it.

but this incompetent government couldn't organize a p***up in a brewery.

Absolutely!

I guess they have to wait until people are sick enough to do the same for Tokyo.

They are. they just are not testing them.

Time for GOTO-Olympics Suga to step down and bring in a leader who actually cares about people

He doesn't know any. They don't exist in the LDP.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Next stop Tokyo.

And more talk about how hosting the Olympics will be “difficult.”

9 ( +9 / -0 )

reach a "swift" conclusion.

Hahahaha! I'm glad "swift" is in quotes so we can all know it won't be.

Why can't the governor of a prefecture declare his or her own state of emergency? Why does everyone have to wait for a national committee to suck teeth? Is it for the money the national gov't will send to the prefecture?

However it's nice to know Suga conferred with the health minister and the guy in charge of covid response, who, I must say, is doing a bang up job responding (except for allowing it to run rampant, of course).

10 ( +10 / -0 )

cancel olympics.

start mass vaccination.

keep economy going, no SOE.

exercise and eat healthy.

not difficult.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Also why isn't the govt increasing hospital bed space? Convert fields, stadiums, gyms, etc. into field hospitals to take care of the less severe patients and leave the severe one for the actual hospitals.

...

It's not about the spaces or beds, or anything like that. It's all about doctors and nurses, which they don't have. Each ICU bed in Japan requires ICU 5 nurses. It doesn't scale.

Maybe if they didn’t tamper with their entry test results, we would have more (female) doctors and nurses.

Karma...Japan. Karma.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

A Suga declaration that the “Olympics will be safe and secure” ultimately guarantees that they will once again be postponed...most likely to 2022 no doubt.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Will they stop sports fans attending games again?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ahhhh. Where are the vaccines for Japan? It's a simple question. Where are they?

"Suga to declare state of emergency in Osaka; no decision on Tokyo"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If you can read only one thing today, read the Asahi's VOX POPULI: "Time to consider cutting our losses, canceling Tokyo Olympics." The title says it all: Don't throw good money after bad.

Coping with the pandemic has to be our first priority.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

The Olympics must take place whatever happens, Mmmm why?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Well, Tokyo seems so confident. I wonder why?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Looks like Nara, Wakayama and Kyoto pachinko parlors are going to have to get their "No Osakans Allowed" signs back out of the storage room.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In other words, another of the same old.

Amusement parks like USJ and Hirakata Park have been open since last June. Department stores have been open too. But, it says that in the article, ya know.

Schools, department stores and amusement parks were all closed under the initial state of emergency declared in April last year but not during the second, which was commenced in January this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is just political. There's an election coming up soon. The numbers would have gone down anyway once the weather warms up and the rainy season begins.

Now the mayor of osaka can campaign and say how he worked so hard to get the SOE. I guess his team think this is what his voter base wants, which is mostly old people addicted to the television.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

If you check the data you can see that the peak was last week and the numbers have been flat and starting to reduce. Such good timing to make it look like magical government saved everyone. I bet they feel like rock stars. They are so disconnected from the average Japanese person who is sick of these SOE. I hope this political bet is a loss for the Mayor. But it won't really matter because people usually vote for who their companies push on them.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

They better not close the gyms again. The gainz train never stops!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's an election coming up soon. 

No, there isn't. The election was in 2019.

The numbers would have gone down anyway once the weather warms up and the rainy season begins.

You keep repeating this, but India and Brazil proves you wrong.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Let him wait... the longer he puts it off, the worse it'll get, and the closer we come to a cancelled Olympics. The government has proven time and again that the "wait and pray" approach does NOT work. What's Suga waiting for? Does he think tomorrow will have fewer infections than today, when Tokyo is following the same route Osaka took in reopening and infections going up? Osaka also waited and denied, and now Yoshimura is embarrassed and pushing in the opposite direction to try and save face, even suggesting schools close again. Suga's just got his deer-in-headlights senility look on, saying he doesn't want to comment because he has no clue what he's doing. But, let him delay... in a week it'll be 1500 in Tokyo and he'll just have to take steps to try and blunt it after the fact, once again.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

There's an election coming up soon. The numbers would have gone down anyway once the weather warms up and the rainy season begins.

