politics

Gov't waiting for Golden Week to decide on extending state of emergency

84 Comments
By Yoshifumi Takemoto

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84 Comments
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Abe should announce a total lockdown from April 26th to May 6th.

No one should move out or into Tokyo, Osaka and literally all prefectures.

People should stay where they are during this period unless an emergency or essential service.

Derail all trains leaving just a few for essential services.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr KiplingApr. 22 10:54 am JST

Lift the lockdown, quarantine the old, sick and at risk and let nature take its course.

You do realize that the "at risk" is pretty much 100% of the people on the planet?

Have you looked into covid any further than recovery and mortality rates? Your media is failing you by sensationalizing the mortality rates and not covering what happens in the bodies of those who have "recovered". Recovering from covid is just looking to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to future health issues. You could start by looking at heart, lung and kidney damage, and move to brain related issues from there. It's a bit of a pain to find any information on this because of all the media reports about recovery/mortality, but the information is being gathered and is building up. If you dig hard enough through the internet it's available to anyone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Depends on the person. My mother-in-law is taking this very seriously. But I saw one old dude in the supermarket using his teeth to undo a knot in his shopping bag, lol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Keep the elderly and vulnerable at home. Get the local community to support them with deliveries etc like Sweden. There is a potential for over 200,000,000 men, women, and children to die from a lack of food in the wake of this, and then the economic consequences to boot. I started off convinced locking ourselves away was the solution, and I have been for 2 months, but we cant stay at home forever becasue a few elderly people dont feel like protecting themselves. The elderly people in my area seem to be the only ones not taking the situation seriously. Eating out, sitting around in the communal areas in the conbini and supermarket, socializing together in the park, drinking, playing go, bowles etc,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ToraApr. 22 09:22 am JST

My prediction is that the lockdown will be extended, and under exisiting legislation, landlords will be compelled to cut/suspend rents. Likewise, banks will be asked to suspend loan repayment requirements, since otherwise many landlords will struggle, too. These options are already being discussed.

I hope you are right as this is the only way to stop many restaurants and small businesses from going bankrupt. Also better to use what little cash they have to pay their staff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No other nation beats Japan's ability to wait (until it's too late) and see. I mean, how long did it take them to decide on the Olympics, costing people, including Ken Shimura. People wait until one week before the new fiscal year begins to find out if they'll still be working at the same location or be transferred even overseas -- separated from families with a few days notice, etc. And yet, when they make plans they decide on something almost a year in advance, and REFUSE to budge even in calamity, hoping that the waiting game will pay off. Well, this one is serious -- people cannot wait until a few days before GW ends to see if they can open their businesses or not, and some people might want to start looking for a new job if they know they will not be working where they were for another month, when the government needs to form panels to think about it again. DECIDE already!

Oh, and just as a hint, it's going to be kept on past GW anyway, especially since there are no mandatory closures or punishments in the Japanese "emergency" shutdown.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Keep an open mind and watch this...

Why lockdowns are the wrong policy - Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfN2JWifLCY

It is important to see both sides of how to properly handle this pandemic.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My 3 months of study has resulted in this opinion.

Corona virus is worst for diabetics and older folk with heart conditions or obesity. No suggestion in 20 years of study that vaccine can help a corona virus. So do not hope or pray for that. Or ventilators. Ventilators are not helping many people. Need to reduce toxicity levels not increase them.

Is like carbon monoxide poisoning or really bad altitude sickness. Oxygen is your friend. So is zinc and vitamin D.

Maybe Japanese people are healthy enough to handle this and maybe Japan has one of the weaker strains. Hope so but like I said above hope is not a great strategy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Despite it being quite cool and cloudy in Osaka still plenty of people gathered in groups in my local park. Mostly small families and that's understandable but it seems a lot of young teens are done with the home study and are now cruising around in groups of up to twelve people from what I saw.

Signs up telling people to social distance pretty much ignored as usual.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Spain with a complete lockdown we have more than 20.000 deaths and 200.000 cases, the lockdown will be active until 10 May in a country with 48 million people, around 300 and 600 people are dying every single day

Japan with 11.000 cases and 281 confirmed deaths for 128 million people and no lockdown... explain it to me how that's possible, where're the 400.000 deaths that some media like this put here? And South Korea is the real example about how to do things, no other country did better that them...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

has there been any real change in people’s attitude & behavior before the SOE & after ?

