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Abe seeks to extend state of emergency by about a month

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Why do so many people have to assemble in one room like this? Why can't they just do it over a video call and make the announcements online via video? Japan just doesn't grasp the idea of social distancing...

27 ( +37 / -10 )

World's worst kept secret revealed!

Extension 2 of 6?

7 ( +14 / -7 )

3 Pachinko halls open in Kobe today. Hundreds lined up before 10am. Folks from Osaka made the journey too.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

We have all 2020 people!..comply or it will go on and on!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

It is calling for an up to 80 percent cut in person-to-person contact, and a 70 percent reduction in commuters, though available data have pointed to difficulty in hitting these targets.

Easy answer stop the trains! Except you wont, so, expect people to travel, as there is no penalty for NOT staying home!

Where is this famed Japanese "group" mentality?

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Why do so many people have to assemble in one room like this? Why can't they just do it over a video call and make the announcements online via video? Japan just doesn't grasp the idea of social distancing...

They dont want to have to pay for Zoom! Not to mention, press would have a hard time filming them doing their jobs!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

More vacation time! Fewer people on the beach! I love it!

-26 ( +7 / -33 )

They dont want to have to pay for Zoom! Not to mention, press would have a hard time filming them doing their jobs!

So it's better to create ideal conditions for a "cluster" to form, contradicting the very basic guidelines the Govt itself is pushing. A large group of people standing or sitting in close proximity in a closed room with no natural ventilation... just perfect! #facepalm

23 ( +23 / -0 )

“experts” A hundred people gathered in one room.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

I'm gonna be flat out skint within 2 months, this is killing me. Just gotta get on with it though I suppose, it's all for the best in the long run.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

That photo is a good example of why the state of emergency must be extended. The ‘law makers’ are sitting about a meter apart, but the press are packed in there like cattle. It would only take one person to infect the lot of them. I guess it would be too much to expect these (expletives) to conduct this meeting by teleconferencing in hi-tech’ Japan. (chuckles)

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Where is this famed Japanese "group" mentality?

How many times do you have to repeat this? You really think there is no group mentality here? The vast majority of companies, businesses and people are voluntarily complying with the government's directive. Hence the reduction in infection rates. But please go on berating Japan because of your delusion that group mentality doesn't exist in Japan. Smgdfh as usual with your posts.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

I oppose to a nationwide extension. The new measure if imposed should be detailed or tailored in accordance with regions and population characteristics based on valid data. For instance, healthy young and working aged living in less risky areas would be allowed to back to normal life.

The panel failed to address any numerical target to lift the emergency restriction. A 80 % cut in contact and mobility itself should NOT be the ultimate goal. The model prediction and worst case scenario (800,000 cases, 420,000 deaths within a month) prior to the emergency declaration have never happened. In comparison to Europe and US, Japan has stayed low both in confirmed cases and death toll by about one hundredth. R0 in Japan has been down around or below 1. The effect of restrictions in Japan seems equivocal. The panel should review and rethink its recommendations.

Many lockdowned or controlled countries are starting to reopen without clear, satisfactory outcomes. Why, on what (scientific) grounds is Japan heading the opposite direction?

9 ( +19 / -10 )

No valid reason to extend this any further. I worry that more people will die if this lockdown continues...

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Then they had better make the support payment a monthly thing!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I think that at least until the end of May would be best. The university where I work decided from the beginning to make it that date. I am proud of them. It means we are all set to make it work online until then. I hope that more people get used to the online functions. It seems that big meeting like the one in the photo might be better handled online. The technology works. Still, I am very worried about the economy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Interesting to read some of these comments. I am older so I would probably be at a higher risk than some of the posters here so my first thought is to continue the state of emergency.

On the other hand I can do a significant amount of work (not all) at home, generate revenue still, and invoice clients and be paid. On the other hand for those that are younger and cannot do so I can understand how they want to get on with life.

I am glad I do not have to make these decisions, either in Japan or somewhere else.

What I am seeing personally, which may not be what everyone else sees, is that Japanese people are doing a very good job of staying home and also wearing masks (i.e. to prevent outward transmission).

