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Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases

109 Comments
By Noriyuki Suzuki

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For one, the measure would curtail freedoms. 

I stopped there astonished. Freedom is one of the most precious values of all, that's a fact and I agree with Abe, or whoever defends freedom. But when it comes to common well-being, to public health, to the elderly dying, come on, won't you give up a little bit of your freedom by staying at home and losing the "privilege" of walking free for two or three weeks? It says a lot about a society. Whether it's selfish or rather individualist.

24 ( +34 / -10 )

"governors are allowed to use land and facilities without permission from their owners and users"

This might be a little scary...
11 ( +13 / -2 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," Abe said in a parliamentary session on Friday.

Strange words from a government almost uniquely paralyzed by this moment. And today already looks very different from Friday, given the continued spike in numbers across Japan, not merely in Tokyo. Abe may want to take a look at what's happening in Sweden, another country that took a business as usual approach over the past month.

I surely hope he declares a state of emergency today before it's back to work tomorrow. The opposition is for it. Yoshimura and Koike are for it. His own expert panel is, god, even Mikitani and Son and other corporate leaders are for it, not to mention the many prominent companies shutting down factories and stores.

Strange that for such a top down hierarchical state that there's such a vacuum of leadership from the very top.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

We’re 3 months into this but people are talking like we’re in day 2.

The virus entered Tokyo in either January or early February. If it was going to cause mass fatalities it would have done so already.

Either the virus is not so infectious in Japan or it was already pass through most of us but it’s so mild we didn’t even notice.

Come on people... 3 months already!!

-30 ( +18 / -48 )

The lockdown could be necessary, but remember that it can destroy people emotionally if it's done for real, not only like some kind of "voluntary social distance". So, prepare yourselves, especially if you live alone. You will experience some kind of freedom limitations and loneliness that you never tried in your Country, if you lived in a Western democracy.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Maybe this is the time for the "hikkikomori" to shine.... with their help and instruction I'm sure we all can get through a Quarintine / Lockdown.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

People that infection was confirmed increased, but it is 5-14 days ago that they were infected.

The meaning of "two pieces of face masks" seems to suggest future life.

The economical margin using and throwing away "a paper mask" as before in Japan seems to disappear.

It is important to Japan that economic activities continue with the curve of the infected person as flatness, and it is a wish of the Japanese citizen.

It is the people of Japan and foreigners who live in Japan that control the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

§ For you not to be infected.

・ Let's wash your hands.

・ Do not touch your face.

§ Not to infect other people.

・ Cover your mouth and nose.

The US media has reported the lack of ventilators as a political issue, but in reality there is also a shortage of equipment operators.

Increasing the capacity of the healthcare system is not easy, as it requires the training of human resources.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Either the virus is not so infectious in Japan or it was already pass through most of us but it’s so mild we didn’t even notice.

What was the number infected a week ago and what is it today?

Use that rate of compounding and work out where we'll be in a month.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Take action now !!trump said exactly as you said a month ago and we all know the results!!better late than never!!!

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Ah_soToday 07:13 am JST

What was the number infected a week ago and what is it today?

Use that rate of compounding and work out where we'll be in a month.

No, it's not that simple unfortunately. You have to take into account the incubation time (usually 7-18 days) and precautional measures which are already taken.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I think this is the most important sentence:

"Medical experts have already called for a state of emergency to be declared ...."

But he, Abe like his counterpart in the USofA, Donnie the Great, rarely listen to the experts.

Until it's: Too little, too late!

12 ( +17 / -5 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," Abe said in a parliamentary session on Friday. But at the same time he said he does not yet believe infections have spread widely enough nationwide.

Is he not looking at the same data available to the public? I see it increasing day by day. Doubled in the last 5 days. How many people need to die before HE thinks it is "necessary" to declare a state of emergency?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

You have to take into account the incubation time (usually 7-18 days) and precautional measures which are already taken.

Actually most people display symptoms before seven days. Not sure where you are getting your information from.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Burning BushToday  06:52 am JST

We’re 3 months into this but people are talking like we’re in day 2.

The virus entered Tokyo in either January or early February. If it was going to cause mass fatalities it would have done so already.

Either the virus is not so infectious in Japan or it was already pass through most of us but it’s so mild we didn’t even notice.

Come on people... 3 months already!!

Sounds like you believe all the numbers that came out before the Olympics was postponed.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

I don't get the thumbs down. You must prepare yourself for a very long period of limitations, it's a fact. But these limitations aren't the same in every Country, so maybe I should have said that how much they will be able to affect your life is obviously related to how much strict they will be.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Here in Spain I have been confined to my house since March 14. And I've only been out four times since that day, to buy basic necessities. Shopping at the nearest supermarket and going to the pharmacy to get medicine. That's all.

Here the person who leaves his house not complying with the authorized permits, are exposed to the following sanctions:

The fine ranges from 60 to 60,000 euros, depending on the offence committed.

And prison from 6 months to 3 years. Depending on the severity of the unauthorized departure or resistance by the police or army.