People are still going out, still congregating.

The numbers of infected are still going up.

In the meantime, my salary & my savings are going down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Burning Bush

Sweden's formula is a good example.

Have you read news about Sweden directly from Swedish sources, perhaps even in Swedish? Or other Nordic sources?

(FYI: In the 2020 World Press Freedom Index all Nordic countries top the list, https://rsf.org/en/ranking_table )

I have. And I reckon the Sweden's formula is really not the one to follow.

When comparing the five Nordic countries, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, Sweden has done the least tests per thousand inhabitants (7 test per 1000 people, compared to e.g. Iceland, who has tested 104 tests per 1000 people), but found the absolute highest number of infections (by 14th of April, 10948 cases - now, on April 22nd, it’s already over 15,000cases). When comparing the number of deaths, Sweden again, sadly, leads the result boards. If you compare the number of deaths agains a million inhabitants, Sweden has 151 deaths, and Finland (with the smallest number) only 17. Finland has strict measures in place, Sweden doesn’t. In total Sweden now has 1765 deaths, Finland 94. (source: https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11315572)

Now of course - if on your scale money matters more than human life, then sure, Sweden's model works.

Sweden is rooting for the herd immunity, and so seem to be some commentators here as well.

Recent news from WHO: https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0418/1132298-who-anti-bodies-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR0ZNB14h1WeIaucdjELNvBtuuPffH3yiOdA69Q0TUXUpQ1sOU2tRKkvFRg

There is no evidence of immunity developing with this virus.  

“There is currently no evidence to support the belief that people who have recovered from coronavirus then have immunity, the World Health Organization has said.

Senior WHO epidemiologists warned despite the hopes governments across the world have piled on antibody tests, there is no proof those who have been infected cannot be infected again.”

…instead, we’ve heard of quite a few cases from South-Korea and China, where people declared as recovered covid-19 patients, have caught the virus again/become ill again.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

OK, first few months... This 'exponential rise' that was supposed to bring on the Apocalypse has gone from a few days, to a few weeks - now you're telling me a few months. Best to shut down everyone's livelihood just in case, eh? Again. Balance? Just stop perpetuating the fear, please!

Well, just take a look at the data. (Sorry, no data on "fear", just on cases, recoveries/ deaths etc.)

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/japan/

(Admittedly, only reported cases, so you can multiply by a factor of ten or so, depending on your sources or biases). If you look at the Total Coronavirus Cases in Japan graph, its curving smoothly up at a steadily steeper angle. The orange deaths curve is going up even steeper. So easing restrictions is a smart idea because ...?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Tough pill for a lot to swallow, I know... But, the longer people and governments don't strictly enforce lockdown, the longer this all drags out for and the greater the economic fallout will be. It's like people haven't learned from what's happened in Italy, or worse, Trump's USA.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If you feel safer inside, then just stay inside. You can go about your life and maintain a safe distance, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and not touch your face without a government order.

@Sam Watters

No, you can't. If you are forced to go to work day after day, even if you have absolutely nothing to do there...or otherwise you will most likely be fired, then it's literally IMPOSSIBLE to reduce social contacts by 80% (to protect yourself and prevent the spread of the virus).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Completed my weekly shop today - my local Sunshine - midweek to avoid coupon day.

Kudos to the shops staff and management, there is clear social distancing procedures, at checkouts, with floor symbols/decals, clear protective plastic staff shielding in place.

However the supermarket appeared to be infested with what I would only describe as hordes of the complacent corona-virus comatose.

They gather in herds, regardless of the signage. At the checkout they might as well be packed on top of each other.

I stood in the queue and turned to the family behind me pointing at the floor.

Politely I asked the family what the “marking” indicated.

They replied there is “no problem in Kochi, we don't have the virus”.....

I suggest I could be carrying the virus. I would not even know it, in fact any number of customers could be carrying and we could all be blissfully unaware. That is the logic behind social distancing.

The bonehead retorted we are safe because there not many foreigners here. I thought well there you have it, stupid is what stupid does.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

 sparsly populated areas with fresh air and social distancing is much better than tens of million wandering around cramped city centers.

and when it spreads from the cities to the rural areas because of those infected and traveling, what then

Almost every outbreak in history has been contained by lockdowns and isolation of those infected. The other way is for herd immunity ,we've seen in the past what that involves letting millions get infected and die

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan took a moderate approach and did not apply coercive control measures on people and it appeared successful at first in view of the numbers of contracted

Appeared successful? Perhaps yes to those naive, but NO to the outside world. Even the US and German embassies in Japan sent warnings to its citizens residing in Japan, all the while Abe and media downplayed everything. In fact, Japan’s reputation at handling this pandemic has floundered.