This is not a lock down here in Japan as there is no law you must stay in. I went for a bike ride and my friends have been going for hikes; just avoiding crowds so I do not feel some infringement on my personal freedom except for one unmentionable item (and also.....well....my favorite yakitori shop closed for a while.....)

I would imagine the best solution might be "staged" return would be better in a manner where if possible allow younger and less vulnerable to get back on with it while making allowances or some means to keep older and more vulnerable people home.

These are tough decisions and it seems whatever the choice is someone will thing the decision is the wrong one.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Extend it or not extend it, without the legal power to enforce it's rather meaningless. Sure the vast majority will stay home, but the selfish and ignorant won't and they won't unless there's enforcement.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

The better example to follow would be Sweden. They are nearing herd immunity already. Yes, they've had a higher number of deaths, but still within winter pneumonia levels and mostly with the least likely to survive any other illness groups.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

The better example to follow would be Sweden. They are nearing herd immunity already. 

Laughable. Can you please cite the studies which show Sweden is "nearing herd immunity?" Or did you just make it up?

7 ( +13 / -6 )

It is clear that some prefectures do not need a lockdown. Kagoshima has six active cases. That's in a population of 1.7 million. New Zealand are claiming they have "won the battle" with similar per capita numbers. Unlike New Zealand, no-one has died in Kagoshima and they have only had 10 cases in total. New Zealand had nearly 1500.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Test. Test. Test.

The poor little Japanese students are bombarded with tests since 7 years old.

Then cram school tests. School holidays...test preparation. Why all Japanese experience tests, but you can die from 2 meters from this virus?But no tests???

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Abe sitting on it again. Why wait until Monday on a national holiday? Holiday numbers are always low, but today was 165!

How are companies going to notify their staff of working arrangements without sending the notification on Golden Week national holiday? Abe should have decided today!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Ossan

Extend it or not extend it, without the legal power to enforce it's rather meaningless.

I fully agree with you - it is not a "lock down"

but the selfish and ignorant won't and they won't unless there's enforcement.

Yes and no.......I went on a bike ride today. I did not get near anyone and I fully understand the risks of this virus. My friends who live in Shikoku went hiking...no one is really near them. My friend in Hyogo ken went hiking also...again same....I do not think everyone going out can be cast into a wide net.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They are nearing herd immunity already.

Nope. Doctors have already concluded that there are no immunity against this disease. It's like the seasonal flu you contract it no matter how many times you had contracted it in the past.

The only thing you gain is resistance against the disease making the symptoms milder but you will catch it unlike the measles or chicken pox.

The silver lining to this is that we can expect a baby boom at the end of this year/start of next year.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@raw beer.

you are right. People are too scared to go to the hospital or clinic.

our hospital has 60% less patients. Rich old people. They are old. They need to get health care

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hawaii governor decided in 1 day to extend to May 31.

That was in middle of April and only 5 new cases at that time.

Japanese people and businesses need to make plans.

Still can't give an answer.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@OssanAmerica

 

"...without the legal power to enforce it's rather meaningless."

The police forced evacuations of homes in the danger zone around Fukushima, backed up by "legal authority." And over the years, police have ordered residents to vacate their homes in times of volcanic eruptions. How is it they don't have "legal power" in this situation (which is arguably more serious)?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So. A room full of experts. Great.

Did they actually come up with a solution or any progress for that matter?

Or did they leave exactly as how they came in?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And for those who want a little police force to help enforce a ban, ask anyone who lived through the kenpeitai fun and games if we want to do that again.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Abe cannot be too careful; he has only this one last chance to get ahead of the outbreak, not least because he is still aiming for a 2021 Tokyo Olympics, a much needed boost for the Japanese economy and a prestigious symbol of national pride dented and bruised by the pandemic.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is not yet "out of the woods", the state of emergency should be extended to at least May 31st.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

So, another month without work means that I won’t get 90% of my salary-another 100000 yen please!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

*A government panel of medical experts considers current emergency steps necessary "for the time being," despite the number of new daily coronavirus infections trending downward, a Japanese minister said Friday.*