Here we have at 0:15 am about 126168 infected and 11947 dead. Awaiting the 12:00 am update. This is a very serious thing. Our government was slow to enact emergency measures. Thinking that the virus wouldn't be so lethal. They were wrong and now we're paying the consequences.

Abe needs to declare a state of emergency now. Only by applying strict quarantine and forced confinement. Thousands of people can be saved. I know it's very hard. I'm experiencing it myself, but it's the only solution until the scientists create a vaccine.

I can only write a message of encouragement. That we can beat the virus and get back to a normal life. Together we can do it and please.

Stay home.

29 ( +34 / -5 )

大阪Today 07:16 am JST

Take action now !!trump said exactly as you said a month ago and we all know the results!!better late than never!!!

Trump said less than 3 weeks ago more or less that all will be fine by Easter. Besides this Trumping it might be better to make a comparison to that in Italy in relation to Japanese society and the risk for spreading - especially the similar way people living often close together within one family.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Abe screwed this us big time! All he cared about was the impression that Japan had this under control and was taking steps to ensure the Olympics would go on as scheduled.

Precocious time was lost because of his pandering, and now, as I unfortunately predicted, we are seeing the spikes coming here as well.

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency,"

BULL! By the time you call an emergency it will be too late!

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Ah_soToday 07:25 am JST

You have to take into account the incubation time (usually 7-18 days) and precautional measures which are already taken.

Actually most people display symptoms before seven days. Not sure where you are getting your information from.

See the information of WHO.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Political games behind the scene.

Opposition and Koike are putting pressure on Abe for declaring an Emergency State. It is also a political game as they know they do not have the responsibility to declare it. It it does not get worse, they won’t loose anything and if it get worse, they will tackle Abe strongly for not having any responsibility, not being able to take decision or whatever, and they will end as winners. Especially Koike. The number of cases is still nothing compare to the population here, no explosion , and the results of 3 days off is still on, Let’s wait a few more days to see if it keeps increasing. I forecast it might stop increasing from Wednesday.

Important to remember that tests results are in a minimum of 4-5 days after showing first symptoms. So I will add these days to the incubation period.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@dougthehead13: Spain is the only Country in Europe that I see in a similar situation to Italy. Maybe also France, but not at the same level. I don't know exactly why in our Countries the virus is so aggressive. Honestly, it's not like the other European Countries reacted so fast or better. I believe we have also the strictest laws about lockdown. I wish you all the best.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Just have to wait for big Japanese companies to accept their staff are not going to make it to work. Then you will see Abe leap into action. Luckily there is a brand new Vetenary school that could be used to treat people and an unused kindergarten in Osaka both are ideal for treating the infected. Had an unusual amount of ambulances scooting around my area last few days. Think things might be really kicking off.

Cherry blossoms are nice so it's all good.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I wish they would. Ever since they've closed schools back in February we've been not going out except for groceries. The only fresh air we get is when we go on walks through back streets. We all wear masks, use hand sanitizer multiple times when we get groceries, wash our hands a bazillion times a day. My daughter hasn't played with another child since February.

It kills me to see that, for this most part, the majority of other people aren't doing it at all. Maybe wear a mask but go about your daily business... it's not going to curb this.

We got a letter in the mail yesterday saying that the entrance ceremony is on Monday, please wear a mask but don't worry the class photos will be taken without them. School to start the next day. Seriously. Hundreds of people crammed into a small gymnasium , kids without masks. I cannot believe they would go ahead with it.

Well, not my child at least. I feel bad because we live across the street from the school so my daughter will see all of her friends going past our house everyday but, there's more important things to worry about now.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Either the virus is not so infectious in Japan or it was already pass through most of us but it’s so mild we didn’t even notice.

Come on people... 3 months already!!

Singapore, with a population of 5.6 million, had been praised by WHO as the role model for other countries to follow in containing the virus. Schools and shops were all open. Business was as usual. Then as oversea Singaporeans returned home. This happens:

https://www.livemint.com/news/world/singapore-announces-1-month-lockdown-amid-rising-corona-cases/amp-11585905344421.html

Singapore announces one-month lockdown

2 min read . 03 Apr 2020

Most workplaces, except for essential services, will close starting Tuesday

The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission in the country have risen in recent weeks

Even with extensive testing, strict isolation, near detective style contact tracing, after reaching 1,114 cases and 6 deaths. Singapore has decided to play it safe and folds its cards.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

All I am hearing is that Japan is worried about pushing the emergency button because they have a bunch of poorly written emergency policies. And we have already seen how poor the response can be to emergencies! Remember thirsty people in Kumamoto after the earthquake, and storage facilities nearby with filled with water NOT BEING DELIVERED?

Why not use this time to:

A. Remove nonsensical policies

B. Make an actual response plan based on what is working abroad

C. Push the emergency button already!!

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases

Like groundhog day, have we not kept seeing that same headline over and over again at least this past week? Is he at the tipping point of announcing his next initiative, "Abe-tizers" (2 packs of hand-sanitizers to each household)?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This failure to act will kill people. Again we get a photo showing someone who should know better not following the basic rules to prevent infection that are being followed in the rest of the world. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"People have the freedom to choose whether to follow voluntary requests by authorities..."

