COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
YouTubers wearing masks of pigs film a video at a Tokyo shopping district which has fewer people than usual on Tuesday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
politics

Japan mulls ending state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo prefectures

54 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
Login to comment

Mull? Just do it already.

The world has had enough of this lockdown and shelter in place thing.

-3 ( +28 / -31 )

We should continue to protect the old and people with weak immune systems but it makes no sense to quarantine healthy people and destroy the economy.

29 ( +36 / -7 )

And absolutely no peer-reviewed evidence exists that supports the idea that they were even necessary in the first place.

2 ( +32 / -30 )

It's reasonable to return to normal life (with caution). Osaka's re-opening criteria with numerical targets have been fulfilled for a while. Some requirements are more demanding than those in Europe as well as the US who are now easing lockdowns despite much larger causalities and daily numbers.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

secured enough hospital beds and capacity to conduct virus tests

capacity to conduct testing. Who cares if you never use them!

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Nice photo. Good to see those essential YouTubers working out and about in the city yesterday.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I do not know how many of these posters actually live in Japan.

There is no "lock down" and there never has been a "lock down" here.

First of all I fully agree the State of Emergency should be lifted by the end of May. There are too many people in the impacted zones and the economic impact is already going to be very rough. Continuing a State of Emergency too much longer will be catastrophic and the economic fall out will have a much higher impact then the virus.

However there are a few things I take issue with:

One of the numerical targets proposed by a government panel of experts for lifting the emergency in the remaining prefectures is whether infections have fallen below 0.5 new cases per 100,000 people in the past week.

My comment is scientific (not political or emotional). It is not possible to measure this with the current amount of tests being performed. The sample size cannot provide the necessary accuracy and the limit of quantification will be much higher than the needed metric to make a scientific decision. Therefore no one can say this decision is being made by science (remember I agree the SOE should be lifted)

@Burning Bush

And absolutely no peer-reviewed evidence exists that supports the idea that they were even necessary in the first place.

I think "they" implies reference to lock downs (which never existed in Japan). There has not been time to write, edit, and have peers review a paper on the effectiveness of these measures. I believe such evidence would prove without a shadow of doubt they have been effective in slowing down the progression of the virus. However I believe what is being done in the US is insane (arresting people for going to a gym, taking a military vehicle to a bar, arresting people for swimming, etc.)

Politicians get paid no matter what (during lock down, SOE, etc.). It is easy for them to make draconian laws as they do not need to suffer the consequences while the average man and woman go without pay.

As I said before this has become an emotional and political issue rather than a scientific one....sad for me as a scientist/engineer

I believe we are well into the process of developing a herd immunity and I am praying this follows the path of SARS-2003

20 ( +25 / -5 )

And absolutely no peer-reviewed evidence exists 

Someone's using an academic term without knowing how research works

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Lifting the state of emergency is rash. The pandemic is still on. The reason that new cases are down is because emergency steps have been taken. Guaranteed there will be spike in new cases if the state of emergency is removed.

The LDP is more interested in profits than the lives of the people.

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

Well done Japan! Having this pandemic under control without having to go through these draconian measures is a positive sign your approach was best for Japan, it’s not over yet but at least it is under control here, and that’s what matters, trains we’re getting packed again from yesterday in Tokyo meaning most people are already getting back to work in person, I hope we all adhere to our mask wearing, washing hands often and social distancing where you can, and refrain from non essential outing, we may be able to get rid of this virus soon, good luck Japan!

2 ( +11 / -9 )

@Jeancolmar - I do not like the LDP and I am not more interested in profits than the lives of the people however although I fully understand your fear (and I share this fear) I disagree with you.

Abe and those in the LDP will continue to have their private cars and will not be exposed to the same risks as you and I regardless of whether there is a State of Emergency or not. On the other hand there are many here on this website that work and if they cannot work they will be financially destroyed.

If the State of Emergency continues indefinitely (or much longer for that matter) it will be an economic catastrophe, not for the LDP or those who are interested in profits, but for the middle and lower classes who will be decimated. This is measurable and we already have the data to start to see the impact.

Numerous studies have been performed which link GDP with mortality, morbidity, and general health. All studies conclude the same (with varying levels of degree); for each percent drop in GDP there is also a correlating increase in the number of deaths and a correlating decrease in the health of the population.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Tokyo-Engr, you are spot on there, the situation here does not warrant an economic shutdown, though on the safer side some establishments may take longer to reopen, those that don’t pose a risk should be allowed to function

8 ( +11 / -3 )

FiddlersToday  06:53 am JST

We should continue to protect the old and people with weak immune systems but it makes no sense to quarantine healthy people and destroy the economy.