Japan when they colonized the two countries, they worked hard to hold down infectious diseases there with the help of strong powers of police and military of Japan.

You make it sound like infectious diseases broke out only in those countries and Japan controlled it, when in fact it was Japan that caused the pandemic and spread the Japanese encephalitis from Japan to all of Asia during its colonization.

But I understand, it’s unfathomable that a pandemic can start in Japan because they are the most hygienic people in the world, right? It’s always blame others.

Today's Japan does not have any hard power to wield.

A government has to do what it has to do. Not blame it on the police or military, or make constitutional excuses.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The Japanese government has extended the restrictions on foreigners enteringJapan until the end of May. The restrictions on the domestic side will probably also be extended, the financial package will have to be supplemented If that is the case…

7 ( +7 / -0 )

opening up without ventilators, masks, gauns, space is stupid and cruel to be honest. once japan hospitals feel ready to fight we should open up definetly

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Relax please. We’re only in the first few months of this.

You seem to not understand the economic damage being caused right now.

OK, first few months... This 'exponential rise' that was supposed to bring on the Apocalypse has gone from a few days, to a few weeks - now you're telling me a few months. Best to shut down everyone's livelihood just in case, eh? Again. Balance? Just stop perpetuating the fear, please!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Weekend schedule: Wear one baby cloth mask provided by Govt and stay home (unless you need to take your family and the dog and the cat and the pigeon to the local store to buy food).

Weekday schedule: Wear the other baby cloth mask, put on your suit, pick up your bag and get into the rush hour train to go to the office, otherwise risk losing your pay (or even your job) because your bosses are pricks who don't trust you enough to let you work from home or don't bother to put in place the infrastructure needed to make that happen.

Japan will become the sample case used by experts for decades to come when talking about how to completely screw up the handling of an unprecedented crisis. Okay, so Japan did not have something like the CDC in the US. But it's been more than 4 months now since the crisis started... is it not enough time for an advanced country like Japan to put together a team of experts and create a temporary CDC that is entrusted with deciding how the crisis is dealt with and the recommending to the Govt what actions need to be taken to prevent a complete healthcare collapse? Why do the politicians continue to lead a response that they are not qualified to handle? Would you call an electrician to conduct brain surgery because a mesh of wires and nerves are "somewhat similar"?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I wonder if more people will comply when there's more testing and everyone realises how widespread it is

That will be when the mortality rate drops down to just a little above seasonal influenza. Nasty bugs have been getting around in Asia since the dawn of empire...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

OK, so COVID-19 is 4 yes more deadly than seasonal influenza? It mainly affects the elderly and at-risk too. Do you not see how unbalanced the reaction to all this is!? WAKE UP and let the healing begin!

Relax please. We’re only in the first few months of this. Maybe we’ve been treating It wrong (ventilators ). Only recently are new drugs being found to work better. Of course the media will always take advantage of any crises, war, etc and blow it out of proportion, or minimize it, depending on their agenda.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As people continually repeat here, many "irresponsible" people have continued to the darndest things like buying food, talking to people face to face, and even (gasp) going to work.

Where is the giant spike in deaths you were all talking about months ago due to these actions? And on that note, are you aware of other things that bear fatality rates (heart attacks, diabetes, suicide etc)?

OK, so COVID-19 is 4 yes more deadly than seasonal influenza? It mainly affects the elderly and at-risk too. Do you not see how unbalanced the reaction to all this is!? WAKE UP and let the healing begin!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Let’s just reopen and get on with it....people need to get back to work.

The willingness of folks to put other's health at risk during this pandemic is astonishing. It's extremely selfish.

Like those perpetuating the fear campaign that is strangling people financially? What a myopic viewpoint.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Some Western countries like mine that have imposed a lockdown are generally fighting for freedom, and citizens for their rights. Now, some citizens do not disagree with that methods, and countries by imposing fines for not respecting the lockdown are not behaving better than dictatures.

No lockdown is the best way to go.

For those who want stronger measures, you will regret it.

