Screen shot of the U.S. State Department's Travel Advisory concerning Japan
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U.S. warns its citizens against travel to Japan due to COVID surge

149 Comments
By MATTHEW LEE

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149 Comments
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Here comes the BOOM! Olympics be gone! The most powerful country in the world has spoken!

39 ( +54 / -15 )

Good. Maybe this will light a fire under Suga’s arse.

59 ( +67 / -8 )

The IOC will probably penalise those athletes who don’t go, either through choice or government intervention. They only care about the Games and the money, no interest in the health and wellbeing of others.

41 ( +49 / -8 )

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I was under the impression that non-residents were not allowed to enter the country. Even for PR like myself the barriers to re-entry are so high as to make going home to vaccinated a logistical impossibility.

51 ( +58 / -7 )

It doesn't matter what the CDC or any other alphabet puppet agency says. Japan is still closed to US passport holders.

26 ( +34 / -8 )

Hi Joe?

Suga-man here. Can you help out? We need a little boost to help us with the obvious.

Yes, like that.

Ok. Thanks.

Now I and other members of my government are absolved from any responsibility, and we can inform the IOC that the Olympics can certainly take place, but regrettably non-permanent resident foreigners will not be allowed to enter Japan.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

Now if only other countries follow suit...

25 ( +30 / -5 )

Unless you are an Olympic athlete or one of the hanger-ons. Then please do travel and don't even bother quarantining.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

Even for PR like myself the barriers to re-entry are so high as to make going home to vaccinated a logistical impossibility.

Many of my coworkers did exactly that, none of them PRs, and had no problem coming back.

What are the barriers to re-entry for you, if I may ask?

8 ( +17 / -9 )

U.S. warns its citizens against travel to Japan due to COVID surge

Absolutely!

Remember how Europe and US were a few months ago, with no measures to curb infections, difficult to get tested, no vaccines?

That is Japan now, just unofficially as testing is anything but transparent and accessible. Unlike Europe and US a few months ago where you were encouraged to get tested and isolate, the exact opposite happens here.

Real numbers in Japan? Same as the origin of the virus... we will never know!

37 ( +41 / -4 )

Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants

That there is the strongest card played by any official source for the cancellation of the Olympics.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

My dream is to wake up one morning, click on Japan Today, and find that Japan has come to its senses and canceled or postponed the Olympics. Maybe started vaccinating on a massive scale.

Instead we have these nudges from the outside, telling us what we already know.

Vaccinate Japan first!

36 ( +42 / -6 )

I’m sure most travelers wanna go to Tokyo, why I dunno, never been there myself, but I prefer mountains over skyscrapers anyway. With the olympics planning on starting in what, August? the Biden fight club has wimped out.

-25 ( +3 / -28 )

Interesting, I didn't know that Japan was letting US citizens into the country.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Many of my coworkers did exactly that

Same here.

Many of my coworkers from our overseas branches in Europe and South Africa are coming and going here without any problems.

And they are no japanese.

Only thing is they need to show a negative Covid test, not older than 72 hours.

But my company put them all in an airport hotel for 14 days in Quarantaine.

But that is our companys rule. So I am not sure how the japan official rule is implemented and working.

But to go back to the home country for vaccine, in my case, is very troublesome.

To get the vaccine there, I need a permanent registered adress and according to the embassy information, a valid health insurance in my home country.

And then, I have to wait for my turn about weeks.

Just to go there and say Hello I am here give me the vaccine, is not possible.

But that varies from country to country.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

U.S. warns its citizens against travel to Japan due to COVID surge

IOC can say things, Japan will follow that but U.S. has spoken. Will they send their athletes after they made this statement?

19 ( +20 / -1 )

“Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

Cannot be clearer than that. Remember Biden said the decision to hold the Olympics or not should be based on science?

So?

29 ( +29 / -0 )

People are at a crossroads here, both figuratively and literately.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have been waiting for this, I said it was coming a while back and got boo’ed. Foriegners have as much rright to fear Japan as Japan has the right to fear foreigners

It is unfortunate, but Japan has been dangerous for a long time. There is no data to judge the risk, there will be no way to say it is getting better or worse for a long time.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is determined to hold the Olympics in Tokyo beginning on July 23, after a one-year delay, and has made an ambitious pledge to finish vaccinating the country’s 36 million older people by the end of July.

I think the LDP are truly deluded and this is responsible for their shambolic COVID response and Olympic insistence. They had dreams of a Leni Riefenstahl-esque Triumph of the Mindo spectacle and that Japanese uniqueness would beat back the pandemic. Now reality is slapping them in the face.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

The crazy thing is that many people not only Japanese are traveling to the country on a daily basis. All they need is a negative test to get on the flight. When they arrive, they are tested again and then sent to a hotel for three days. If they have no symptoms and they have a permanent address in Japan, they are able to do the other 11 days quarantine at home, with no supervision! How stupid is that.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I don't think this will be enough for the IOC to do the right thing. After all, it's already decided that there will be no foreign spectators. Now, if the US were to come out and say they will not be sending any athletes to Japan... that's the game changer.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

So what is the point of getting the vaccine again???

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

Suga’s June summit with Biden didn’t work after all...what a laughingstock!!!!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The reckless gamble of the negligent Japanese authorities playing the "Japanese Exceptionalism" card in their hopelessly incompetent game of Covid whack-a-mole will soon hit the Olympic fan and the political fallout will be very messy indeed with Suga likely falling on his sword. The people of Japan know the game is up and the Games off.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Zoroto,

Thanks for asking. It’s mostly time.

Of course first I must apply to the relevant ministry for permission to leave. After returning to my home state, current guidance is quarantine for 5 days and then get a PCR TEST. Assuming 2 days to get results, that’s 7 days before the 1st dose. 21 additional days until the 2nd.

My company currently says no flying for 2 days after vaccination. So now we are up to 30 days. Then another 14 of self-quarantine upon return. A little over 6 weeks. While some of my work can be done remotely, I cannot be gone from the office THAT long.

In addition, I don’t have that much vacation time and cannot afford to take unpaid time off as I will have two kids in American Universities (gulp).

Thanks for your question. If I am missing something, I would appreciate any advice you may have.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Japan will find some way of playing the victim though

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Even for PR like myself the barriers to re-entry are so high as to make going home to vaccinated a logistical impossibility.

You'd need a long holiday to get both vaccine shots when you are there.

If anyone is from the UK, it looks like you can get the PCR test you need for rentry into Japan in many parts of the country now. Six months ago, this was not possible. You'd have to go to London and stay there waiting for the result.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I woke up this morning with a couple of texts from people in the U.S. asking if I am ok. For whatever it is worth I guess the situation here is finally making it into more mainstream news outside of Japan.

Masayoshi Son of Softbank states "losses from proceeding with Games would far outweigh losses from cancellation". If an outbreak occurs I believe this is really true as the immediate issue would be overstressing of the health care system followed by potentially massive economic issues for Japan. Simply put if one performs a risk assessment the obvious answer is to "cut and run" - take the losses up to now.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/japanese-business-leaders-add-to-chorus-against-holding-olympics-11621855864

The narcissistic, selfish, filthy, and uneducated IOC leaders (i.e.: Coates, Koch, Coe) however insist the games must go on in spite of the fact most Japanese do not want them to proceed as scheduled. If the games to occur and a superspreader type event occurs this will hugely impact those of us who live here but the selfish Olympic committees and supporters can simply return to their country of origin leaving Japan to sort out the mess.

Leave it to the Sun in the UK to sensationalize a bit however what they are writing is actually happening. I It looks like Osaka is in dire straits now and I truly hope the cases here subside.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/worldnews/15052725/japanese-hospitals-brink-collapse-beds-ventilators-eight-weeks-olympics/

The no compromise approach of the IOC is unreal and the fact that they are not willing to even think out of the box and postpone the games until it is clearly demonstrated things are under control in Japan is mind boggling. I do not understand the mindset of these people and I do not understand how anyone associated with these games could feel good about themselves or proud of what they are doing at this point.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

It’s mostly time.

Same issue for me.

Not to mention the costs.

As well as how I live on the opposite side of Japan from Tokyo. Yeah, getting to Tokyo is easy enough, but for the return, I either need to quarantine 2 weeks at a hotel there, drive 2 days and leave my car at the airport for a month and drive home, or fly to Tokyo but then rent a car one-way and drive 2 days back home to avoid quarantining there.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Reuter's piece fails to mention the absurd lack of official testing (only official tests are counted). Without that it is meaningless to discuss the official low numbers of cases and deaths.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

In the USA Covid is pretty much over and things are getting back to normal. California is the only state that is still requiring that you wear a mask and the governor is going to be kicked out of office for it. So...what the hell is going on in Japan? I don't understand why vaccinated people shouldn't be allowed into Japan. If a vaccinated person can't enter then who can/when will they? And what's the deal with Japan and only 4% of the population vaccinated. I think India has already vaccinated twice the population of Japan. I though Japan was an organized developed country? And, with the Olympics just 2 months away I still read about cancelling? That boat sailed a long time ago. The Olympics WILL be held in Japan. Still, Japan has the lowest infection rates in the world yet they seem to be running scared like everyone else was last year. Variants, variants, no one else cares about variants yet they are obsessed with it. JUST GET VACCINATED...."One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

“Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

So what is the point of getting the vaccine again???

I am sure you know that you can still get COVID even vaccinated. You just won't get very sick and you end up with a bad "flu" at most. But you can certainly spread it to other people.

Look at the recent SIngapore outbreak. It started from the airport spreading from travelers to workers, all of whom were vaccinated.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Edit: Reuters = AP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for your question. If I am missing something, I would appreciate any advice you may have.

I see, thanks. Yes, our office has been closed since last March, so I think our situation is different from yours, as we must do all work remotely anyhow.

In addition, I don’t have that much vacation time and cannot afford to take unpaid time off as I will have two kids in American Universities (gulp).