The thing that really p!$$3$$ me off is that my kids are out of school, not seeing most of their friends, play parks etc all closed and some of my local friends could lose their businesses. Walk past the big cake shop/cafe in my neighbourhood and each day it's still packed with old ladies all bunched round tables together, eating and chatting like there's nothing wrong with the world.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Ride it out till the end of the month, it’s not far away now. Best to be safe than sorry.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The non-elderly and healthy are as likely to die from covid as they are seasonal influenza. Open the economy fully but protect those at high risk.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@oldman

Mull? Just do it already.

The world has had enough of this lockdown and shelter in place thing.

Are you residing in Japan because we haven't been locked down...

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I am really surprised!

About what?

It seems that all these "fear mongering - do a hard lock down - fake test results - screaming posters" here on JT are away from the discussion or changed their minds to "re-open the country now".

That is amazing and nice!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I see old people everywhere they really dont seem to care about much at all....

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Regarding kids going back to nursery and schools I just looked at the calendar the first of June is the Monday after next.... Surely keep them off until then makes sense not just another sudden change

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Northernlife

All the old people living in Japan have much more worse experiences in their lives than a virus. (War, natural disasters,...).

Therefore they don't care!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Mull and urge

urge and mull.

Repeat as necessary.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Monty yeah its their lives not ours so they can pretty much do what they want..not like they are at risk or anything..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Im happy they are thinking of doing something.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seriously, it's 11 days until the end of the original SoE. Just leave it in place until then.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

YouTubers wearing masks of pigs film a video at a Tokyo shopping district

Those are great masks. Could I wear one of those in my supermarket without being asked to leave?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

> Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make the final decision on Thursday after hearing opinions from health experts

“Health experts” = salaryman

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Think they just ended this "Lock-down" in Osaka: Public address system announcement.

Yay, now people can go about there lives as normal, because that hasn't been happening throughout this "State of emergency", Has it....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We should continue to protect the old and people with weak immune systems but it makes no sense to quarantine healthy people and destroy the economy.

Ok, we can obviously make a distinction, whether someone is "old enough" or not, but how exactly do you define "healthy"?

This is pretty much an arbitrary label.

Though in any case, the impact of the virus seems to be significantly influenced by the genetic constitution of a particular person, not whether we officially define someone as "healthy" or not (as if it were an indisputable general status).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The non-elderly and healthy are as likely to die from covid as they are seasonal influenza. Open the economy fully but protect those at high risk.

Well put Sir.

seasonal influenza kills between 350,000 and 600,000 per year.

but this SARS-CiV-19 is new, so we don’t know...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

On Sunday I was told we were going back to work on Wednesday, then last night I was told we're not.

What is going on? I hope we can get back to normal asap, safely though

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Tokyo-Engr

Even though the 0.5 new cases per 100,000 most likely doesn't express what it's supposed to express, one can still use these figures as a "unit X" to compare the situation in different prefectures.

And in such case, it only requires the data to be skewed across the whole country based on similar criteria (e.g. that the vast majority of asymptomatic carriers remain undetected in every prefecture, because only individuals with clear symptoms - and perhaps also their close contact persons - get tested).

So based on this, especially Kanagawa, but also Hokkaido and Tokyo quite clearly "outperform" the other prefectures still under emergency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Martin

I can understand what you are saying however my issue is with sample size only. To perform a scientific analysis it does not yield accurate results due to the sample size which is far too small. This would never pass scrutiny as a scientific analysis. That is all I am saying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gyms are gonna re-open too! That's a bit risky.The elderly are gonna bum rush the gym quick sharp.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Martin - I just did a very rough calculation assuming a Tokyo population of 11,000,000

For an accurate trend to be established they would need to sample (test) 2,400 people per day for a 2% margin of error.

I think it is really achievable actually!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"They will be fine (for the lifting) if things remain as they are."

ah, a rocket scientist! You see, how it works is, you open up, say things are fine, then they DON’T remain as they are, then you delay, delay, delay, stop what little testing you’re doing to further hide the numbers, then eventually close down again, for reuse as long.

but honestly, since the other prefectures opened Osaka has been, too. It’s still closed in lip-service form only. All shops, save gyms and theaters, that had signs saying “closed until the state of emergency is lifted” opened up again last week, despite it still being in place for Osaka. And face it, the “lockdown” was about as actually locked down as a Koban with the officer sleeping at the desk and who left the back door open.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

What could possibly go wrong?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's fine to end the state of emergency as long as people are willing to be responsible (themselves) and considerate (with others) regarding getting exposed or exposing others to the virus. If the number of cases go up, then selfishness, more than the virus, will be the cause of more infected people and possible deaths.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It would be wise to see it out until the end of the month given the scope of the incubation period.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is not a transparent country. People please think for yourself, question everything and stay safe.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The sooner the better. Include Tokyo too. Before economy is completely collapsing here.