Japan has been doing well until now, leaving freedom to people to move. Nothing prohibited. Remember some countries were criticizing the handling of the Diamond Princess, the same countries since had a worst situation than Japan.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Clearly It has not occurred to many that many more people could die due to economic meltdown. It's not a choice between life and economy. It's the difficult task of finding a balance that will result in least hardships and lives lost.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Stop dancing on the tip of a spear.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

With more than 20,000 cases and growing daily at a hundred or two is there really any doubt the SOE needs to be extended?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Without a functioning economy you don't have a health system.

Without education you don't have the next generation of doctors and nurses.

Without work, you don't have food.

Without an interactive society you don't have happiness.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Ideally, ant such decision would be based on empirical evidence about the number of people with the virus, and would apply selectively to different parts of the country, and entail travel restrictions between regions. Given the lack of testing and inability to control movement without shutting down transportation links, plus the reluctance to upset the business community, it's clear that more lives will be sacrificed on the altar of the economy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan hasn’t even begun nationwide testing

That is untrue and melodramatic. My prefecture, Nagano, has tested about 1400 people and found about 50 cases. That's 1 positive to 27 negatives. The WHO guideline is that one positive for ten negatives is enough tests. There is no point testing thousands or tens of thousands of people in Nagano if 96% of the people most likely to have it do not. The money would be better spent on helping people whose business is about to go under. At the moment, these people are getting zero help.

The (big) problem is insufficient testing in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka etc. The top six or seven prefectures only.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Really just let the virus run its course, let mother nature sort it out:) Laws protect idiots from having their DNA eliminated from the gene pool?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@rat

Well "John" are you going to "feel" the same way after you get infected. Second, are you willing to pay for (through higher national health insurance dues) those who were irresponsible and decided to risk it and got infected? After all, treatment is not free! Just asking. I mean you seem to think a few thousand more dead is "worth" the freedom of us working hard to make our rich oligarchs even richer.

So the people who can’t afford to pay rent, utilities and so forth can stay at your place next month???

I called Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric and my landlord.... their response...”tough... we need our money.”

let me know your address and I’ll come and stay with you next month... oh, by the way I can’t chip in for anything because I’m unemployed!!!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I mean, I'm all for taking the disease seriously..... wearing masks, maintaining personal space, handwashing, working from home where possible, changing the way we do many things, but to have a full lockdown which wipes out millions of jobs and causes global suffering and starvation, that can't be right, can it?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Common Sense, Consideration for others, Cleanliness are what everyone should be doing and then a longer or more thorough lock down may not be needed.

But selfish unthoughtful unclean behaviour will extend the Mockdown.

Shame it is so hard to get the thick ones to understand the very basic concept though.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Would love to see the highways closed down for GW with only trucks allowed...Living in a "refugee" town (Karuizawa) its disheartening to see so many out-of-towners cars at the supermarket who think just because they pay taxes on their summer houses here they can go back and forth as they like..!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Months ago, when all this started, I said that the cure would be worse than the disease. I have spent the past few weeks agreeing with Burning Bush about how a lockdown will do more harm than good, and I've had nothing but downvotes because of it. A few days ago I was almost been persuaded otherwise by people saying "human lives are at stake, that's more important than the economy" because I see they are coming from a good place.... but....

... the UN’s food relief agency has just warned that 265, 000, 000 people around the world could soon starve to death. Their deaths won't be because of this virus (which so far has caused fewer deaths this year than those caused by malaria or smoking), it will be because of the over-reaction to this virus. In order to save a few thousand lives, the global economy is crashing, and 265,000,000 people may die of hunger.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

If the current “lockdown” to keep the number of serious cases down to a manageable level is working. Well, working in the sense that the number of cases per day is hovering around 140-200 per day. Not increasing or decreasing.

So there would seem to be three courses of action.

Stay in a permanent state of semi lockdown as now.

A full lockdown as in many European countries to deprive the virus of new hosts.

Lift the lockdown, quarantine the old, sick and at risk and let nature take its course.
5 ( +7 / -2 )

Toronto is fining people C$1,000 for not social distancing - either 2m apart or the equivalent of 3 Canadian geese lengths. Reference is here: https://www.blogto.com/city/2020/04/toronto-social-distancing-fine-parks/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@John,

What gives you (or anyon else) the right to decide who can be put at risk of infection and possible death due to COVID? Should we bow to our corporate overlords and get behind their current astroturfing efforts to rile up "grassroots" campaigns to get back to work? Any educated person and see the point of these "back to work" protests, it's sad that the individuals you see on social media and the news shouting at healthcare workers don't see that they're being played like a fiddle.