*The experts also judged people need to change behavior "completely" until new infections fall below "a certain level," economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a press conference after the panel's meeting.*

"For the time being" "a certain level".... such elusive and irresponsible speech should have been avoided. Please clarify when and how (much), and the guideline should be practical, data-based; otherwise people wouldn't like to follow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

PM Abe said he and his government will decide on Monday whether to extend the State of Emergency for another month.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People are suffering

5 ( +6 / -1 )

ATM-01Today 06:38 pm JST

Japan is not yet "out of the woods", the state of emergency should be extended to at least May 31st.

why not until December 31 ???

let me guess, another one who's working from home...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Hervé L'Eisa

"The better example to follow would be Sweden. They are nearing herd immunity already. Yes, they've had a higher number of deaths, but still within winter pneumonia levels and mostly with the least likely to survive any other illness groups."

Incorrect.

"Over 100 countries have issued a full or partial lockdown as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic. But one nation has taken the unusual step of continuing to have schools, shops and pubs open, albeit with some social distancing measures. Sweden’s Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell maintains this is the right approach for the Swedish people, but the decision is not with its detractors. And more than 2000 people have died of Covid-19 there, compared to a combined total of fewer than 800 from neighbours Denmark, Norway and Finland - all of whom locked down..."

(Full story in video: - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pzzVxw5FyYs&feature=youtu.be# )

"Some of the country’s leading medical professors and academics have been fiercely critical of the decision not to follow much of the rest of Europe into strict lockdown, publishing open letters and petitions calling for an urgent change of course and highlighting a death toll which, at 2,194, is three times the per-million tally recorded in Denmark and Germany and more than six times that of Finland...

> ...Despite avoiding total lockdown, Sweden’s heavily export-dependent economy has been as hard hit by the pandemic as most countries. The government has launched relief measures worth about 100bn kronor (£8bn) but still expects GDP to contract by up to 10% this year. Unemployment is already surging..." (Source: - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/27/dont-judge-swedens-light-touch-on-covid-19-yet-says-minister )

"Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist overseeing the government’s response to COVID-19 has said the government should allow the virus to spread slowly through the population, an approach initially employed by the [UK] and the Netherlands before [they] rapidly changed strategy [due to] evidence that this....would...overburden health care systems. Tegnell [stated] COVID-19 could be stopped by “herd immunity or a combination of immunity and vaccination.” (A vaccine for COVID-19 is likely at least 14 months away.)

> [However] “Herd immunity doesn’t make sense because we don’t know whether or not you can become immune,” says Nele Brusselaers, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology. She added, “this is a virus that can kill anybody.”

> At the end of March, 2,300 doctors, scientists and academics signed an open letter to the government calling for stricter measures. “We think there is no scientific evidence for their strategy,” says Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, an expert in microbial pathogenesis who signed the letter. She says the government has been reluctant to share its data with scientists, leading her to believe that the government’s strategy is “not based on evidence.”

> Carina King, an infectious diseases epidemiologist, agrees that the government’s lack of transparency makes it “really hard to give proper scientific thoughts on their approach because they haven’t released their science.” She added that the government has made no concrete efforts to test, contact trace and quarantine—as South Korea did—which is standard protocol to stop localized spread at the beginning of an outbreak..."

(Source: - https://time.com/5817412/sweden-coronavirus/ )

In the article above, we can see some parallels with Japan, such as a lack of testing, poor social distancing/lockdown implementation and a lack of transparency with the press/scientists/etc.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Japanese government’s response reminds me of a night trip I made over the mountains to the Japan Sea by car-a young deer jumped off the mountain into the road and stood staring at the car’s headlights for what seemed an eternity....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Grocery shopping, hospital visits, going for walks and jogging are still allowed. 

Add surfing to that list cuz I'm not gonna sit by and watch another swell go by for another month. Miles and miles of empty coastline with parking blocked off. BS.