That said, people should keep social distancing. New rules. New life and we need to get use to it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I worry this is giving people the notion that all is fine and go back to how things normally are, which is just asking for it. Japan loves OTT signs how about using sign more as reminders also use radio TV, internet, social media to remind peoplthat things are NOT back to normal.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ok. it will be fine Japan mulls Kansai area, and I meditate for Fukuoka, where I live. And waiting Kansai people to come to Fukuoka, my service industry will be again active.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hokkaido is fine. We Dosanko are tough and have common sense. We will shelter our old and weak but the strong can get on with helping the economy recover it. Let's do it already.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

You aren't in emergency if you don't do enough test. Clear as the water.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It's fine to end the state of emergency as long as people are willing to be responsible (themselves) and considerate (with others) regarding getting exposed or exposing others to the virus.

Yeah, it might be true on paper, but in real life, it's obvious that you should never ever expect everyone else to be responsible and considerate.

We just had a perfect example: only a short while ago, South Korea recorded less than 10 new cases for several days in a row....until one particular "party guy", who visited a nightclub after nightclub, came about and messed things up again.

As a result, SK is now faced with a new wave of infections, with around 30 new cases each day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Like I said above:

It is really interesting to see that almost nobody continues screaming for a "Strict Lock down" like during the past weeks.

Almost everyone here in this discussion agree now with the "re-opening".

Very interesting!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Monty

It seems that all these "fear mongering - do a hard lock down - fake test results - screaming posters" here on JT are away from the discussion or changed their minds to "re-open the country now".

They're just lurking, look at Burning bush's votes =)

Some actually did post towards the end

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lifting the state of emergency is rash. The pandemic is still on. The reason that new cases are down is because emergency steps have been taken. Guaranteed there will be spike in new cases if the state of emergency is removed.

The state of emergency, or lockdowns elsewhere for that matter, are not in place because there is a pandemic, they are in place because they are supposed to buy space in ICUs which would otherwise be overcrowded. While in places where emergency measures have been lifted there are occasionally clusters or localised outbreaks, as in ROK, there is no evidence yet for second spikes. What everyone is aiming for is a controlled outbreak, where we can allow the virus to filter through the population that is manageable for healthcare facilities—this is the only way the virus will eventually die down; a vaccine is possible, but unlikely to come before it is no longer useful.

What would be most important, in my opinion, is keeping care homes and the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions under an essential lockdown (only if they consent of course), while allowing the rest of society to continue and get this virus that is statistically speaking going to be mostly harmless to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Ian

I feel sorry for Burning Bush, because whatever he says he is receiving many down-votes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Monty

Today  04:26 pm JST

@Ian

I feel sorry for Burning Bush, because whatever he says he is receiving many down-votes.

I don't think you should, nor I, and I don't. I don't think he/she minds at all. I think it's actually good that his/her posts have become a focal point for discussion.

You can see that there are many upvotes as well. So it shows that many on both sides are considering the posts.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I feel sorry for Burning Bush, because whatever he says he is receiving many down-votes.

Occasionally, I'll give him/her an upvote but I find myself more informed when having a look at posting histories, which tend to reveal more about exactly why some people (fairly or unfairly) get voted down.

I think Japan should remain with the state of emergency and review it regularly. We are luckier (as regards the spread of the infection) that the reported numbers are so low. Let's keep them low.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They are right to be "mulling it". It is a choice which will balances saving the economy with the spread and deaths from COVID19 which in turn has put pressure on the medical system. I'd rather they were "mulling it" rather than jumping to actions with careful considerations of all the data and facts.

We all want everything opened. We all don't want more COVID19 spread. Otherwise even if we opened we could end up being closed again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WHAT EVER THE DIRECTION, IT IS NOT TO THE LIKES AND DISLIKES OR WHIMS OR TALK. The important point here is saving lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Old Man is getting predictable. Sure' he'd love to open the economy because he doesn't have to work or have dangerous contact with people. He's in the upper class, not the working class so he's safe while the working class takes all the risk to make money for the rich.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites