Japan Today
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Image: Wikipedia/内閣官房内閣広報室

Suga says plenty of nurses available to work Olympics since 'many are taking time off now'

By SoraNews24

The controversial 2021 Olympics seems to be happening this summer in Japan, despite the majority of Japanese people thinking they should be cancelled or postponed again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to carry out the Olympics as safely as possible, several measures have already been taken, such as not allowing spectators from outside the country, and recently, the organizers requesting 500 nurses to be on site at the Games.

That request has garnered much anger online, due to it being as seen taking necessary health workers from other locations and putting them to work at an event that shouldn’t even be happening.

However, on April 30 Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reassured people that they would be able to fulfill the 500 requested nurses because: “I’ve heard many are taking time off now. So it should be possible.”

Of course this is a terrible take for many reasons. If nurses are taking time off from work, then there’s a reason for that, either because they’re overworked and need that time off, or because their working conditions are dangerous.

Also, if things are so bad that nurses are taking time off, then perhaps that’s yet another reason to not hold the Olympics in the first place. It’d be like if littering got so bad that garbage men had to take time off… and then that was seen as a good thing because look at all the garbage men with free time to clean up.

▼ Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was critical of Suga’s response. (Translation below)


“Prime Minister Suga, you said that it will be possible to dispatch 500 nurses to the Olympics because many are taking time off? Right now, citizens are dying from COVID and dying from the economic slump, barely getting by. Osaka and other places want nurses to come to them. Do we not need nurses at large-scale vaccination centers?”

Japanese netizens voiced similar thoughts online:

“I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Hatoyama for once.”

“They’re taking time off for a reason. Don’t make them work.”

“Why is someone who has never worked as a nurse saying this is possible?”

“Olympics First.”

“This is not what we want.”

“Even if some are taking time off, things are only going to get worse after Golden Week.”

“Nurses who are going back to work should only be going back to their actual work.”

We’ll have to see how this all pans out, but with other helpers leaving the Olympics due to sexist remarks just a few months ago, it’s hard to imagine nurses — especially ones currently forced into the position of taking time off — wanting to participate.

Source: JIJI.COM via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Coronavirus vaccinations for general public in Japan to start in mid-July at the earliest

-- Should the 2020 (now 2021) Tokyo Olympics be cancelled? Japanese citizens are divided

-- Tokyo Olympics losing volunteers even after president’s resignation for sexist remarks

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Showing once again that people at the top lack basic common sense.

Open mouth.

Insert foot.
44 ( +48 / -4 )

I hope he stays PM for 11 years. He is much smarter than Abe in my opinion.

-54 ( +2 / -56 )

“I’ve heard many are taking time off now. So it should be possible.”

Logical thinking at its finest

40 ( +42 / -2 )

which planet does this disgraoindividual live on ? Ids there still one person not demanding his resignation now? What a disgraceful, disrespecting, absurdity to say.

this is beyond belief and common decency

30 ( +33 / -3 )

I hope he stays PM for 11 years. He is much smarter than Abe in my opinion.

Nah, the walls are probably closing in on him already given his approval ratings and age is against him.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

The Emperor (PM) certainly has proven he has no intellectual clothes, 100 sit ups a day makes the PM (Mr Burns) somewhat a dark and menacing character. So his plan is to blanket cancel Nurses holiday time? Can he do that? Is he really working on his popularity?, while displaying an appalling lack of situational awareness.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

The indifference to the plight of the nurses by this pathetic excuse for a leader is shocking.

he is nothing but a puppet for Dentsu and the IOC. He should be forced to step down immediately

26 ( +27 / -1 )

shouldn’t they be vaccinating people instead. Jp is so far behind that herd immunity will never be reached for a hundred years at this pace! Prioritize Mr. PM!

28 ( +28 / -0 )

I mean seriously, how tone deaf can one possibly be?

33 ( +33 / -0 )

Man, he's an idiot.

35 ( +35 / -0 )

Nurses are taking time off from this amazingly idiotic experience by Suga.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

This is probably worst comment by this prime minister ever. The recent pleas for 500 nurses universally disgusted nurses who went to social media to strongly reject this as did the Nurses association I believe. Nurses under extreme pressure due to the rise in COVID cases and often the limit to available beds for covid patients is not lack of physical beds but lack of nurse to look after the patients. Not to mention one of the main impediments to the vaccine program a lack of medical staff. And then he says this!

38 ( +40 / -2 )

JimizoToday 04:34 pm JST

I hope he stays PM for 11 years. He is much smarter than Abe in my opinion.

