politics

Outbreak, economic ills dim luster of Japan's Olympic year

43 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI and ELAINE KURTENBACH

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43 Comments
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Will the IOC be paying Tokyo back? Don't think so.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

When Abe failed to adequately address the plight of foreigners contracting a virulent disease aboard a locked down ship, he lost credibility abroad-not a positive impression!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Call IOC to suggest backup plan to move Olympics 2020 to London and seek possibility for other cities around the world to host as alternative ? Time moved on and hosting in one city do not make sense any longer.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Chinese tourists, the mainstay of regional travel with nearly 10 million visiting Japan in 2019, are staying away now that the virus has spread beyond the cruise ship...

Oh, fear of getting infected in Japan is why there aren't many Chinese tourists recently?

Silly me, I thought they weren't coming due to China's ban on group tours leaving its country and the fact that a dozen Japanese airports now refuse flights from China.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@sf2k

Will the IOC be paying Tokyo back? Don't think so.

The IOC is only responsible for paying for the medals and the prize money from the pot for the athletes. IOC didn't make Tokyo bid for the Olympics. Tokyo and Japan made that choice.

The Olympics used to be a great way for countries to profit off of the increased attention. However, in an era of privatization, ballooning costs, and easy access to travel the Olympics now shoulders the host country and city with burdensome debt.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It's all about Abe! He doesn't care at all about the public. Except fleecing them of income. Future plans...himself. Quality of life for underlings.....who? As long as he can shack hands with like minded degenerates his OK. The rest of us just hope by accident something positive for us because he sure doesn't plan it. He just wants to parade in a Super Mario costume be on stage with AKB48 and receive soooo much love from middle aged men. There was never going to be lustre for Tokoyo residents just another difficulty for day to day life. Now a virus that honestly Nuroviris hits every year and that's nasty.

Even silver spoons can be unpalatable.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I will keep it small 1. root source: spread from China 2. election year and voter memory against politicos action taken.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The root source country should be held accountable and responsible to pay restitution for even working on advancing a known dangerous pathogen and alter its genetic makeup synthetically creating a super bug at a military lab which is not for peaceful intent else it would be at an ordinary research lab. Failure to raise the awareness and alarm until it was out of control, while trying to mask the problem didn't help. Censorship and oppression on those in the scientific community was not a good move by this source nation either. Repercussion action for all nation and its peoples affected.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I want to know where Koike is. She has been as quiet as a mouse with Ghosn and coronavirus since she lost the marathon to Sapporo. I know the coronavirus is a national threat, but considering she is the governor of capital city of Tokyo where the olympics are being held.

You think that she is taking a play out of Xi's book!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

@rgcivilian1

The root source country should be held accountable and responsible to pay restitution

The evolution of viruses isn't so simple. The coronavirus is not a new virus. Sure the strain might be a new one, but there are also several other strains that have evolved over time.

Also, if you every country were made to pay restitution, then Japan would be in a similar boat for the candida auris that started here several years ago and is still spreading while evolving and growing even more drug resistant.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Abe's leadership was never more than bluster and the above mentioned Koike makes only storms in teacups.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The perfect storm.

But this won't just affect Japan, the economic effects around the world will be huge. Another Lehman shock? And no doubt the rich will get richer out of this

9 ( +10 / -1 )

A multitude of things are going wrong simultaneously, not just for Abe but for Japan as a whole,"

None of them his fault.

1) The trade war

2) Typhon 19

3) Wuhan

None of them are his fault.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

"Basically the quarantine of a ship is a 19th century type of a strategy. But it was probably hard to make any kind of a decision"

In other words, there was no other choice. Japan was dealt a no win situation

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"A welcome message posted on the website of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing saying "We look forward to receiving many Chinese guests visiting Japan,"

I guess it should had said. No Chinese in Japan.

Damn if you Damn if you don't.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I do agreed, Japan playing soft to the Chinese people and he let them to in and out in the Japanese territory. It's was too late when he was ordered to ban the chinese people... now Olympic it seems in half half decision ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You know, the fear of this virus is from not having a cure, right? Yet there's no real cure for Rhino virus either, and we all catch it. 