The lock down orders aren't to make yourself as miserable as possible. It's to refrain from activities that pose a threat of contaminating others. Out here in the countryside that's not a problem. Very low infection rate here too. I'm getting into the ocean. Period.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Tokyo-EngrToday  05:39 pm JST

@Ossan

but the selfish and ignorant won't and they won't unless there's enforcement.

Yes and no.......I went on a bike ride today. I did not get near anyone and I fully understand the risks of this virus. My friends who live in Shikoku went hiking...no one is really near them. My friend in Hyogo ken went hiking also...again same....I do not think everyone going out can be cast into a wide net.

I'm not taking about individuals outside maintaing social distancing. I'm talking about hundreds of surfers all on the same beach, of pachinko addicts sitting all lined up next to each other, hostess/host clubs, bars, I;m talkimg about high density human congregation.

JeffLeeToday  06:09 pm JST

@OssanAmerica

 "...without the legal power to enforce it's rather meaningless."

The police forced evacuations of homes in the danger zone around Fukushima, backed up by "legal authority." And over the years, police have ordered residents to vacate their homes in times of volcanic eruptions. How is it they don't have "legal power" in this situation (which is arguably more serious)?

You tell me. Why can't Japan carry out a lock down like in other democratic countries?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%. Ridiculous. Historians will look back at this time and call this the Tyranny of the Weak.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%

Can you give a source for this?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The better example to follow would be Sweden. They are nearing herd immunity already. Yes, they've had a higher number of deaths, but still within winter pneumonia levels and mostly with the least likely to survive any other illness groups.

Yeah, more deaths in the short term but I wouldn't be surprised if they will have fewer deaths in the long term (next flu season).

I worry that if we keep the infections too low now, the hospitals will be extremely overloaded next fall.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This guy is just unbelievable.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Jimzo. Divide 420 (the number of people who "died" from Corona) by 14,500 (the number of cases).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sam Watters, such an uneducated and irresponsible comment. The tyranny of the blind eye perhaps?

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%. Ridiculous.

Regardless of your 'statistics', you are completely missing the point. There is no known vaccine for this virus that causes pneumonia. And no proof yet that humans create an immunity once caught.

If your children or parents or grandparents had died from this virus, gasping on a ventilator, God forbid, you wouldn't post such a heartless opinion.

You are missing the real danger of this virus. We do not have a vaccine or an immunity. It has the potential to decimate the world population.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kohaku

It is clear that some prefectures do not need a lockdown. Kagoshima has six active cases.

How many test has kagoshima performed. Any numbers without related data like, the number of test, deaths for the period Feb-April makes it irrelevant.

Hokkaido did just 1785 test and declared the virus brought under control, we all know the aftermath.

Without massive test it impossible to know the extend of the spread of the virus. I don't think one needs the opinion of an expert to know that.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@TigersTokyoDome. On the contrary, my response is based on information rather than fear. There is no known vaccine for SARS and a number of other diseases that we face on a seasonal or daily basis. My heart goes out to those who have died but the very vast majority of people who have died were either the elder or those with pre-existing conditions. But while my heart does go out to those who have perished, my heart ALSO goes to those who have lost their jobs, suffered economic devastation, educational disruptions, broken marriages, etc. because of prolonged shutdown that has not proven to work. Please tell me that last time Japan, America or any other country quarantined the healthy? Yes, those who are at risk (the elderly, the obese, etc.) may stay at home if they feel the need to do so. All people can wear masks, wash their hands, practice social distancing, etc. but these measures do not require a shutdown and devastation of the economy that will be equally if not more destructive than this virus.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

To everyone who is already in a desperate situation my thoughts go out to you.

Please call your local government, newspaper etc don't

The government must take care of those suffering w

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To everyone who is already in a desperate situation my thoughts go out to you.

Please call your local government, newspaper etc don't accept being denied a living.

The government must take care of those suffering its economic failures

0( +0 / -0 )

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Blockages are necessary to prevent the virus from spreading from one prefecture to another. And thus avoid massive contagion in areas where the presence of Covid 19 is almost non-existent. 

Without a vaccine now, it's the only thing to do.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%.

@Jimzo. Divide 420 (the number of people who "died" from Corona) by 14,500 (the number of cases).