Nah, the walls are probably closing in on him already given his approval ratings and age is against him.

WE both agree with you Jimiz-san: Our sarcasm seems to have gone over some peoples heads and past their funny bones. Laughter is the best medicine in sad times.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Foot in mouth disease afflicts all the politicians here. They seem to have recurring cases regularly too.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

WE both agree with you Jimiz-san

Cheers, Costco-san.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sorry, Kyaku-san

Damn predictive text.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I am trying to imagine this scene.

Suga, during a meeting with his staff, said: “About the Olympics and the shortage of nurses, I will say to the citizens that “I’ve heard many nurses are taking time off now. So it should be possible to use them during the Olympics”. What do you think about it?".

And his staff replied: “Yes, it is a great idea! Let’s say it. You are really a great and wise PM”.

Or, this scene

Suga’s staff, during a meeting, proposed: “PM Suga, about the Olympics and the shortage of nurses, we suggest to say “I’ve heard many nurses are taking time off now. So it should be possible to use them during the Olympics”. What do you think about it?"

And Suga replied: “Yes, it is a great idea! I will say it. You are really a great staff”.

28 ( +31 / -3 )

Hatoyama san just earned a great deal of respect from me and the wife.

We were at dinner with friends the other day and everyone expressed the opinion that their own government (all Japanese except me) has no concern for the welfare of the Japanese people.

What is going on now is really beyond belief. The article the other day also indicated there are divers from overseas in Japan now and the takeaway I had is that they are refusing to provide details about their accomodations.

True insanity.

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Wow! I think Suga has forgotten what the world is in the middle of! Maybe to many late night drinks at hostess bars has cause brain damage!

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Yeah, taking time off... like ONE DAY after 200 hours of overtime, watching people die in front of them because clowns like Suga prioritize Olympics over health, and suffering extreme exhaustion. There is still an extreme shortage not only of beds, but of the staff to attend to them if they became available to begin with. Someone ought to punch this guy... then he'd realize there are no nurses to treat him because they are all busy. And now on top of that, none would want to.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

Complete lies, there is a doctor and nurse shortage in Japan it is why they have the foreign nurse program. There isn't enough, this is just lip service.

23 ( +25 / -2 )

This article reads more like the Comments section here!

Suga has completely lost it, he's totally clueless, divorced from reality, unsuitable for his position and needs to be removed forthwith.

25 ( +27 / -2 )

I echo what everyone else is saying here, but I just had to comment on this bit:

 “I’ve heard many are taking time off now. So it should be possible.”

HAHAHA, my god!! Just how big of a retard ARE you?! You HEARD they are taking time off???? So you're not even sure about it, you're just speculating! And you're a prime minister no less! Check your bloody facts before opening your senile old mouth, and maybe think about why these people are taking time off. This must also be how this moron runs the country the rest of the time, based on rumors and hearsay.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

All he cares about is Olympics.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

I think by this point it became more likely he is being offensive and obtuse on purpose to make people react against the Olympics (and maybe have an excuse for cancellation?) than doing it because of ineptitude. It is extremely difficult to think he could say exactly the wrong thing about the subject without planning it beforehand to make the reaction of the people worse.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Did the PM ever stop to wonder WHY the nurses are taking time off? It's not like Japan is infamous for, oh, I don't know, excessive amounts of overtime? My gods, it's become a sad, tragic parody, these higher ups and their antics.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

“Kyakusenbi_ArimasuToday  04:28 pm JST

I hope he stays PM for 11 years. He is much smarter than Abe in my opinion.”

so a 82 year old seems ok in your opinion!?...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

77 nurses at one "sogo" hospital here have quit their jobs because of the pressure and stress, and lack of compensation for their work, here.

Suga is full of shite if he thinks they are going to work for him and the Olympics!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Only one thing on Suga’s mind

¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥and only¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥

He never cared about the people of Japan .

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There are globally not so many country leaders now or in the newer history books who have also zero people’s votes like this guy. Unbelievable, not how he got in his position, but that he still is kept unconfirmed for so long in it, unelected by the people.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What a twat

13 ( +14 / -1 )

There is something partially presumptuous, arrogant, irritating, conceited even, in Suga san comments.

Nursing is an essential resource for the care of a continuing aging population.

Clinical care cannot be shifted around, akin to playing dominos.

it is frankly offensive, a betrayal to comprehend the dedication of clinical professionals.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Health care workers are a precious resource. Politicians aren't

16 ( +16 / -0 )

So if I follow correctly, first Muto went around to request nurses through "being flexible with working hours and shifts and so on". And now Suga just implied something could be worked out using the one on leave.