Where do you rubes come up with these assertions? I am sure India is greatly relieved that warm weather prevents the virus spread. They just had 294,000 infections yesterday and 2000 deaths. Does this disinformation come from Fox News or some other blatant propaganda source?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Let him wait... the longer he puts it off, the worse it'll get, and the closer we come to a cancelled Olympics.

You are taking it a little too far when you want Japan to get to a worse state just so the Olympics can be canceled. Unfortunately, a lot of posters here seem to have the same mindset.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The latest news on Japanese sites says they are declaring SOE in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The vaccination program is non-existent. A big, fat failure of government.

Suga & Kono asserted 35 million would be vaccinated in April. So far, less than 2 million.

The only viable solution is to vaccinate the populous. The pandemic has been ongoing for almost one and one-half years. 16 months, this April. It has waxed and waned. Though vaccines are available, the distribution has been extremely haphazard. Or simply, not at all. The expectation is to have everyone vaccinated by October/November. That is absurd and speaks to an inability to deal with the crisis in a significant manner.

And, as is continually mentioned: the big push is for The Olympics, in the midst of a pandemic, in a country that will not have vaccinated its population prior to an international event. Individuals will be arriving from countries where the pandemic is still out-of-control. Visiting Japan, where the virus is running rampant in the two largest urban areas, among the majority of the population. This will introduce variants and mutations of the virus and produce flare-ups within three weeks of arrival. August will see the largest surge in cases of Covid-19. That attests to and illustrates the incompetence and a lack of care by the heads of government. Are they simply insane?

Many businesses depend on Golden Week, Spring/Summer to generate income. Entire sectors of the economy will fail and go out of business. Especially, small, independent shops and restaurants/cafes. A key component to the local culture. That which distinguishes Japan.

Financial assistance from the government has not been particularly impressive.

Here is the most current information on when vaccines will arrive in Japan:

100 million doses of Pfizer vaccine are to arrive between May/June. Daiichi Sankyo Co., in Japan, began the production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the vaccine will be distributed immediately after approval by the government. And for some odd reason, AstaZeneca, 120 million doses form the USA are to arrive this month (60 million folks, 2-dose regime). 

Suga & Kono claim 10 million inoculations a week, to take place in May. 

Supposedly, in July foreigners will be administered the vaccine. Everyone to be vaccinated by end of September. 

One can only look at the current situation in disbelief. The heads of state either simply lie or are grossly incompetent.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

More stupid ideas and rules because of pseudo science. What do parents do who work and have young kids at school? Any measures to help them out during this charade? We need to carry on life as usual, this Covid lark will go away soon enough. Just keep up the mask wearing will suffice, we don’t need draconian rules in Japan. At least they don’t close the cafes, my partner would be terribly upset by that. I guess there will be less traffic on the streets which is good so shopping is easier.

im just going to enjoy the lovely weather and get on with my life, not hide away and be in fear of others.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

Will anyone even listen to him at this point?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What the governors these SoE regions should do is be much more pro-active by arresting and jailing all offenders for being outside their homes and keep them all locked up until this debilitating and deadly virus is eradicated.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Hopefully GoTotravel will start by GW!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

We need to carry on life as usual, this Covid lark will go away soon enough.

@ falseflagsteve - The lesser-educated types have been promising this for well over a year. "Just ignore the virus, carry on as usual, dont fear anything. It will magically go away very soon", they say.

Millions dead. The virus has never been more rampant worldwide than right now.