A real conversation about how to financially support folks unable to work due to circumstances outside of their control needs to happen. But it won't, it will just be met with more hyperbole about "muh tax dollars" supporting those "lazy" folks who can't work, or someone complaining about their inability to get a haircut.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan took a moderate approach and did not apply coercive control measures on people and it appeared successful at first in view of the numbers of contracted and victims but the situation is getting worse and prolonging while Taiwan and S. Korea that took strict measures in the early stage held down the spread of the disease. Japan when they colonized the two countries, they worked hard to hold down infectious diseases there with the help of strong powers of police and military of Japan. Today's Japan does not have any hard power to wield.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder if more people will comply when there's more testing and everyone realises how widespread it is

7 ( +7 / -0 )

not extending the state of emergency is extremely reckless- especially in the world's oldest society. and while a state of emergency may be harmful for the economy, a huge wave of infections like what we are seeing in NYC will be even more harmful to the economy- and it is very plausible without emergency measures in place.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Japan hasn’t even begun nationwide testing, completely closing the country down or is doing anything to aggressively slow down the virus and flatten the curve, vague details, running short of supplies, lack of full transparency, I was at Costco yesterday and some people were walking around without masks laughing holding hands and acting as if nothing is going on, elderly walking about everywhere, kids everywhere running and mixing together with the elderly in the stores, what are the plans again?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

stay home..telework..avoid this and that..

here are your two masks and ¥100,000 ...that do?

it's a joke!!!!

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Wanna really try and stop the spread, shut down the trains and busses, either that or open everything back up, and when the bodies start stacking MAYBE the Japanese and the government will take this seriously. JAPAN is in for a very rude awaking, this country and its nonchalant attitude will have the worst epidemic of all countries! When that happens watch how mad the world becomes, because ABE and cronies were willing to let the Olympics continue putting the world at risk.

A catastrophic result is probably what japan needs? Maybe this will shake the foundations of lets be westernized until it goes against cultural peer pressure and then we will be Japanese again. Either fall back to the old ways or evolve!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is crucial that there is a balance between locking down a countries economy and maintaining the prevention measures to limit a large-scale community outbreak.

Trust the people to make this decision for themselves. Warn of the dangers, drum this message home. Focus on the need for social distancing when out and about, and above all, test, trace, track, and if necessary isolate.

Europe has overplayed the shut/lock-downs, with disastrous results, rioting in Paris. Police accused of overstepping lock-down guidelines. And now facing and unprecedented economic collapse.

This document give a insight into scale of the task ahead.

A Roadmap for Recovery

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/43384/roadmap-for-recovery-final-21-04-2020.pdf

The lessons to be learned is balancing/weighing up the need for risks to/of community health care and the necessity of keeping the economy ticking over.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is a new strain of virus. It has just started so you can’t draw conclusions at this stage yet. You can however research the medical/social/economic comparisons of approach’s of countries like Sweden and NZ for instance.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Vince,

maybe you should come to our area. It's not only the older generation.

Kids (kindergarten, elementary and junior high) running around in the parks, enjoying the nice weather with most of them (as well as their parents) not wearing masks, no "social distancing" and so on. And this from morning to early evening. I know times are difficult especially for those children but that's what it looks like at least in our area. Would like to see what others are experiencing.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Personally I think the emergency was made national to stop people from the city running to the countryside during Golden Week out of boredom to avoid the Tokyo/Kanagawa/Aichi/Osaka/etc lockdowns. There is no actual emergency in places like Iwate, and it's a shame that people in Iwate cannot go to school or enjoy their holiday period. As many have pointed out, this has actual consequences, restaurants going to the wall etc. Once Golden Week is over, the emergency in far-flung prefectures should really be lifted.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

As I said before, many cities are already jumping the gun instead of waiting for the wait and see shenanigans. My city already closed public facilities until mid-June.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

the elderly and those with underlying conditions need to be strictly lockeddown. its always the elderly that I see not wearing masks and talking in groups, its as if they have a death wish and just want to ruin it for everyone else.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

My prediction is that the lockdown will be extended, and under exisiting legislation, landlords will be compelled to cut/suspend rents. Likewise, banks will be asked to suspend loan repayment requirements, since otherwise many landlords will struggle, too. These options are already being discussed.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Constitutionally impossible. No govt. can do something that they don't have legal ability to do."