@Sam, you need to work on your calculator skills! You forgot to multiply that 0.03 by 100 to get the percentage.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The people who let this virus into the country knowingly and continued to let the infected people enter knowingly need to be isolated.

Abe, Aso and the other idiots who did not act in a timely manner but persisted in persueing their dream of the olympic games and the economic thrill, these ones need to be permanently contained, isolated, quarantined or what ever expression is polite enough for the masses.

These people who persisted in letting infected people come into the country are responsible for the economic, social and mental damage they have done to the fabric of this society and there fore need some political adjustment and isolation before they do more damage.

One more month, they should have isolated the tourists for 1 month at the beginning instead of enforcing their stupidity on the rest of the Japanese public, but we know most people will just grin and bare it, or as they say gaman ne.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Bjorn Tomention

As of March 10, Abe did not yet have legislation in place to implement measures against the coronavirus. And it is also a special temporary law of 2 years not extendable. And only for the coronavirus. Which is also very lax because the constitution does not allow for tougher legislation.

If Abe had acted sooner without any legislation. (before March 10). He and his government would have been arrested by court order. And they'd be locked up in jail until the start of the trial. Not to mention that they would be removed from office and Abe would no longer be prime minister.

That's what would have happened.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

When is the sudden explosion of critically ill and dead going to happen? And the meltdown of the Japanese medical system? Sure there are clusters and a very small percentage of the population are succumbing to it.

All of the pro lock-down folks have been promising this sharp curve for MONTHS (check past JT article comments from February.) Japan had the second most cases in the world in January. It has been here for 4 months!

It sure didn't take this long in other countries. A densely populated Japan that didn't practice social distancing for 3 months is sure doing well comparatively. I guess if they choose to destroy the economy we will see the morality rate rise.

The mantra used to be "flatten the curve" while now it is "lock-down until a vaccine." It should be OK to publicly state what risk the government/people are willing to accept. We do this in all walks of life including other transmissible diseases, driving, and dangerous jobs. Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Judging Abe on results, he did a very good job with the pandemic. There are few fatalities and the economic consequences have been less than other countries.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@OssanAmerica

You tell me. Why can't Japan carry out a lock down like in other democratic countries?

Technically or legally it can, if you read the Constitution. But Abe is making politics is the operative factor. Abe wants to be popular, and also by calling actions "voluntary," then the public, rather than the Abe govt or the authorities, can be blamed if and when failures occur.

Article 13 of japan's constitution indicates that government actions taken in the interest of public welfare (like Fukushima evacuation orders) can supersede the normal rights of citizens. Fukushima residents made numerous requests to return to their own homes. But the government made it very clear they could NOT without explicit government permission.

So yeah, Abe does have the legal authority to order an enforced lockdown. He just doesn't want to use it for the sake of his own self-interest. Public welfare be damned.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

On the long run I believe having people adhering voluntarily to a life style change is the best alternative. But this cannot work with everyone and that is the major challenge I believe.

For any government it is a razor sharp edge to keep the moral while not putting the guard down.

Not an easy exercise at all. You need true empathic leaders for that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if Abe has ever actually DONE anything in his life. I mean, he's vowed to, pledged to, thought about it, sought to, and of course formed panels to think about making decisions, but who on earth holds a press conference to say they are going to have a conference and make a decision besides politicians here? And seriously... people have things they NEED to do if the SOE is extended, and especially if it is not... things that cannot wait. While Abe is busy prepping maggot-filled masks on the public's dime to pregnant women, or sitting at home drinking tea, people need to stock shelves or open places if they are going reopen, like for GOLDEN WEEK, which has already started, if the SOE is lifted. If left to it, I'm sure Abe will tell kids on the morning of the 11th if schools will remained closed from the 11th. What a waste.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What will he do for people that have no money, no job and soon No food??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@tokyo-engr Thank you, a very well reasoned argument you made there. Yes, it’s key to achieve balance, and you do also have to take into consideration those who have to go in to work.

And in response to Yubaru, I saw a similar argument by another poster in a different article. And I believe what I said there was this, what about the people who have to commute to work? Are you trying to say that they shouldn’t be able to go to work just because some people are abusing the commuter trains and this whole request to stay home system?