These dummies were wrong all along.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@Fighto

life goes on as normal for most here in Japan and there is no chaos, strange that. As long as the Japanese population doesn't suddenly become morbidly obese then the situation will not be dire here. Shame the governments in certain countries didn’t enforce diets and exercise for the obese instead of lockdowns. The situation there would have been far less bad. Healthy body equates to a halothane mind and society, nothing proves this more than the current situation

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The cycle continues. They’ll have an SOE for a month and the numbers will drop to 200-400. They’ll then remove the SOE and the numbers will increase to over a thousand very quickly. Rewind, repeat!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As long as the Japanese population doesn't suddenly become morbidly obese then the situation will not be dire here.

Here we go , another theory from an "expert".

The US - with a much higher proportion of obesity than Japan - has the SAME case fatality rate as Japan - 1.8%. Your theory is WRONG amd made up. Just like other people on here who keep posting that 99.99% of all those infected will recover.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@falseflagsteve

Schools aren't free daycare. Think outside the box, adapt and deal with the situation. Take some time off and spend it with your kids. Can't do that? Ask your friends and family if they can watch your kids for a few hours. Don't forget, schools aren't made up of just students, there are teachers, parents, grandparents all connected. If cancelling classes for a few weeks can save some lives then it's worth a little bit of inconvenience. I hardly think visiting a cafe is worth sacrificing someone's health or life for.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Suga said the state of emergency would not impact hosting of the Olympics, reiterating the government will work to ensure they are "safe and secure."

Why does he say “and secure”? Is China or NK going to invade? Does he know something we don’t?

And “safe”? Apart from the expert predicted M10 earthquake, Fujisan overdue eruption, out of control Daiichi NPP, new variants of Covid19 that are proving resistant to vaccines, inaccurate and fake testing, hospitals reaching maximum capacity...

seems safe.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Fighto

maybr you would be correct with the death rate but you’re not in Japan’s case. As we all know minimal testing is done here so confirmed cases are a fraction of those in the West. Am inconvenient truth for those with am agenda i know. The same people who complain about low testing and hidden cases use those results to twist the facts and make mortality rates look higher. We don’t all walk around with our eyes closed

@Vreth

i don’t have children , I was thinking of others and the trouble these measures would cause them

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

@kabukilover

If you can read only one thing today, read the Asahi's VOX POPULI: "Time to consider cutting our losses, canceling Tokyo Olympics." The title says it all: Don't throw good money after bad.

Thanks so much for this. It is one of the best, logical, and unemotional (based on common sense) articles I have seen and explains clearly why cancellation is non imperative.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The US - with a much higher proportion of obesity than Japan - has the SAME case fatality rate as Japan - 1.8%. Your theory is WRONG amd made up. Just like other people on here who keep posting that 99.99% of all those infected will recover.

New Zealand has an obesity rate of 30% and a case death rate if 1%. Why? Because they followed the science and locked down. Now they can enjoy the weather and cafes without sticking their heads in the sand and endangering others.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

the troublesome osaka mayor clearly has lost control of this situation. very sad to see this. thankfully tokyo is not too such bad of a condition right now.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Hopefully Aso can water down these measures so they won't be too inconvenient.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

And, to anyone who thinks this is all anymore than a performance:

Tokyo's S.O.E will be 4/29~5/9 it was announced.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The Olympics must take place whatever happens, Mmmm why?

If the Olympics go on as planned, it is almost certain a new and improved variant hybrid COVID mutant will begin infecting the people. That’s what happens when a sick world parties together without precautions.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As coronavirus infections resurge nationwide with the spread of more contagious variants, 

Forgive the ignorance, but where and when the bacteria variants were officially declared in Japan? I have researched and come up empty handed. Any help is gratefully welcome. Be safe out there everyone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BMJ recently published a report showing much higher death rates in countries with higher obesity rates. Most people choose to ignite the facts.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

BMJ recently published a report showing much higher death rates in countries with higher obesity rates. Most people choose to ignite the facts.

"Much higher death rate" for nations with higher obesity?