I just don’t understand this sort of thinking. It’s an extraordinary time that calls for extraordinary measures and using the constitution as an excuse for inaction and expediency just seems a bit weak. Very handy for those in positions of power that lack the will or conviction to act though.

You call an emergency parliamentary session, you make a quick law , you explain it to the public and less people die. Impossible? Once again half measures and expediency reigns supreme.

Absolutely agree...thats what politicians ( supposedly ) get paid so handsomely for...leadership and representing the voters - including by passing or changing laws to fit the country situation at the given point in time. Abe & LDP has been very good at passing laws he wanted to pass despite overwhelming public opposition as well as " re-interpreting " them as it suits him. But they can,t do anything now?...I call BS.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So if you are good little boys and girls and don’t go outside during golden week- we will reward you by cancelling work from home and sending you back to the office the day after your GW “vacation” is over.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Constitutionally impossible. No govt. can do something that they don't have legal ability to do.

That is false. Article 13 stipulates that the “public welfare” is the highest consideration of all law and government action. And the issue of lockdowns is all about public welfare.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/04/14/commentary/japan-commentary/coronavirus-japans-constitution/#.Xp-Ku8gzaUl

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Extension 2 of 6 incoming...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"Northernlife"

"herd immunity"? Please check the link I posted concerning Sweden.

They are doing this "herd immunity" thing .... and just look at the numbers.

There is no 100% solution at this time. And it will take quite some time until vaccines and / or an appropriate medication will be found.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Isolate the people over 65 and ones with preexisting health problems and let the young ones go on with their lives..this soft lock down is not working the only option is herd immunity now..

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

@stevieJ

So let’s all stay home and shutdown the economy. Let’s all sleep in a tent down by the river because none of us can rent because hey landlords here are so forgiving. I’m sure they’ll let everyone live for free while they have no jobs.

Isn’t proof of income a major factor when getting a loan from the bank or moving into new house??

This virus is bad for everyone but let’s be serious.... most people get it and get over it. How long do you think that 100,000 yen would last a single person??? A month.

if they extend the shutdown then that’s more unemployment...

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

@Burning Bush. When the bars re-open, I will buy you a beer..from a socially safe distance!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

"Burning Bush",

Sweden's formula is a good example?

Where did you get this information?

According to a very trustworthy site (no, not HuffPost or something like that) please look at this:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

Still a good example?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The lockdown is silly. So after you spend billions getting to zero cases, what are you going to do next? Not let anyone travel in and out of Japan?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Anyways, if you have a better solution, please tell us.

Was going to type it and then saw this.

If you feel safer inside, then just stay inside. You can go about your life and maintain a safe distance, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and not touch your face without a government order.

In short, forcing behavior is not the answer.

Sweden's formula is a good example.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Let’s just reopen and get on with it....people need to get back to work.

Well "John" are you going to "feel" the same way after you get infected. Second, are you willing to pay for (through higher national health insurance dues) those who were irresponsible and decided to risk it and got infected? After all, treatment is not free! Just asking. I mean you seem to think a few thousand more dead is "worth" the freedom of us working hard to make our rich oligarchs even richer.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

People going away in GW to sparsly populated areas with fresh air and social distancing is much better than tens of million wandering around cramped city centers.

save small businesses!

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

"The willingness of folks to put other's health at risk during this pandemic is astonishing. It's extremely selfish."

If you feel safer inside, then just stay inside. You can go about your life and maintain a safe distance, wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and not touch your face without a government order.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

"Are you saying cops should have the right to stop people who are walking around and grill them like some Gestapo."

I was waiting for an answer like this. It works in other countries, doesn't it?

I do understand that with the (present) Japanese constitution it is (more or less impossible) to do something like this. And why compare it to Gestapo methods? Thought we left that time behind us something like 75 years ago. Anyways, if you have a better solution, please tell us.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@Ricky Kaminski "You call an emergency parliamentary session, you make a quick law, you explain it to the public and less people die. Impossible? Once again half measures and expediency reigns supreme."

Japan tried this line of thunking before in the 30s and 40s and did not turn out well.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

if fines and penalties were imposed

Enforced by whom?

Are you saying cops should have the right to stop people who are walking around and grill them like some Gestapo.