Now the symptoms are all basically the same, unless your infrim with a heart condition, and that's also the same for any virus, in fact you hear reports, that if you do catch it, it will be nothing more than a bad cold, unless you have some respiratory issue to begin with, but that's also the same with any flu like virus, like rhino virus ;-)

It leads me to the conclusion that this virus is going nowhere, and we need to adapt that, go on with our lives, and stop living in fear.

Or else we will all become victims, and we won't even need a virus.

Hang in there world, this to shall pass. Peace on the seven seas.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A multitude of things are going wrong simultaneously, not just for Abe but for Japan as a whole,"

None of them his fault.

1) The trade war

2) Typhon 19

3) Wuhan

None of them are his fault.

You forgot a few ..

Sales tax increase & spending downturn ...Abe,s fault

Structural reforms to fire up the economy aka the 3rd arrow MIA - Abe,s fault

Rock bottom relations with SK, China, Russia...Abe,s fault

Trust in govt at all time low - Abe,s fault

Record no of people on minimum wages scraping by- Abe,s fault

And numerous others ....

Of course none of that is to be mentioned by the LDP internet soldiers that aren,t alwayspeakingwisdom.....oops sorry forgot, that hadle got changed :-)

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Time to look at post-Abe Japan? We need a new Japan..younger, more forward looking. Less military, more friendly, less looking at changing the constitution, more about harmonizing with its neighbors, etc. Time for a new face.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

You what is interesting? This what the CDC said about US US officials have now confirmed 35 cases of  novel coronavirus in the country, 

but

These include 21 cases among repatriated individuals, as well as 14 US cases.

"We are keeping track of cases resulting from repatriation efforts separately because we don't believe those numbers accurately represent the picture of what is happening in the community in the United States at this time," Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday.

Interesting that Japan does not get the same slack. The press is reporting that Japan has 100 cases, but 80 of the cases are imported cases.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

To the accompaniment of “nearer, my god, to thee” Captain Abe’s La La Land orchestra continues to reassure us, mounting evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, that everything’s under control. The quarantine debacle points to a much deeper malaise; a toxic combination of bureaucratic inertia and innate fear of making tough executive decisions that might mitigate the problems arising from a sieve-like border control regime which continues to allow highly likely to be infected individuals free access into the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time to look at post-Abe Japan? We need a new Japan..younger, more forward looking. Less military, more friendly, less looking at changing the constitution, more about harmonizing with its neighbors, etc. Time for a new face.

Preach it brother :-)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How? By helicopter?

Exactly. This is the choice Japan had:

1) quarantine the ship- but this might increase the odds that the people on the ship may test positive, but it would slow the virus spread in Japan.

2) Let them off, but that would dangerous.

So Japan tried strike a balance. and CDC agreed with the call.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I believe it was primed by China.

You are being far too kind to the Chinese government here. A virus like this is China's Achilles heel. Perhaps China might have introduced a virus like this into the Philippines and then ordered an invasion as not only a show of dominance but also as a way of testing its resolve in containing a quickly spreading virus. But on its own people?? It is smashing China economically and bringing much of its society to a halt. If this gets worse, it could be China's Black Plague dragging it out of its own Dark Ages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Oh, just remembered why I was posting!

A serious lack of hotel rooms around Tokyo for the Olympics was going to be solved by putting guests on air-conditioned cruise liners docked in Tokyo Bay. The elephant in the room?

So what happens to that plan now? (Perhaps it is too early to ask.)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The coronavirus crisis hit home just as Abe's supporters were gearing up to try to change the rules to allow him a fourth three-year term after his current term ends next year.

Last year Abe said “Seeking a fourth term is prohibited by a party regulation. It is a matter of course to abide by the rule” after Nikai said a fourth term for Abe as head of the party was “fully possible.” Can´t help but to think about how Xi became president for life in China.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The coronavirus crisis hit home just as Abe's supporters were gearing up to try to change the rules to allow him a fourth three-year term after his current term ends next year.

An excessively long time in office is never good in a democracy. It would even be better for a change in party in control of the government if even for a short time. Leaders lose energy and get complacent to the needs of the people. The worst thing about long term tenures in power is the tendency towards corruption. Abe already holds the record for longest time in power - time to move on.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#comparison

This is the issue.