Is it me or they do not even fake considering the nurses have a choice ? Like : we need 500 nurses, so you provide 500 nurses, period.

And not sure but is not that voluntary work thus they will not even be paid ?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Suga-san could have gotten the vaccines to the people early. He could have prioritized human life over the Olympics. He could have been a hero.

Instead, he will go down as the worst PM in recent history (and there have been a lot of them).

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Suga. This is the 'leader' of Japan? Entrusted with the welfare of the people? He needs to go to a retirement home. The entire LDP needs to be scattered to the winds.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Put yourself in the shoes of Aso, Nikai and his puppet Suga for a minute.

The Japanese people, and nurses in this particular case, are a resource to be used.

You would think you could mime a little sympathy for a fellow individual, more so a fellow member of your nation state, but you are just not in the LDP mindset.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

He seems to have totally “lost it”!! ... Maybe pressures of the rising infection rate, the slowness of the vaccine rollout, and demands from the IOC have panicked him into being unable to think clearly and into making inane statements!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

just want to absolutely ..... this guy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Glad to see I am not the only one that feels this is done on purpose to make people angry.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just when you think this Japanese government couldn’t be anymore incompetent or nonsensical, we get this! What alternative reality have they immersed themselves in? They are so far removed from the ordinary folk here in Japan, they might as well as join rover on Mars!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Just say anything to get, what u want???.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Common sense is not common"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The good for Suga is that it’s only uphill from here, as it’s literally impossible for him to say something dumber at this point.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just a nice flex by Suga. He knows that no matter what he does, come October, LDP will be winning a landslide. As long as he keeps the key political factions (cough nobles) happy, he can still be PM.

Japanese voters are too loyal to their local political families, so why should any ruling politician care about the voters? They will get their votes anyways.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I know the "anti Olympic" crowd, of which I am a member will not like this but Mr Suda is actually correct. There are thousands of working, retired and "non working" nurses that are available for these paid, part time positions. Mrs Kipling is one of these people and has already received correspondence about her availability for this position. (It was a no thank you.) They will probably have little trouble filling the roster.

If only the same was true for the vaccination centers!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Virusrex may have a point (but I doubt Suga is that intelligent).

The only and I really mean the only way the Olympics can be cancelled under the present contract is that the IOC does it.

Tokyo cannot unilaterally cancel all it could do is ask the IOC and they are not going to because if they do it they get no insurance payout.

So creating as much outrage as possible in Japan and hopefully in other countries, people everywhere will demand the games be cancelled.

Now as stupid as Suga's remarks are they are no worse than those by the leaders of just about every country in the world.

Has Australian, Canadian, UK, France, Germany, Italy, USA, etc...leaders called for the games to be cancelled? No on the contrary many have gone on about believing they can still be held safely and saying how their national teams will have all they need to be safe.

The Japanese people may want the games cancelled but it seems clear the IOC, Japanese political leaders, and international political leaders don't and they don't care what the Japanese population thinks or wants.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Suga the imbecile.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sleep my friend...Sleep.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe Shinzo has a habit of 'getting ill' when the going gets tough. He must be so relieved he doesn't have to come up with yet more lies. I hope he doesn't come back when the pandemic is over.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a completely tone deaf and ignorant thing to say.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I’d be amazed if this guy even makes it to the election later this year as PM.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is really not much different to the fact that many nurses in Japan also work part-time jobs in care homes and other hospitals. Without this "cover" many facilities, especially residential mental hospitals would be unable to function. Suga, and the Olympic committee are asking for paid volunteers for a short period of time. They should have no problems as it is easy work and quite well paid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The stupidity of this man is beyond disbelief!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Suga is the "Yes man" to a cowardly 2-time quitter Abe. Why would any expect him to be a successful leader.

I’ve heard many are taking time off now.

When you hear other inept leaders, take a page from a failed leader like trump. For example, ‘A lot of people are saying . . . ’: You know that they do not have a clue what they are doing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Olympics over human life, that's really the effect of every decision and word spoken.

Please cancel the games

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don’t want to move my family back to my home town of London. But the way the LDP treat the general population with such disregard and talk verbal dihedral 24/7 is just shocking! Add that Shuga was the “mouth” price for Shin chans yrs of BS and a looming war with China I’m starting to ponder, as one should.

for the Japanese reading this pleeease how can you constantly accept being lied to??? You get what you settle for!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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