Many go to work despite Abe's call for telework


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Oh, boy! Just how far out of touch is Abe? Just telling people to telework is not enough. Most people cannot telework. How about school teachers? Or cleaning staff? Or the tens of thousands of construction and trades workers? Or, the tens of thousands of shop workers? Does he believe the whole working population of the country sits in front of a computer all day? This guy is off his face!

30 ( +39 / -9 )

If Japan can't force people like in China, at the very least you fine people from going outside like California and New York. Shinzo Abe just wants to save the damn economy not the people.

12 ( +23 / -11 )

Totally agree with Do the Hustle above.

Why can this Government not get it through their thick heads: Ordinary people don't have the power to tell the Boss, 'Nah, I'm good, I'll just work from this month.'

It requires Government intervention and the employees.

Australia and New Zealand aren't doing well by accident.

@ Burning Bush, there's no reason remote meetings can't be facilitated correctly, but it's fine and natural if people horse around initially.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

"To lift the state of emergency in a month, Abe has said people need to reduce contact with others by as much as 80 percent. On Saturday, he asked companies to promote teleworking to achieve the needed 70 percent cut in commuters."

Abe: We need to reduce the amount of contact by... errr... let's say... ummm... 70% no, 80%! Yes, because that's better than 70%. 80% then. I'm not going to tell you how, or make any enforceable laws, and it's completely voluntary, and you won't get any assistance if you close down or miss work of your own volition, but ummm... just do it, m'kay?"

A few days later, as virus continues to grow:

Abe: I just don't get it... I asked them to do something. I even used strong words. I said it would be regrettable if they didn't cooperate. So, how is this still happening? I might have to form a panel to ponder this.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Just telling people to telework is not enough. Most people cannot telework

Those who can't, can't. Those who can, can.

The types of job that require people in the office in city centres are more likely to be those that can telework. So yes, you can achieve a huge reduction in numbers in business districts. This leaves it far safer for those that must travel.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Meetings and discussions on the internet from home are comically ridiculous.

People always speaking over each other and waving at each other like children.

Found it pretty easy myself. Videoconferencing is far better than telephone only meetings. Perhaps you live in a country with a poor internet infrastructure.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Meetings and discussions on the internet from home are comically ridiculous.

Mine aren’t. I wish they were funnier.

18 ( +18 / -0 )


urge Premium Fridays

urge Pay Rises

urge lord knows how many other things

and now this one delivered from his couch sipping tea?

(ps many people cant even fit a couch in their living space.)

koo koo

18 ( +22 / -4 )

The article is totally misleading. How are they defining "many?" There's no data points here. Just anecdotal evidence with a few interviews meant to portray Japan/Tokyo in a bad light. I think as many as possible are working from home. But yes, breaking news, some people can't. Duh!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

People always speaking over each other and waving at each other like children.

Are you perhaps an eikaiwa teacher talking about a lesson?

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

The infection will not stop spreading until there is a total lockdown! But a total lockdown will not happen in Japan ( only strong requests will be made with no legal obligations or penalties ). The Japanese authorities will probably return to their old technique of reducing the number of tests ( less test = less number of infected ) in the days ahead just to show normalcy! Every household should be given cash handouts by the Government as some other countries have done ( rather than the 2 pathetic cloth masks ) because everyone has been seriously affected one way or another by this outbreak!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Don't blame the workers, blame the companies. If your company does not support teleworking then you have no other choice than to go to your job. Sure, you could also refuse to go and lose your job but then what? Lose everything?

I work from home so this situation doesn't affect me but I can see why people still go out to their jobs, because of necessity.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Have you noticed that these Kyodo articles have stopped referring to the number of deaths. They always state the number of cases - but decline to add the current total deaths.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

A case of do as I say, not as I do....

Is PM Abe a teleworker?


Abe has taken hundreds of wasteful trips abroad when he could have accomplished the same via videoconferencing.