Death rate so far playing out similar to the Spanish Flu.vAround 2% of infected people world-wide died. This compares to around 0.01% from normal flu.

So far, the Covid-19 death rate at 2-3%, similar to the Spanish Flu.

The issue is with the RATE of spread by one person at 4-6 (hundreds by one lady in S. Korea), which is way higher than the normal flu. Also factor in that there is no vaccine (so far); confirmed aerosol transmission; its asymptomatic; and has a long incubation period of up to 28 days. This is why you have a BIG problem. Oh and I didn't mention that 20% will get it REALLY bad.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No doubt that we should all try to stay out of tight spaces where there are many people.... but doing that in Tokyo is almost impossible. Obviously the train situation is the worst.... I think they should allow the windows to be opened slightly in the front and rear of each rail car. This way fresh air can stream through the rail car and possibly reduce the amount of contaminated human exhaust that would normally stagnate in the rail car itself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Abe and the current government are morons. #abeout

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan got weeks, not month to come up with a solution, people will not travel to Japan, if they will be put in quarantine upon returning to their country

5 ( +6 / -1 )

'A concatenation of things....', well there's a new word. Had to look that one up..... but I kind of like it!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe and the current government are morons.

LOL please explain the US government

Why did the US government allow 14 positives on the plane? If you have not heard by now the whole plane tested positive LOL

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Keep calm and wash your hands.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

God forbid that London take over the 2020 Olympics.

It was bad enough in 2012 - a curse from which the city has still not recovered.

Sorry for Tokyo but it will soon learn the foolishness of allowing itself to be nominated.

These bread and circus events need to be terminated as soon as possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Honestly, I really think everyone is really over reacting. if anyone bothered checking the CDC, they would know that the common flu is is projected to kill anywhere from 6 to 41,000 people this year, and that is with us having a vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

and the covid coronavirus deaths: 2362

Yes, a grim statistic, but the common flu gives us an even more grim estimate for 2020...16,000 – 41,000!

We really need to calm down before we write off an entire year over something that is no dangerous than any other known virus out there.

it's ridiculous. we need to be brave. We should realize that this virus is not going anywhere, and get on with our lives. Bring on Olympics, and lets go back to work. Peace.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

the common flu is is projected to kill anywhere from 6 to 41,000 people this year, and that is with us having a vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm and the covid coronavirus deaths: 2362

Absolute numbers are meaningless, as the number of people who will get the flu and cold are not anywhere in the same range as the number of who have got the coronavirus.

For example, if 1000 people got Virus X, and 800 of them die, that number would be way less than the 41,000 people who die from the common flu. But it would mean 8/10 people getting Virus X died, making it WAY more dangerous than the common flu.

Therefore meaningful comparison is the rate of death per virus, no the absolute numbers of people to die.

So please, if I can ask you to do a bit of a calculation (to fact check your claim that this is no more dangerous than other known viruses), if you applied the rate of death of the corona virus to the number of people who catch the common flu, how many deaths would we see? And is this more or less than the actual number of deaths we see with the coronavirus?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

well written article, good job!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Possible to delay the summer Olympics to 2021? Keep the 4 year schedule of 2024, but in extreme circumstances just delay it for a year or possibly two?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is fine to debate the numbers. But look at China. Do you want that here? Everyone locked up, and policed by drones, with people laid out in the streets?

I'm not saying that's we'll get there overnight, but if we keep freaking out and get into a panic, a lot more people will be harmed, and our freedom of movement, and basic welfare will be severely restricted in the long run, than necessary, thus is not a good thing, everyone needs to to just calm down an and focus and treatment, but go on with day to day life this is what needs to be expressed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

serendipitous1

'A concatenation of things....', well there's a new word. Had to look that one up..... but I kind of like it!

a common word in programming circles but it's literally the same thing being repeated. Cacophony in this case might suit the situation better as that's more about inharmonious things

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the games are moved it'll be held in October ironically the same time they should have been held in Japan

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe is only there for changing constitution.

He don't want to get involved in PM's official duties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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