"Where are you going?" ... "Where's your ID?.... "What are you doing outside?"

What if the guy is a diesel mechanic whose job it is to fix the trucks that deliver apples to the supermarket.

Are the cops supposed to make a judgement call which each person as to whether they should get a fine or not?

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

@Dr. Theopolis: What’s the point? There are enough people not following it to make it useless anyways.

The constitution does not allow the government to lockdown a city. It is not legal and cannot be enforced. What is so difficult to understand that it is not legal and oversteps the bounds of the government?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And there are some plenty that don’t mind coughing away in public or standing centimeters away from you...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Halfheartedjumper#

Constitutionally impossible. No govt. can do something that they don't have legal ability to do.

I just don’t understand this sort of thinking. It’s an extraordinary time that calls for extraordinary measures and using the constitution as an excuse for inaction and expediency just seems a bit weak. Very handy for those in positions of power that lack the will or conviction to act though.

You call an emergency parliamentary session, you make a quick law , you explain it to the public and less people die. Impossible? Once again half measures and expediency reigns supreme.

Have this horrible feeling that many people realize if they did catch and spread this thing, it will be untraceable to them, so the public “shaming” factor that keeps Japanese behavior in check so well isn’t really a factor. No shame, no worries! Not with everyone of course, those with a personal sense of individual duty will take precautions and those that have strong bonds and connections with other will feel the call. But those poor souls that don’t? Why would they care?

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Sure, open everything up again.

Let the economy prosper.

Who really cares about more people becoming infected.

If Japan really did extensive testing, if fines and penalties were imposed, if people followed rules ..... maybe, but just maybe this would be a good idea. I do understand the problems a continued lock-down will cause, don't get me wrong. But I guess there is no perfect solution which will satisfy everyone.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Dr. Theopolis

What’s the point? There are enough people not following it to make it useless anyways.

Either enforce it with fines and jail time or cancel it outright. No half measures.

Constitutionally impossible. No govt. can do something that they don't have legal ability to do.

John

Let’s just reopen and get on with it....people need to get back to work.

Whilst that might suit some, it would be irresponsible. Japan are not out in front of this yet, and there's a very real risk of this becoming another NYC, if we simply "pretend it's not here".

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Let’s just reopen and get on with it....people need to get back to work.

The willingness of folks to put other's health at risk during this pandemic is astonishing. It's extremely selfish.

12 ( +25 / -13 )

If the government forces a behavior, like staying at home, then they are morally responsible for bearing any costs associated with that behavior.

For example, if they take your house by force to make a new road, they must pay you fair compensation.

If they want to force me to stay at home, then I will send them all my bills and say, ok, you guys pay these then.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Yes, extend the lock down and bankrupt half of Japan small and medium business. I agree with the lock down as long as those businesses who were forced to close down were getting any protection from the Gov. So far there is NONE, and nobody seems to care. And yes, that 100k ¥, ONE TIME ONLY, is a pathetic joke from the callous politicians...

27 ( +33 / -6 )

What’s the point? There are enough people not following it to make it useless anyways.

Either enforce it with fines and jail time or cancel it outright. No half measures.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

Here go my two cents... Japan will probably see a good portion of the country lifting the "lockdown" where the numbers of new cases are significantly low and have it instated back again if there clusters of new infections start to show up.

Even if your prefecture lift the state of emergency, your local gov will urge people to be careful witch will lead to most people still live like it is in a state of lockdown.

I don't think Japan will be in a lockdown until there are no new cases, but as soon as the numbers of new cases seem manageable local govs will open up.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Let’s just reopen and get on with it....people need to get back to work.

-23 ( +21 / -44 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the state of emergency, which gives governors in hard-hit prefectures more clout to ask residents to stay home and businesses to close, on April 7 for seven prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka, western Japan. There are, however, no penalties for refusing those requests.

People in many other countries WITH heavy penalties (including heavy fines and imprisonment) against not following shelter in place and mask wearing orders, are openly defying these orders. So what makes Abe or anyone else think people are going to abide by these orders in Japan.

Certainly there ARE Japanese that are obeying as we have seen pictures of less crowds in public. But plenty are not. And as always, the fact that quite a few Japanese are ignoring what's good for the greater good, refutes the outdated and ignorant stereotypes of all Japanese being mindless sheeple that are afraid to defy authority and blindly follows authority, for fear of standing out against the grain.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

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