New Zealand obesity rate : 31%. Case fatality rate : 1%

Netherlands obesity rate : 20% . Case fatality rate : 1.2%

USA obesity rate : 36%. Case fatality rate : 1.8%

Singapore obesity rate : 6%. Case fatality rate : 0.05%

Japan obesity rate : 4%. Case fatality rate : 1.8%

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_obesity_rate)

Overall world case fatality rate so far - 1.8%

Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, yet the fatality rate is right on average for the world.

FACTS.

There are thousands of factors at play in terms of covid deaths. It seems obesity is just a small one of many, yet you are focused on it alone to suit your narrative of "no need to take any more action".

7 ( +8 / -1 )

My only question is where is this bar street in Tokyo? Looks legit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, yet the fatality rate is right on average for the world. 

FACTS.

The facts are that you don't understand what you are comparing since you use the case fatality rate which not only tells absolutely nothing about severe COVID-19 complications related morbidities, but also is meaningless to compare between countries with radically different testing policies. Now by refuting that obesity is an important risk factor, you seem to be one of the anti-science crowd that decides to make up a point of view from their own emotional imagination. Here what US CDC has to say about it:

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7010e4.htm

Here are just two scientific papers out of many that have linked obesity to severe COVID-19 complications:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41366-021-00771-z

https://immunityageing.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12979-020-00212-x

The first article interestingly also suggest the relation between walking pace with the risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality. The second proposes several explanations about the possible mechanisms that makes obese host vulnerable.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

My only question is where is this bar street in Tokyo? Looks legit.

The signs say Shibuya Yokocho

Three minutes' walk from Shibuya Station.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now by refuting that obesity is an important risk factor, you seem to be one of the anti-science crowd 

No-one is refuting that obesity is one of the MANY factors at play. But to suggest further safety measures should not be considered simply because Japan has a low obesity rate - and that the situation "cannot become dire" in Japan, as that poster is doing - is quite simply reckless at best.

People are clearly getting very, very ill and some dying despite a low incidence of obesity.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

I presume that the trains will be rolling into and departing Osaka station every day? more people transmitting, transporting and carrying the virus on its merry way?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These SOE have not messed with our travels, nor has the cancellation of GOTOTRAVEL.

If anything it has made it easier and safer to travel, if you have the time and Yen and we got it.

Good luck Osaka.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@cleo

sank you

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, now it needs real perfectly planning artists, to distribute all the next shutdowns over the time span in a way, that exactly only the Olympic weeks won’t fall under such a SOE. Good luck...Or just take a dice, that will have the same effect. lol

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I am sorry but this really makes little sense because it is just an emotional driven argument. 

Its better than the argument from the "expert" above that Japans situation "cannot become dire", unless people suddenly become morbidly obese. Dangerously false.

It can and WILL become dire if proper, effective measures are not taken. Now.

Your constant railing against effective SOE/lockdown measures (the first one, while fairly weak DID lead to a drop off in cases) strongly betrays an attitude of "its all about me". Try and develop a sense of community, this isnt just about one person.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Fighto

Please calm down mate. Hysteria is high many regarding Covid as they are stuck firm in their beliefs.

It is best to remain in alert and behave in a manner appropriate to the risks and the current situation. A new paper published a few days ago by reputable scientists found that sunlight reduced severe symptoms and deaths in Covid, combine this with weight loss on mass and the huge deaths in the West would have been reduced.

constant lockdowns causing weight gains, stress and little exposure to the sun make the immune system weak. They cause more severe symptoms, depression. More deaths and place a strain in hospitals.

Japan is correct in nit having an interest in making people remain indoors and become ill.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ falseflagsteve - Your assertion that "this covid lark" will "very soon just go away"; that "mask wearing is enough" without any stronger measures - simplistically because Japan has a low obesity rate - is demonstrable nonsense.

MUCH more needs to be done, and the situation in Japan is getting worse just like most of the world. Tougher measures needed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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