That is irrelevant when most are still being FORCED to ride crowded rush-hour trains and FORCED to work in crowded open offices, retail outlets and restaurants.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Koike has begun regular English-language broadcasts of the latest information on a near daily basis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z99YBdtUy5E

Hats off to her for doing this, it's very impressive.

Meanwhile, where is Shinzo? Still stuffing his face in Ginza eateries with Keidanren leaders while his wife attends hanami parties with prancing ninnies from Johnny's Jimusho?

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Most countries started off slowly and then cases jumped.

Japan and Tokyo will see thousands of people infected per day if it follows the same curve as other countries.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It seems the state of emergency would be declared when Abe got infected.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Either test everyone in the country, or implement a shut down. Given that we over here in California do not have access to test kits, Governor Newsom implemented a state-wide stay at home order, the first of its kind in the nation for an entire state.

If one looks at a map of the US and how the virus has spread, California is doing surprisingly well. The stay at home order is working. If we ever get access to the millions of test kits that we need, we can start letting some people go back to work.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Four weeks ago, on March 7, there were 463 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Japan.

On April 4, four weeks later, there are 3497 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Japan. (NHK data)

I'm not a mathematician, but I believe that is a 655% increase in the number of confirmed cases in a period of four weeks.

Similarly, in the one week period between March 28 and April 4, the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Japan increased from 1726 to 3497. I believe that is a 102% increase in the number of confirmed cases in a period of one week.

Still, no need to get your knickers in a knot... Right, Mr. Abe?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," Abe said in a parliamentary session on Friday. But at the same time he said he does not yet believe infections have spread widely enough nationwide."

Sounds just like what the guy from the WHO was spouting about a pandemic, turns out he was way late in declaring a pandemic. It is hard to believe that a seemingly rational world leader can not see whats happening around him and in the world.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

J-corporations obviously are putting pressure on Abe to not declare an emergency. He will hold out until things get way out of hand.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Abe is cautious ! This country deserves a leader not a fence sitter. An old British Army expression - you sir are a waste of rations!

declare for Tokyo and Osaka now

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The virus entered Tokyo in either January or early February. If it was going to cause mass fatalities it would have done so already.

Either the virus is not so infectious in Japan or it was already pass through most of us but it’s so mild we didn’t even notice.

Come on people... 3 months already!!

You have been doing nothing but spread disinformation about this disease since it started. Just yesterday you were still trying to sell the “Its just a flu” lie. People like you are literally getting people killed right now.

Just stop already.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Spain is the only Country in Europe that I see in a similar situation to Italy. Maybe also France, but not at the same level. I don't know exactly why in our Countries the virus is so aggressive. Honestly, it's not like the other European Countries reacted so fast or better. I believe we have also the strictest laws about lockdown. I wish you all the best.

...

@Michel: how many stereotypes. 

Amicable behaviour: it's not like Italians are kissing each other all the time. Seriously. This stereotype is becoming stupid.

People of 3 generations living together? It's not common at all, especially not in the North Italy, that is the most affected part. 

Carnival celebrations were erased in Venice, and I think also in other places. Football and other sport events were erased as well way earlier in Italy than in other European Countries.

Large elderly population. This is true, but I thought the same could be said for Germany.

Large Chinese presence: true, but only in Spain and in Italy?

you wanna know why the virus is so aggressive in Spain and Italy... yeah, me too my European friend ... the other poster was just trying to find you some answers and i gotta say most of it makes sense but i agree: too many stereotypes... i think first it has to do with naivety and incompetence ( in the very beginning, when everybody still wasn,t sure what we were dealing with ), and then we have the social and cultural differences, if we think about it, South Europe is very warm, a lot more than North Europe ( in all aspects ), people get closer to each other ( doesn,t mean they need to kiss btw ), people go out more, etc., then the fact that there,s a (very) large number of old people with health conditions... put these two things together ( plus naivety ) and it,s gonna be a perfect storm... i think this can help us understand why Japan ( even if the J government is trying to hide the reality for as long as they can ) is in better shape than most western countries, because Japanese are cold, when compared with (especially South) Europeans, if we think about it, they pretty much don,t touch each other ( generally speaking ), until they go back home at the end of the day... ( and also people have been wearing masks since forever in Japan, unlike Europeans and Americans who just found out about it recently )... but nobody can run from this virus and Abe and the J government must do something before it,s too late, like it was in other countries...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Politicians don't care about wee citizens nor the public health & the safety. All they concern are that their honour & their party's reputations even in such a cruicial moment. I wonder how much people's lives they want to sacrifice for their interest before they make a right decision to save our lives instead.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Koike has begun regular English-language broadcasts of the latest information on a near daily basis:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z99YBdtUy5E

I'm no fan of Koike, but must give credit where it is due; well done Governor Koike.

There is also wealth of information on the situation in Tokyo in English, Chinese, Korean, and yasashi Nihongo on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government website below.

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Even if Japan declares an Emergency of nationwide lockdown, I don’t think Japan is anywhere remotely ready for this on any level. Do they have enough ventilators, beds? Do they have staff capable enough to handle this? Doctors can’t take off on weekends, they would have to work, Do medical officials have enough masks and the proper clothing? Will the masses stop going to the parks or hanging out in clusters and wear make wearing masks mandatory at least? Will Japan keep all schools closed and allow workers to continue from their homes? Are they ready to deal with empty store shelves? Personally, I don’t think Japan is anywhere near ready for what’s coming.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Dougthehead13. The people of Spain have suffered a tremendous loss, and mourn for the deceased. I am depply sorry for your Country loss

Spain’s lock-down, imposed by Sánchez minority governing coalition assumed sweeping emergency powers, one of which has been to prohibit businesses hit by the crisis from furloughing employees, whilst at the same time banning non-essential work yet still demanding companies still to pay salaries.

It is not the case that Spain main employers confederation has never been consulted, Isn't it also true that Sánchez was warned of the risks of a complete collapse of businesses and jobs.

A point in question raised by Nacho Torreblanca of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Sánchez in a state of panic, knee-jerked.

Nacho Torreblanca “It is clear that, after a certain point, the government had to shut the country down, but the manner in which Sánchez did it making the decision, then getting cabinet approval and then writing the decree that only increases the polarization.”

Abe san must not make the same mistake. Make a call for volunteers to engage with the public and politely enforce social distancing. Put hand-washing facilities anywhere one can wave a stick at. Increase testing and tracing as the highest propriety. Just don't shut the Economy down, by handing powers to what could be considered a bunch of tin pot dictators

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

You have been doing nothing but spread disinformation about this disease since it started. Just yesterday you were still trying to sell the “Its just a flu” lie. People like you are literally getting people killed right now.

Just stop already.

Amen. Our resident Bolsonaro. At least Twitter removes his deadly disinformation.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Everyone has to make their own choices about the best way forward, until it’s taken out of our own hands.

For anyone doubting the potential seriousness of Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, please first give this article a read.

The Hammer and the Dance, it’s been out for a few weeks but it changed my thinking on this whole situation.

You’ll have to judge for yourselves.

Stay healthy everyone.

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-the-hammer-and-the-dance-be9337092b56

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why don’t we wait and see if the virus behaves differently in Japan than it has in other countries. Maybe Japanese people are immune, since it’s a foreign virus. Maybe working through it together would be good for social cohesion.

Or maybe a whole bunch of people will get sick all at once, overwhelm the health care system, people will die, and thousands of businesses will go under, causing financial upheaval. Sure, waiting will undoubtedly make things clear....too late, but clear.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Yamada Taro

The meaning of "two pieces of face masks" seems to suggest future life.

Big question mark from me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sitting here in Australia in the middle of pretty much a complete lockdown. We haven't been out for a few weeks now, except to pick up food and to get some (permitted) exercise by walking around an eerily deserted neighborhood. Thing is, the early signs, although it's far too early to get complacent, are that the lockdown measures might just be working. The infection curve is flattening, deaths are relatively low. One bad day or week could change that, but for the moment it's not bad. The Australian PM said the other day that if it weren't for the lockdown measures, cases in Australia would by now have been double what they are. I don't see any reason to disbelieve him, and the National Council that's been directing all this seems to be doing a good job, after a few early stumbles.

But when I look at Japan, it's as if the Japanese Government is operating in slow motion, while everyone else is moving as fast as they can. I love the country, been there a number of times, I hope those who're saying that the low levels of infection so far are indicative that the worst is over are correct. But there are some worrying signs - spikes of infection in major cities, clusters of infection. It's not that hard to do social distancing and to limit your own mobility. I really hope the Japanese Government knows what it's doing.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

When the Japanese government declares an emergency, it is up to the local governor appointed by the Japanese government to decide what kind of policy to take.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I had a look on the Live Cam of the Shibuya scramble crossing on YouTube. There was little pedestrians and something I would never thought could happen: no cars. Hopefully with Japanese refrains from going out and other measures can keep the virus at bay. Of course some JT readers says that things on weekends and weekdays are very different. Anyway I wish Japan best of luck.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It seems the state of emergency would be declared when Abe got infected.

He'll get infected if he keeps touching his face like that.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If testing is not being done properly, cases of the infection cannot be found. This seeks to be a main issue. Hopefully we can show every day how many people have been tested and correct numbers after those tests.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

dougthehead13

You have my sympathy. But Spain still has an enormous death count every day. When do you think your lockdown with its harsh penalties will be lifted? What good news do you imagine will come to make that happen?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

Why is Japan’s death count low? Not cases. Death count. And we are 3 months in.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I agree with a statement that we are already into the virus for over three months from January at least. Everyone else who says different is lunatic or reads too much liberal media. Really guys you don't believe that Tokyo with plenty of Chinese tourists coming everyday from WuHan didn't bring that virus earlier?? You have to be delusional.

Data was forged for the Olympics to go on, facilities didn't do the tests.

The only difference is that the Olympic is GONE so suddenly we can start testing again, but virus spread did stop during that time.

Anyway the good thing is that mortality in Japan due the virus is far less than the other countries like Spain and Italy as Japanese nation is generally more healthy, with long life-span upto 100+ and those are facts.

Now let our leader Abe rule the way he thinks is the best. We trust him and of he says the state of emergency is not necessary he means it.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

A state of emergency would allow prefectural governors to request that residents stay home and to limit the use of schools and other facilities to curb infections, even though they cannot force people to do so.

Well I guess mayors are doing things on their own state of emergency or not. My city has one confirmed infection but school is closed til after GW and community centers until June.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is Japan’s death count low? Not cases. Death count. And we are 3 months in.

Japan reports 82 deaths out of 3497 confirmed cases. That's a reported mortality rate of 2.34%. In contrast Germany has a reported mortality rate of 1.5% while the UK is approximately 10%.

One reason for the low reported COVID mortality rate may be the low number of autopsies performed in Japan. Autopsies are performed on only 1.6% of all deaths, the lowest rate among developed countries.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Utilise the community centres as mass testing facilities. Do/make the extrapolations and call on the SDF if necessary, Just get it done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I reckon he'll call it this week, maybe Thursday to go in to effect on Saturday

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kurisu

Japan and Tokyo will see thousands of people infected per day if it follows the same curve as other countries.

Only when they ramp up testing, and I don't see that happening.

The stubbornness and daftness is mind boggling.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Stimulus Package ~

The government empowers the people and gives them fifty percent of a fine imposed on social distancing rule breakers.. 10,000 yen per head. Turn in a party of three and receive ¥15,000 = your 50% cut.

Golden ticket winners are snitchers who reveal closet covid-19 postive stow-aways.

This kind of approach could be quite effective

Stay well and safe.

xo

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is not "if" but "when" There is no "if" for any country in the world. The useless WHO have been saying "if" since it started in China and look at the world now. No country can not follow the curve. They can only flatten it by extreme actions which Japan is not doing. Keeping numbers low by restricted testing doesn't stop the spread. Indonesia had no cases for months. look at it now,

Also most of the thousands of infected are not the problem as they have mild symptoms and get better. Japan already has some thousands of those. The problem is the % of the thousands who will need intensive medical care and how the medical system can cope. This is the problem everywhere and how Abe can refuse to see this is going to happen with the rising curve, (even with the restricted testing here) is just astounding.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan reports 82 deaths out of 3497 confirmed cases. That's a reported mortality rate of 2.34%. In contrast Germany has a reported mortality rate of 1.5% while the UK is approximately 10%.

Bruce please 3497 confirmed cases... Do you really believe in that?? All that crowd going everyday to work and 3497 cases, it's like saying 2+3 equals 4.

Way more cases but Abe knows as long as true mortality rate is low that it's better to keep economy alive. As soon as he declares state of emergency Japan is done.

P.s who knows maybe they fake the cause of death too?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bruce please 3497 confirmed cases... Do you really believe in that?? All that crowd going everyday to work and 3497 cases, it's like saying 2+3 equals 4.

Confirmed cases; one can only work with the data one has.

Do I believe that there are more cases in Japan? Yes.

Do I have the data to prove it? No.

No testing: no verified COVID-19 cases

No autopsies: no verified COVID-19 deaths

No data: no problem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_testing

https://www.nature.com/articles/507306e

12 ( +12 / -0 )

When Covid-19 initially became news over two months ago we saw a lot of news out of S. Korea regarding it here in Japan. But now that S. Korea is doing a great job of keeping the numbers down the Japanese media for some reason never reports about it. The Japanese hate to be shown up by the S. Koreans.... to the point that even if they could learn from them they will not copy them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Sooner the better. Before things hit the fan.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Yes he should remain cautious. By now most of us would have shown minor symptoms which our body has dealt with. Slowly many of us are becoming immune as we become exposed. That's nature. Go to work or only necessary trips outside, good hygiene, try to keep a distance (where poss) and prevent a complete lockdown.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Even if it doesn’t mean a full lockdown will happen, if it means most businesses will start to take it more seriously then I am 100% in favor. Right now there is still way too much complacency.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sateday wrote:

Anyway the good thing is that mortality in Japan due the virus is far less than the other countries like Spain and Italy as Japanese nation is generally more healthy, with long life-span upto 100+ and those are facts. 

Now let our leader Abe rule the way he thinks is the best. We trust him and of he says the state of emergency is not necessary he means it.

It seems that the propaganda works well in people like you.

Just for your information countries like Italy and Spain have one of the longest life expectancy in the world,and this is a fact,there are only a few years of differences between Japan and the two countries I mentioned above.

https://www.farandwide.com/s/countries-live-longest-2b1e1e8a7f3045ab

And remarkable how do you rely all your hopes to your dear leader,in democracy in such cases we listen to virologists,scientists and experts in the field not to politicians-leaders.

Oh well,in dictatorships they do.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Am back. human rights take presidency. Trains empty again. Let’s se. How they are tomorrow morning.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe should learn from Singapore - https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/coronavirus-pm-lee-hsien-loongs-full-address-to-the-nation-on-the-covid-19-situation

Spell out everything clearly and so that people know what to expect and not panic. It is crucial we stay home now if not it will be too late. Economy over health? Come on, Abe-san, you've got to be kidding. We can build the economy again but if you lose your health, you can say sayonara.

Last read:

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/a-new-normal?xtor=CS3-18&utm_source=STiPhone&utm_medium=share&utm_term=2020-04-05%208%3A04%3A02

Fully respect a country that is orderly and most important, have common sense.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I fear the LDP government's brinkmanship and procrastination will end in a viral Abegeddon. It will be televised, but that'll be no consolation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In locking down the economy to save lives, will hasten the dreaded risk that to exit the lockdown will require the infinitesimal difference that values yen to life.

Could be within eight weeks of the lock down. Bluntly put what lives are worth saving.

No planned exit route out of the lock down will trigger.......well best not to go there.   

One area I have expertise in is quantifying risk. I have built a business on data science and quantitative analysis, and even the fragmentation of hundreds working from home is still thriving.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'This is a crisis like no other. Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill. It is way worse than the global financial crisis.'

International Monetary Fund.......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What you have to understand that although many people recognize the long life span of Japanese, thinking that we may be doing the necessary things to stay healthy, over 36% of the population are 65 and older. That's a big chunk of people. We have enough beds in Japan about 1 bed per 1000. That's more than anyone in the world, BUT... We lack the medical staff and equipment for a large scale pandemic. That's the most concerning thing. We may seem technologically advanced, but many companies are still using desktops instead of laptops for their workers and there is not enough time/funds for many of these smaller companies to adjust.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I do not think Japanese need to worry so much. Abe is taking the Swedish model: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus.html

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I noticed today on my weekly shop, that customer's are not actively washing there hand when there are hand dispensers provided. Also refraining from observing social distance. This behavior should, must become second nature.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

SJ

I do not think Japanese need to worry so much. Abe is taking the Swedish model: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus.html

Great article, thanks for the link. Sweden is similar to Singapore. Their citizens have high trust in the governments. However, even Singapore is going to do a one month lockdown starting next Tuesday. Returning compatriots from regions of high infection have caused many countries' confirmed cases a sharp rise.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@memoryfix

Why is Japan’s death count low? Not cases. Death count. And we are 3 months in.

I guess it is mostly due to underreporting.

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200403-00000008-nkgendai-life (Japanese)

And in Corriere della Sera, one of Italy’s leading newspapers, the mayor of the northern Italian town of Nembro reported that even though 31 people are recorded as having died of covid-19 from January to March, 158 people are listed as dead in the town — 123 more than the average. “The difference is enormous and cannot be a simple statistical deviation,” wrote Claudio Cancelli, suggesting that the actual death toll was four times higher.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/27/those-covid-19-death-toll-figures-are-incomplete/

https://www.corriere.it/politica/20_marzo_26/the-real-death-toll-for-covid-19-is-at-least-4-times-the-official-numbers-b5af0edc-6eeb-11ea-925b-a0c3cdbe1130.shtml (Italian)

4 ( +9 / -5 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency..." What BS. Losing the Olympics was a national crisis, but putting the population in harm's way isn't. Abe cannot be trusted to lead, or even to respond adequately.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'll wait to see a news story about the thousands who have died in Japan over the last 2-3 months before buying a "deaths are not reported" theory. You would have a mountain of deaths from respiratory faiilures in all of Japan's hospitals. Not exactly easy to hide or alter.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I wish his wife would let him declare an emergency already.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Abe is taking the Swedish model

On 11 March, the same day as the first Swedish death to COVID-19, the Swedish government passed a new law, limiting freedom of assembly by temporarily banning all gatherings larger than 500 people, with threat of fine and prison. The ban will apply until further notice. On 27 March the government announced that gatherings of more than 50 people were banned.

It doesn't seem as if Abe is copying the Swedes. There are no similar laws in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On 11 March, the same day as the first Swedish death to COVID-19, the Swedish government passed a new law, limiting freedom of assembly by temporarily banning all gatherings larger than 500 people, with threat of fine and prison. The ban will apply until further notice. On 27 March the government announced that gatherings of more than 50 people were banned.

It doesn't seem as if Abe is copying the Swedes. There are no similar laws in Japan.

Fines and imprisonment only apply to event organizers of events not for individuals

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@yoshisan88

Even with extensive testing, strict isolation, near detective style contact tracing, after reaching 1,114 cases and 6 deaths. Singapore has decided to play it safe and folds its cards.

I agree with your post but I would like to add one caveat. Singapore is still a role model; they tried to strike the balance between protection of the population and maintaining a functioning economy. I was working there in February and saw their initial reaction; excellent in my opinion. I still get an e-mail daily from the Singaporean Govt. about this pandemic (something I signed up for). The cases have been gradually (non exponentially) increasing there for a week now. They have had this planned out since 2003 (after SARS) with Standard Operating Procedures, etc. for what would happen. I do not think they "folded their cards" I actually think they recognized what is now the second wave of infections and do not want a repeat of the 2nd wave of the Spanish Flu (which was horrendous). This is part of Singapore's plan (I am not Singaporean by the way) and they are handling this in a logical manner. Otherwise I agree with you fully.

Japanese leaders need to wake the %#$& up or we will be living in the center of the next largest global outbreak.

A lockdown still means you can go shopping, etc. and in some states in the U.S. it means you can still job, ride a bike, just do not congregate. My country of citizenship (the U.S.) learned this lesson the hard way. I do not want Japan to repeat the same error.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Bruce Chatwin

It doesn't seem as if Abe is copying the Swedes. There are no similar laws in Japan.

Taking a model is far different from copying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@dougthehead13

Your situation in Spain is one possible out come here in Japan. It very well may come what your going through very soon in Spain.

What is Abe wating for? There are now 30 cases in Saga in my ken. Confirmed. A Big jump from 5 just a few days ago. Saga attributes the jump in cases due Japanese people traveling from Tokyo to Saga.

Thank you for sharing your situation with us dh13. Take care of yourself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would like to know what this "state of emergency" would exactly mean. Just putting a big sounding label on something does not tell me anything.

If it would mean shutting down the entire economy, that would cost more life than any Corona virus could possibly take.

The country that has dealt best with Corona is Taiwan, and they did so without a state of emergency or shutting down the country. Instead, they stopped flights from the mainland early (ignoring the WHO), re-tooled a lot of their industry to produce masks so that they enough of them, and enforced mask and shield rules in schools etc.

What is so difficult about that?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

A state of emergency would not be necessary if more stringent measures were taken to distance people. They have to close all pubs, restaurants and clubs. Then, they have to stop filling those trains every morning. All shopping districts need to be closed as well. All these measures need to be initiated immediately, not in another week. After that, the government of this self-proclaimed ‘rich country’ needs to start shelling out money to support the 30% of the population who will have no income.

But, no! They just keep posting photos of Abe stressing out instead. TIJ!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

130 new cases so far today in Tokyo, NHK just reported. Meaning a 1000 plus in the city. But by all means, let's see millions return to work and school this week. This place is a train wreck.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do not think Japanese need to worry so much. Abe is taking the Swedish model: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/28/world/europe/sweden-coronavirus.html

It does seem a bit of a gamble though... this is what a Swedish person in that article had to say about it:

“For us, a total lockdown is a disaster,” she said. “But I am worried Sweden will explode at some point. I feel like I’m living in a huge experiment, and I was never asked if I wanted to sign up.”

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It seems most people think that Japan is in a different timeline from the rest of the world. The virus was here earlier than in most countries right? If the rate of spread are similar or will be similar to the other countries then as of now the body count should have been comparable already. The fact that there are relatively far less deaths now means the curve for Japan is flatter than the others.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A state of emergency would not be necessary if more stringent measures were taken to distance people.

Even wIthouth knowing what this "state of emergency" would include in detail, I would agree. I hope the government is not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the economic illiterate crowd demands. Does nobody realize how many people will die if the real-life economy grinds to a halt?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," 

He says as every day the numbers increase, hesitating. Like so many of Abe's ilk, and politicians here in general, "When it's time" means far too late.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

smithjapan:

What exactly do you expect a "state of emergency" to look like?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Does nobody realize how many people will die if the real-life economy grinds to a halt?

Obviously few people do. That's why the question for them is "health/life or the economy?"

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," Abe said in a parliamentary session on Friday. But at the same time he said he does not yet believe infections have spread widely enough nationwide."

1: it is necessary, you should have done this weeks ago. 2:as for not seeing the infection, don't worry its spreading, its incubating, and its being spewed every day.

"Medical experts have already called for a state of emergency to be declared, worried the healthcare system in Japan could collapse." yep it is , brace your self,! empty the Tokyo dome, 1: make it into a overflow for the health care, 2: turn into a temporary mortuary.

"A state of emergency would allow prefectural governors to request that residents stay home and to limit the use of schools and other facilities to curb infections, even though they cannot force people to do so."

well other countries have, the Philippines have just announced that if any one is caught out side the police/army have the right to shoot you, although this is a bit drastic, other countries are not messing around, even in the UK we have stricken guid lines,

"Abe's view is that Japan is "holding the line" against the spread of the virus and that as long as people remain vigilant, a state of emergency can be avoided."

Utter rubbish! this is only the start, its the tip of an iceberg.

"For one, the measure would curtail freedoms. Another concern is over what impact it could have on an economy already facing the prospect of a deep recession"

He's right its going to have an effect on the economy it is going to affect life's, but not doing anything about this weeks ago is leaving general public of Japan in grave danger, is it better have saved countless lives and have saved some of the economy or a very high death toll and wreck the economy ?

"A change to the law in March gave Abe the power to declare a state of emergency, but he still needs to consult an advisory panel, which will decide whether a declaration is warranted. He also needs to notify parliament in advance"

wrong, what he should had done was close all the boarders, stop any flight into and out of Japan. any one who had been in China should have been picked up and taken into isolation some where and monitored, forced all of Japan to stay at home for the next 3-4 weeks to halt any spread of this virus. although I dont piticularly like our prime minister ( Bumbling Boris ) I will give him full credit on how he's handled the UK's crisis. as for Abe san, I think he's handled this appallingly bad, he's shown no ability to lead and take initiative, steps to stop this virus, even if means drastic measures like forcing people to stay at home, yet he's buried his head in the sand denied the seriousness of this virus, and he's still dithering, this is not the mark of a good leader.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A state of emergency would allow prefectural governors to request that residents stay home and to limit the use of schools and other facilities to curb infections, even though they cannot force people to do so.

Oh dear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@WilliB

The country that has dealt best with Corona is Taiwan, and they did so without a state of emergency or shutting down the country. Instead, they stopped flights from the mainland early (ignoring the WHO), re-tooled a lot of their industry to produce masks so that they enough of them, and enforced mask and shield rules in schools etc.

Chinese government already imposed travel ban in August, 2019, long before the CV. At that time, the Taiwanese government criticized Beijing. What an irony.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/taiwan-slams-chinas-decision-to-freeze-individual-travel-to-taiwan/

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Today, I was outside my home, and it appears sanity and seriousness to this virus returned to my area. There were few people in the 2 supermarkets I went to get groceries from and on the street, too. I live in front of the station I saw few people on the platform, unlike, last weekend where there were plenty. It is my prayer people keep taking this virus seriously and stay inside as much as possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan reports 82 deaths out of 3497 confirmed cases. That's a reported mortality rate of 2.34%. In contrast Germany has a reported mortality rate of 1.5%

Because 90 % Germany cases are between 20-50 years. Strafed by age

Japan 82

Germany 1,444

UK 4,313

One reason for the low reported COVID mortality rate may be the low number of autopsies performed in Japan. Autopsies are performed on only 1.6% of all deaths, the lowest rate among developed countries.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I'll wait to see a news story about the thousands who have died in Japan over the last 2-3 months before buying a "deaths are not reported" theory. You would have a mountain of deaths from respiratory faiilures in all of Japan's hospitals. Not exactly easy to hide or alter.

I don't disagree with you, but we may have to wait a long time as apparently the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare only releases reports on the data once every three years with the last report issued in 2019.

FWIW, Nippon.com reports that pneumonia was the third largest cause of death in Japan in 2015. The data they cite from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare also includes "old age" as a cause of death. ISYN.

Deaths are being reported, but it is possible that COVID-19 deaths are being reported as something else due to the lack of autopsies in Japan.

The govt could remove doubt by releasing the data, but unfortunately they choose not to.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Caliboy

Where is Japan hiding the dead bodies. I don't see an increase in deaths any kind, In fact, there fewer deaths this quarter.

They're not hiding anything. They're just reporting "death from flu-like symptoms" as "death from flu-like symptoms". People who died of pneumonia are listed as death from pneumonia. Nothing else.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

as for Abe san, I think he's handled this appallingly bad, he's shown no ability to lead and take initiative, steps to stop this virus, even if means drastic measures like forcing people to stay at home, yet he's buried his head in the sand denied the seriousness of this virus, and he's still dithering,

Absolutely agree...for all the talk by the LDP fan club of Shinzo being such a great leader , he is proving totally inept and indecisive during this time. Koike is showing way more leadership ...hope J- public will remember this come next election time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SJ:

Chinese government already imposed travel ban in August, 2019, long before the CV.

From the link you posted:

The program, launched in 2011 to residents of Beijing, Shanghai, and Xiamen, and later expanded, was suspended starting Thursday...

That was a political decision isolate Taiwan and preceeds Corona by 9 years. Please read before posting.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It seems to me Abe is very incompetent about such crisis circumstance. Japan moved to the urgent phase now. It is time to declare the state of emergency soon. however Japan's state of emergency is not as same as martial law most states implement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

he ain't a leader is a weakling gets what he deserves

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@memoryfix

"Why is Japan’s death count low? Not cases. Death count. And we are 3 months in."

Lack of testing = A lack of "sick people".

Deaths from people "not sick" are not reported as such.

Autopsies are not performed, as in Japan, family consent is required and why would anyone need to do an autopsy if noone is worried about the virus, due to the low numbers reported.

Rinse and repeat.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has lower mortality rate. Japanese people may have kinda antibody against coronavirus, because I heard they take all kinds of vaccines for a long time like influenza vaccine every year, TB vaccine whey they are little children. Some medical doctors say people don't easily get infected badly if they took influenza vaccine for decades. Flu and corona are same kinda virus.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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