I’m sure that’s not what you believe, however, I just wanted to prove a point.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Jimzo. Divide 420 (the number of people who "died" from Corona) by 14,500 (the number of cases).

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%. Ridiculous.

@ Sam Waters. Statistics FAIL. Maths 101 for you. The rate is 3% according to your formula.

I guess if they choose to destroy the economy we will see the morality rate rise.

@ Objective. Whats morality got to do with anything? FAIL.

Everyone : Stay Home, Stay Safe.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Judging Abe on results, he did a very good job with the pandemic. There are few fatalities and the economic consequences have been less than other countries.

Judging Xi on results, he did a very good job with the pandemic. for a population of 1.4 billion people 82700 infected 3400 deaths.

Well the only problem is, IF the numbers can be trusted? The track record speaks otherwise.

If there is one thing, this virus has clearly shown the countries that are transparent and those that are arousing suspicion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stay home stay broke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Grocery shopping, hospital visits, going for walks and jogging are still allowed.

Technically, everything is allowed because nothing is prohibited.

I keep cycling as much as before....and have more time for it thanks to telework. i.e. no commuting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Stay home stay broke.

Speak to your boss. Make arrangements to work from home for 2 months. It is being done everywhere. Unless you are involved in physical manufacturing or healthcare, this can be negotiated.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

what's up with the room? All that space should have been used to distance the news people. Put the desks closer. There's literally better social distance in the middle of the room than that configuration smh... Yet another show and tell to show us they have no idea what social distancing means. Viruses don't work on a class system nor during photo ops. Even my city council managed a virtual meeting yesterday.

Olympics 2021 not looking possible with a more likely resurgence of the virus in an October second wave. Plan for 18-24 months until a vaccine. Or longer. You can't know when

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Fighto. First thank you for correcting my math. Yes I made a calculations mistake and will admit it. Having said that, the 3% mortality rate should not be alarming considering that it is likely that number will further decrease as more and more people are tested and found to have the Corona...and prove to be asymptomatic. Again, the people who are dying from Corona are the ones who are compromised to begin with in terms of their health. Dying with Corona and dying from Corona are worlds apart. But all that aside, if you feel it is safer to stay home then simply stay home. You do not need to kill the economy for the country to stay safe. Doctors are saying this...and being silenced for it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

your economy or your life

0 ( +3 / -3 )

TigersTokyoDomeToday 07:58 pm JST

Sam Watters, such an uneducated and irresponsible comment. The tyranny of the blind eye perhaps?

All of this for a virus that has a fatality rate of less than 0.03%. Ridiculous.

Regardless of your 'statistics', you are completely missing the point. There is no known vaccine for this virus that causes pneumonia. And no proof yet that humans create an immunity once caught.

If your children or parents or grandparents had died from this virus, gasping on a ventilator, God forbid, you wouldn't post such a heartless opinion.

You are missing the real danger of this virus. We do not have a vaccine or an immunity. It has the potential to decimate the world population.

tell me a country with "decimated population" after 3 months of virus outbreak...

stop this hysteria, Japan has less than 500 people died for corona virus AFTER 3 MONTHS, you call this "decimated population" ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Sam Watters. Fair play to you. Of course, 3% is nowhere near what the mortality rate will be ultimately. From all the scientists Ive read, it will be - likely - be between 0.5-1%. But this is clearly still enough to overwhelm best health systems in the world.

You do not need to kill the economy for the country to stay safe

I agree - there comes a point that lockdowns need to be wound down with the lack of treatment or vaccine breakthroughs. Stalling the world economy cant last for too long. But the idea others have of doing it immediately is pure madness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When will the good people of Japan rid themselves of this fool? He has been totally ineffective against Corona

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This panel of experts are either the cleverest or stupidist group in the world.

Their advice so far has led to a drop in cases and the health system hasn't been over run but has also caused a great deal of economic suffering.

By extending for a month they must believe they can and need to stop the virus.

