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Ex-diplomat Yukio Okamoto, adviser to prime ministers, dies from coronavirus

15 Comments

Former Japanese diplomat Yukio Okamoto, a one-time adviser to prime ministers and expert on ties with the United States, died late last month after contracting the novel coronavirus, his consultancy confirmed on Friday.

After retiring from the foreign ministry in 1991, Okamoto, 74, served as an adviser to then-prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on thorny issues related to Okinawa, home to the bulk of U.S. troops in Japan.

He also advised then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi from 2001-2004 and was a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies.

In comments to public broadcaster NHK, former U.S. defense official Richard Armitage called Okamoto a "giant" among those involved in U.S.-Japan affairs and a true patriot.

"This is a shock. And from the coronavirus!" said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike in a tweet.

"I received accurate analysis from a global perspective about international politics, trade wars and the like, from a diplomat who was full of Japanese spirit," Koike said, offering her condolences.

A well-known commentator who often appeared on TV, Okamoto was head of a political and economic consultancy.

Japan has not had the explosive surge of coronavirus infections seen in many countries, but as of Friday midday, it had more than 15,500 confirmed cases including 590 deaths, NHK said.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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RIP Okamoto san. This corona virus thing is out of control. Too bad that China did not inform the world sooner than later.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

And?

Please take a moment a review all the people who died from flu, car accident, smoking, heart attack.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pneumonia_deaths

Is this article about the man, or the virus. Please don't make a man's legacy and postmortem about an agenda to push virus news. It demeans the man's work.

Had this man died from a heart attack would you even write an article. How shameful.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

So you are telling me out of only 5xx deaths there are already at least 3 famous people who died.

It does eather mean that many deaths are not reported as covid.

And why did it take 1 month that such public info to be issued ?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It does eather mean that many deaths are not reported as covid.

Or the three were died from other reasons and were used as warnings at good timings.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Japanese people got upset when the Corona virus killed a popular comedian Shimura in March followed by actress Kumiko Okae and now one of the best and brightest Japanese Okamoto in April. America lost a good friend. I wonder why are "no good" diet members of 800 lower and upper houses are safe.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Do you have to be an ex-diplomat and advisor to PMs to merit a test?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan has not had the explosive surge of coronavirus infections seen in many countries, but as of Friday midday, it had more than 15,500 confirmed cases including 590 deaths, NHK said.

This statement features in every corona virus article. How difficult is it to surmise that there is correlation between rate of infection and number of pcr test.

Japan's testing rate is almost on par with Lithuania a country with a population of 2.9 million.

The testing rate is third world rate.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

So you are telling me out of only 5xx deaths there are already at least 3 famous people who died.

Not just three famous people rather super famous people that everyone in Japan knows.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

drlucifer

> Time will come to relax inter country flights and most countries will want to resume flights that were transparent and tackled the virus diligently

That would assume ,

1.the virus has been eradicated only in such countries.

The virus can only be eradicated through mass testing,

The virus does not fizzle out like sars and mars did.

The world will have the will have the will or financial power to cut off of the 1st and 3rd biggest economies in the world
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The virus can only be eradicated through mass testing,

You're mistaken on this. At the moment, there is no means of eradicating the virus. It's here, there is no cure nor antibody that has been found to be effective yet.

The whole point of isolation/quarantine/lockdown was to flatten the curve, giving the world's medical systems enough room both to deal with the influx of patients to come, also to give them some flexibility to produce testing kits and treatments, so that when we do start to relax lockdowns, and more people do start to catch the covid, the medical system can handle it. Testing will allow to try to catch and isolate it, slowing down its progression, again, giving the medical systems some breathing room.

To be clear, at our current level of technology, there is no eradication. Our current approach to dealing with the virus is to find a way to let as many live through it as possible, through medical care when necessary.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@strangerland

You're mistaken on this. At the moment, there is no means of eradicating the virus. I

I completely agree

Please read my whole comment

@drlucifer

What matters is whether the can be trusted internationally or not There ate international norms, you can do things in such a way that it arouses suspicion.

Time will come to relax inter country flights and most countries will want to resume flights that were transparent and tackled the virus diligently*

That would assume ,

1.the virus has been eradicated only in such countries.

2.The virus can only be eradicated through mass testing,

3.The virus does not fizzle out like sars and mars did.

4.The world will have the will have the will or financial power to cut off of the 1st and 3rd biggest economies in the world

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Xeno ManToday  06:28 pm JST

Not just three famous people rather super famous people that everyone in Japan knows.

I don't think everyone in Japan knows Yukio Okamoto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

THERE IS A  REASON Japan has not had the explosive surge of coronavirus infections seen in many countries,  as of Friday midday, it had more than 15,500 confirmed cases including 590 deaths, BUT DUE TO A LACK OF TESTING OF THE LIVING & DECEASED WE UNFORTUNATELY DONT REALLY KNOW THE NUMBER OF CASES OR DEATHS IN REALITY, NHK said

There fixed the last paragraph!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The lack of testing is embarrassing for Japan, but at the same time there doesn’t appear to be a surge of deaths. The US has seen 70,000 plus deaths, whereas official Japan death counts are in the hundreds. If Japan is having a lot more unofficial deaths due to coronavirus then where are all the dead bodies?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

fxgai,

I answered your question right above your post, Japan is NOT TESTING, that includes people who pass away. Old folks pass sadly but I suspect many may be passing earlier due to the virus as we see worldwide, BUT Japan is not testing so I suspect many elderly who are passing now are NOT in the stats buy maybe should be!

The J-govt as far as I can tell has DECIDED to simply lie to its people & the world by NOT doing sufficient testing, sadly we will never know how many die due to govt negligence & THAT is how the J-govt wants it sadly!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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