Where is the Japanese investment in schools in Japan to allow the students to become tech savvy?

It is zero.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

the day when every human can afford to work at home in front of a computer is the day everything is automated and run by robots. This problem isn't common only in Japan and Abe isn't the only government official to believe that everyone can just hole up in their home and continue working. But in the very least, those that can work from home, should work from home. Unless Japan is willing to go Wuhan-style on itself, It's impossible to achieve 0% people going outside

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I cannot work remotely.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I cannot remotely work.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Think about Japanese work and office culture. No one leaves until the boss leaves or until the job is done. Telling workers to stay home is like telling them they can leave on time. Even at my work that has about half foreign staff, all the Japanese workers chose to come to work until they were instructed to stay home. Mind you, many didn't want to be with their wives all day.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The story interviews people who sound like essential workers. Medical industry, supermarket procurement, disaster management staff at local government.

Google is publishing it every week, but I hope the government has more frequent updates on what people are doing where in the cities. Every Android phone with location turned on is a beacon that is being tracked already for commercial purposes (Iphones are too). If the targets are not being met for social distancing, things will have to be ramped up to keep the R0 down. I'll certainly be watching to see what the next Google update says.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My husband cannot do his job online.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Japanese culture as well as the legal framework is getting in the way of stringent measures. Without a legal power to impose a lockdown there will always be those who put their own interests and wealth above the common good. And this is true of all human societies not just Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The 70-80% reduction in social distancing is not an arbitrary number. There are multiple studies both overseas and in Japan that show the transmission rate Ro can reach "1" when 80% is reached. A combination of heavy mask use plus a major reduction in gatherings within Tokyo would put them on the path to controlling the spread. A 100% lock-down is not reasonable or possible in Japan since there is no law in place to enforce it. I don't believe there is legislation to fine people for being in public groups.

Today it looks like there were 91 new cases in Tokyo, according to NHK News Web. Mind you, Monday is always a low number due to testing schedule.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

70% is a sign of the lack of connection of the ruling class with the working class.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The dinosaurs in offices are not listening to dinosaurs in diet.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Another reasons people cannot telework in Japan is the low level of technology education. Toilet seats literally have more technology than most classrooms.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Lifetime politicians should be banned, especially when they get old and clueless.

I don't believe Abe can use a computer or log on let alone teleconference.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Anyone else getting bored at hearing about the diamond princess at the end of every news story?

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Guess you guys haven’t watched “a conference call in real life”

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abe doesn't want people to stay home. Japanese culture likes the gray area, so they can appear to be doing something when they are not. Japan is all about saving face.

I went to 7-11 this morning. They now have plastic clear tarps hanging above the counter. It so low that you can only reach over the counter at waste level.

The world as we know it will not return to normal without a vaccine. Most parents will not feel comfortable sending their kids to school, and many people will not feel comfortable traveling on planes and boats because of infections.

Until then less trust worthy governments like China, Russia, NK, Japan and the current WH administration will lie to avoid embarrassment and weakness!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Japan has been battling to stem a further surge in coronavirus infections

I am not sure that "battling" is the appropriate word in this context, perhaps "hoping" would be more accurate.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Guess you guys haven’t watched “a conference call in real life”

Nobody wears that much clothing in an at home conference call. Especially not pants!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Guess you guys haven’t watched “a conference call in real life”

Thanks for the afternoon laugh.

And here's another one

Granted that not everyone can work from home, but Japanese companies just don't seem interested in wanting to make it happen for the ones who can. The whole hanko and fax thing from another article just makes it even harder.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The types of job that require people in the office in city centres are more likely to be those that can telework. So yes, you can achieve a huge reduction in numbers in business districts.

Talk is cheap.

How is it possible to telework from a space smaller than that of a panda at ueno zoo. Kids are home and both husband and wife have to telework how is it possible from the cardboard size space called home.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

On our internal HP it said : Starting April "Telework" has begun.

Please ask to be registered and take advantage of the system.

BUT when I brought it up to my boss last week, I was told unless we were asked

by the customer to reduce our work force we couldn't telework.

Today when I went to the office I got an email saying I was registered to telework!

Elated, I asked when I could start and was told, everyone in the office was registered

and 2 of the men who are normally on site would be taking Fridays off so I had to take

their place and go on site when they were off.

Now the only way for me to telework was for the customer to close down.

Yeah, right like I'm going continue to work for this company...

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Even a full total prison-esque lockdown will not "stop the virus", it will always be out there, until enough of us catch it and become immune.

Burning Bush - no, it won't, but changing the way we do things over the next year will flatten the curve and prevent our health services from being overwhelmed, until a vaccine or treatment is developed. Carrying on as before will result a massive numbers of deaths.

And you wouldn't want that, would you? Or perhaps you do, or at least think it is a price worth paying.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Abe is not just out of touch. He’s delusional.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Not everyone works at a computer

6 ( +8 / -2 )

By the way, the places by my house are open and full of salarymen at this moment. The places around my neighborhood that were closed this weekend have no intentions of turning away customers during the week day.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Every household should be given cash.......... rather than the 2 pathetic cloth masks

It seems even the masks, promised weeks ago, have been all but forgotten. As for seeing so much as a brass razoo from those who make Scrooge seem like the personification of generosity, abandon hope all ye who enter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dude this Abe doesn’t realize that some people don’t have a choice but go to work and meetings. Blame it on the company not the people. If he wants people to strictly do telework, post a warning to people who run the company not it’s employees who barely making a living at this point because of the virus. Many people have already lost jobs because of it!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

People choose putting food on the table over tiny risk of catching corona.


2159 cases =99.99% of the population are not infected.

Even if 100 times more as some here believe its 98.2% unifected.

Whatever happened to keep calm and carry on

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Anyway, prepare to not hear the last chapter till October. At least that’s what some countries are not thinking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I would gladly stay home if I am compensated by the government to do so!

until then I shall rely on my two cotton masks for my family and me and sit safe in the knowledge ( whilst stroking my cat) that these will prevent me from catching this plague like super virus!

perhaps these wonder masks may also pay my bills for me!!

abe you are insane.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So the trolls complain when the lock down order wasn't given. Now they complain its not enough, then they complain its too late.

Does facts matter anymore?

Japan has one of the lowest numbers among developed nations. Our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, the numbers of death are low. The situation has been handled better than most countries suffering and dealing with this virus, but facts dont matter, just ignorance and trolling is what your good at.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

From what it seems, they really had their eye set on those olympics, regardless of the situation...and prepared for it ahead of time..? It just seems they are going to work like it is nothing going on while the rest of the world is on lock down and has to stay home. the japanese have been known to just go to work regardless of being sick or missing a limb. but effort in other areas in life is obviously a no no. something seems fishy, but it is what it is. they have been known to be below the belt and manipulate things to go in their favor.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@smithinosaka: If..and If the numbers in Tokyo go above 200 consistently a day over the next week , I will never challenge your comments again. But AlexBecu above is correct right now. This should have exploded here 2 weeks ago, and I will sadly have to eat my words this time next week if I am in hospital.

I simply CANNOT telework. I hear ya, I hear your plea for a total lockdown Eurostyle. I have NEVER seen Tokyo this dead. Not even in the early 90’s on New Years Day. People are listening, don't believe every photo you see. Total lockdown has not led to deserted parks in the UK, or deserted beaches out in the suburbs, I spoke to 3 people there today. I went to a food shop on Saturday early evening. I walked there, it began to rain, so I took a cab home. My cab went through Omotesando..I saw 4 people on the street. It was 18:40.

You demand lockdown, and you rightly slate Abe, but from where I am Tokyoites are doing a pretty good job of locking themselves down. I don’t know what you do for a living but you obviously assume we can all work from home. We can’t.

Lets reconvene next week.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Shin Kuhn, it’s time to throw in the towel cos your obviously a few cans short of a six pack.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When you have a government who's declaration ranks between suggesting and strongly suggesting that people/businesses do this and that rather than setting it down in stone that it's mandatory...this situation is what you will get regardless of what country you're referring to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo metropolitan government grants money for companies who want to implement teleworking, helping them to purchase network, PC equipment and software. Each company can get as much as 2.5M Yen.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Are Japanese companies even equipped for telework?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I know someone who was ditched by the wife because he worked at home.

He's an embalmer

5 ( +6 / -1 )

In California, US . . . it has been reported that social distancing appears to had a favorable effect on reducing the spread of the virus.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


Our hospitals are not being overwhelmed, the numbers of death are low. The situation has been handled better than most countries suffering and dealing with this virus, 

Do you have the death records for the past 2 months ? Without any data you are just postulating.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Are Japanese companies even equipped for telework?

Depends on the company. Our people are on week five of working from home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another reasons people cannot telework in Japan is the low level of technology education. Toilet seats literally have more technology than most classrooms.

I almost always disagree with Chip Star but not this time. Chip has a point here and it's something I just can't wrap my head around. It took me a while to figure out how to operate the freaking toilet in Japan. So much technology in Akhibara too and so many phones in use but I think it's the cultural thing that gets in the way here or maybe the offices are just not geared for hi-tech. Just don't understand it. But truthfully, I would hate for Japan to change too much.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

OK, I looked at the first post and I saw this:

How about school teachers? Or cleaning staff? Or the tens of thousands of construction and trades workers? Or, the tens of thousands of shop workers?

I'm sorry, but they are forced to stay at home here in Canada. Only cleaning staff are declared to be frontline workers and thus are paid and provided whatever protective equipment necessary.

I strongly support teleworking. The future belongs to companies that use a lot of those hi-tech apparatuses, and those are the most competitive in the world right now. Even for school matters, it would be great if teachers start applying new tech-based methods for the time being. Can't rely on the same old all the time, especially in extraordinary circumstances.

The real problems here are the lack of will from the authorities to 1) PROVIDE better financial support to individual workers who are put on forced leave because of COVID-19 (so far it, the proposed amounts are a joke), 2) ENFORCE social distancing with hefty fees and even arrests if people get caught in the streets, and 3) PENALIZE employers who don't take measures to protect their employees (who are borderline modern slaves at times).

As people say in my home province: Il faut que ça change. Deep changes need to happen on both social and cultural levels after this pandemic because there is no way that full normalcy will ever resume anywhere. If those will eventually happen in many countries worldwide, I don't see why Japan can't change.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My school recently joined a cloud system, which means I can work from home on my computer. And yet, we must come in every day for five hours. There are no students here. There are no teacher meetings. But...they still cannot fathom letting teachers stay home. They still seem to believe that work must be done at the work place. And I think some of the higher ups don't trust us.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I personally do not like any form of teleworking and find physical work conditions more rewarding and meaningful for many more reasons. Therefore physically moving, to take action, is much more important that sitting and just sending out digital data audio-visually or otherwise. Moreover, there is nothing like the comradre and friendships establish by physical presence and sharing experiences together. Besides, unless I actually meet physically in person face-to-face, I could never ever trust that person on the other side. It is difficult to trust even when you do face the person to begin with.

For many, especially now in the female oriented Japan, where a man even looking at and smiling at a person across the seat on the train can be considered sexual harassment, it is at the work place that one can actually meet someone other than family and neighbors that don’t even pay attention anyway, unless way out in the country.

Therefore, I can understand at least one reason why people do want to go to work even with the risk. The others are also there that are willing to take that extra “risk” for whatever reason. It is afterall a shared responsibility and risks that some arer willing to take.  We are not there to be affected, they are. I am willing to let them. In fact if I had a place to go to work, I will be willing to go as long as those arlound me at home are not also at a higher risk than warranted.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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