Personally, I believe it's a waste of time and will hurt more than it saves and unlike those who receive a fixed monthly cheque, I am left with no choice but to continue to pay for the emergency deceleration.

So, I am resigned to enjoying the next month outdoors, it's beautiful weather, I have no spare cash to go anywhere and I am not going to pay for house arrest

and hopefully the cost will be worth it in the long run. I am trying to stay positive.

For another month, I will try and spread my limited funds around those who need it as the government clearly doesn't care.

Come June 1st, business is open be it zero or 1000 cases.There is nothing more I can do.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's amazing at how many people see the success of keeping down the number of deaths, as "proof" that we didn't need to take any measures in the first place.

That's like jumping out of a plane with a parachute, and deciding half-way down that because you aren't falling at a speed at which you'd die, you never needed the parachute in the first place, so you cut it off.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Time Magazine. That's a fine Science Journal of Epidemiology. The Guardian, as if a Journal of Economics. And a BBC video. That's a compendium of factual data. Sweden has an approximate population of ten million. It is compared to Norway, Finland and Denmark who have populations hovering around five million. A dubious comparison. What are the parameters that constitute it as a valid comparison, except for the use of 'numbers' and formulaic abstractions? Nevertheless, none correspond to Japan. Same for Italy, Spain, UK and USA. Any similarities are purely superficial and contrived. Someone suggested shutting down the trains, there's a bold move, just shut down the trains, which would accomplish exactly what? Maybe you should join the panel? Turnstile figures, in all major hubs, illustrate that train use has dropped by Abe's magic 80%. Fatalities reflect factors of comorbidity. Basic three: hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Age is also a factor. Read the recent JAMA study of NYC and SARSCoV-2 aka Covid-19. A few factual figures

New York state: 90.68

Spain 50.98

Italy 45.27

France 35.37

U.K. 32.70

Sweden 23.13

U.S. 17.84

Canada 8.05

Iran 7.18

Poland 1.57

Mexico 1.24

Russia .60

Australia .36

South Korea .48

Japan .31

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Just about Kagoshima and testing, but they have had 10 positives in 1260 tests according to Toyo Keizai. 125 negatives for every positive.

WHO says ten (!) negatives for one positive is enough testing. Kagoshima has exceeded that by a factor of twelve. There is of course the other way to measure coronavirus impact, which is to note the number of deaths, especially that of young people. No government can cover up significant numbers of young people dying. You're well into Alex Jones territory if you think that is happening.

This may be too subtle for some people, but all I am suggesting is that it is not necessary to treat every single part of the country the same way.

There is a part of Japan that has experienced lockdown-type measures before. It is the part of Fukushima close to Dai-ichi that got irradiated, which stopped children playing outside. The region saw a significant increase in overweight kids.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/27/obesity-fukushima-children-survey

Should Kagoshima do the same, keep all its schoolkids at home, just for 10 cases out of 1.7 million? School will be where most kids do the most exercise and eat the healthiest lunch. Online lessons with whizzbang tablets aren't going to solve that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My daughter's cram skool is dying to do lessons.They sent an email today saying they'll wait for the govt's directive but said Hyogo had less than 10 infections today and blah,blah,blah etc. A joke in all honesty.Depriving kids of going to school to "show" the govt is doing something,YET adults are still going to work for the most part and they're the ones catching.Not dying ,but catching mildly for the main part.Certified B.S. of a lockdown.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Whether or now an extension by the central government, it is prefectural levels and governors who decide and implement it.

Governor of Osaka has noted that the prefecture will assess and implement an reopening according to own timetable and criteria (possibly from mid-May). He stresses an exit strategy which is non-existent in the latest panel report in Tokyo. Today Osaka reported 16 new cases (out of 404 tested).

大阪府知事「客観的な出口戦略を」独自指標で自粛解除など判断

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200501/k10012415071000.html

Meanwhile, Aomori Prefecture is planning to reopen schools. I think these autonomous, locally relevant policy moves are reasonable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So basically Abe is doing what everyone else is doing. Taking orders directly from the WHO and not analyzing the science of the virus.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have been out of work for one month, without any assistance from the government or my company. The ¥100,000 they keep talking about pays one month bills, mortgage, gas electric and water . I wish the government pay those bills! The infection rate is going down probably because they’re not testing as many just like before.

Hard not to work when you may lose everything!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan’s situation does not warrant economic suicide to continue after GW. However, it will be a repeat of April...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Totally onboard with @Hervé L'Eisa. Sweden has (and I mean by far) the most realistic approach to solving this problem (yes there were errors made in the elderly homes). The data will follow in a month I think that is the position there. Hopefully there will an antibody study as well to help us define what immunity in this context really means. ( remember there is this issue of re-infection that just doesn't make much sense) . And once we have defined it we can then talk about herd immunity.

The data coming from different countries ( especially the kaka ones) really isn't very reliable. I for one can't decode how much of what we are hearing about the virus is politics and how much of it's facts.

Here too I think the WHO failed to serve their purpose.

Given there is no truly proven to work treatment and with a vaccine nowhere in sight the extension of the "so called" quarantine is likely the best anyone can do. Just wait and hope for the best really.

I mean look at Germany, they are now slowly shifting to the Sweden scheme. Yes they use less harsh wording but essentially saying that R value is less then 1 so that is why we should open up is just another way of saying we tried we failed it is time to move on.

meanwhile yeah ... you can blame the poor for going to work and spreading the virus. if it makes you feel better; fine, why not. I don't think much will change.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@SamWatters @Fighto! Thank you both for that discussion you had. I picked up some things I didn’t know before myself.

And the reason I say this, is I’ve been telling people, including on here that we need to have a balanced approach to handling this virus. If you can make arrangements to work from home, then by all means, make those arrangements. If you can’t, then severely limit your person to person contact whenever possible.

But to say that we should open up everything immediately, or that we have a lockdown out like this for a year or more, both ideas are just plain crazy. I say this, because I see and hear both of those ideas, far too often, not just on here, but in other places as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@JCosplay. I believe that "balance" is a good word to use. This virus is dangerous to be sure but the facts do not support the need for a total shutdown (and thanks again to Fight! for pointing out my calculations error in a previous post) but nor should people be irresponsible about the actions in ignoring social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Most importantly, let individual cities decide for themselves as Tokyo is not Tomakomai and so on. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing scenario.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We need to step back and look at facts- and ask fact focused questions:

Has anyone been able to find data showing the age demographics in Japan for (1) those with COVID19, and (2) deaths from COVID19? And has anyone been able to find a clear timeline for such infections and deaths?

It would also be important to know that with respect to active cases how many people (1) are hospitalized in ICU, (2) are on ventilators or similar machines, (3) simply hospitalized, (4) staying at designated hotels or quarantine, or (5) in quarantine at home. These are important statistics in making a determination as to extending the state of emergency and what parameters, if any, should apply to such extension.

There don't seem to be any answers on NHK or any other major Japanese media. Not sure if that is because of malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance or just bad reporting. However, I have found this site (I am not sure how up to date or accurate it is)

https://newsdigest.jp/pages/coronavirus/

It indicates in the chart titled (in English) "Cumulative Number of Infected People and Deaths by Age Group" (Google Translate) that the nearly all deaths from COVID19 have occurred in the over 70 demographic with much fewer numbers in the 50 to 70 age range. While the number infected are occurring mainly in the 20 to 60 age range the highest mortality rate in that range is the 60 to 70 age range at 2.5%. The interesting unknown fact is the impact of testing or the lack of testing. If there were more testing at younger age levels, it's likely that the mortality rate would drop (since if you were dead, someone would likely be determining post mortem whether you had COVID19).

Historically, the purpose of quarantines is to separate the sick and infected from healthy people. Secondarily, quarantines are used to separate high risk people (whether by age or pre-existing conditions) from the healthy population. Complete lockdowns of an entire population have been extremely rare.

In any case, I hope that so called experts can make fact based decisions rather than CYA decisions necessarily taking into account the views of all "experts": medical, economic, workers, parents, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One bar is still open on my block. A very partial lockdown.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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