I guess the question how much money it is worth to get vaccinated, instead of waiting for your turn here, which is probably at least 1 year. In my opinion, it's worth a lot, but of course, if you simply cannot afford it, than it's a meaningless thought-exercise.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan doesn't want to cancel because it has to pay the IOC back, the IOC doesn't want to cancel because, money.... the losers the Japanese public.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Japan doesn't want to cancel because it has to pay the IOC back

In theory yes, Japan has to pay the IOC back. But none of the LDP inept idiots will be alive by the time Japan will be forced to fork over even a single yen to the IOC, if ever.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Unless people are fully vaccinated and still have to quarantine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It doesn't matter what the CDC or any other alphabet puppet agency says. Japan is still closed to US passport holders.

Just goes to show how ignorant some people who post here are regarding reality.

There are literally thousands of passport holding American citizens entering Japan. They are dependents of US Military and contractors, working on the military bases in Japan.

Many do not go through civilian airports, but those that do, are quarantined for 2 weeks prior to traveling within the country to their sponsors duty station.

Not to mention the thousands of US military forces who have been by-passing Japanese immigration at Narita, Haneda or Kansai and flying directly to Yokota, and then down to Okinawa, or travelling to other bases within Japan.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It doesn't matter what the CDC or any other alphabet puppet agency says. Japan is still closed to US passport holders.

Japan is closed to tourists! Big difference!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Look at the recent SIngapore outbreak. It started from the airport spreading from travelers to workers, all of whom were vaccinated.

Yeah and since May 7th I believe it was, any that do enter the country, from Japan, MUST quarantine (SHN) for 21 days, and have 3 PCR tests as well! One test upon entry, one test at the 14 day mark of SHN, and a final test prior to leaving their quarantine site. Not to mention the test they have to take 72 hours prior to flying.

Oh and having to pay $3000.00 (SD) for 3 weeks of quarantine as well. That is IF your visa had been approved. THey are currently not accepting any new applications from the beginning of May, from Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Daddy USA has spoken, hopefully approval-hungry J-government will start doing stuffs like proper adult, but we all know teenagers never listen.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I'm sure the athletes will heed the warning and will not participate in the Olympics.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's just as U.S. said. Under the status quo, no one in U.S. wants to visit Japan, and no one in Japan wants American to visit Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The temporary traveling restriction may be good for both the US and Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All I can suggest now is to sequester where you are.

Thank Suga, the LDP and the Olympic monomaniacs for this mess.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

In any case I hope they're allowed in the end to freely choose to participate or not

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Olympic will lift the spirit of the people.

-19 ( +1 / -20 )

The USA is talking about a "surge"? Our rates are a tiny fraction of the rates in the USA. They should be learning from us.

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

This must be a relief to the Ibaraki Official Health Center, and many paranoid here, but of course, they no doubt feel victim since they state the fact that it is Japan that is the danger here.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Good. At least the US knows the tatemae fake numbers here in Japan. It was obvious when Biden met Suga but obviously Japan didn't get the message

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@Sanjinosebleed

Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

So what is the point of getting the vaccine again???

think this was a polite statement to appease Japan. Unfortunately, this one does more harm than good,

Japan’s Authorities are 9 months behind science and 3-6 months behind much of the world’s acceptance of science. There may not be conclusive proof that vaccinated people no not spread disease, but to say vaccinated people may be a risk of spreading disease is just plain counterproductive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It is so strange to see Japan stuck in 2020 while the rest of the developed world (and some underdeveloped countries) are well into vaccinating their population.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

@gokai

Might be that they have different figures than us for Japan

8 ( +8 / -0 )

While amusing in a sense Japan is being told by a foreign country that it's unsafe and a little infected. US nationals are not currently allowed into Japan unless PR, spouses or the like. Some businesspeolle maybe also.

This is a political statement with no teeth. Has nothing to do with the Olympics. It is trying to encourage (likely at the behest of the J Gov) vaccinations in Japan.

That is all.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Great opinion piece on cancelling in the Guardian today. Just look at the comments!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/24/japan-cancel-olympics-coronavirus#comments

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I hope this helps Japan cancel the Olympics and concentrate 100% on the care and vaccination of its people!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I feel sad for Japan but if the people here keep voting for the same ultra inept politicians, I hate to say that you get what you asked for.

It’s not enough to just complain - take action. Vote for competent people who can reform your arcane system.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

While most major countries have still remained categorized at Level 4, I think that the State Department was too slow for a status review regarding Japan under SOE covering several prefectures since early April.

Travel Advisories

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Chances of an Olympic qualifier choosing not to compete is nearly zero.

And if overseas fans are allowed, they will be coming in droves.

I'm just kidding, I dont think anyone will come even if you waive the Olympic qualifiers and hand out tickets

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"Suga’s June summit with Biden didn’t work after all...what a laughingstock!!!!"

Today is 25 May 2021.

June is next month!

Japan WILL stage the Olympics, especially because some resident gaijins want it canceled.

I hope they do carry on as planned.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

How the tables have turned!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Hopefully though this opens up people's eyes about what the Olympics is really all about and not support all Olympics iterations in the future.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

moshi moshi Suga.

olympics still not cancelled yet?

...

no komento?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Cancel the bloody Olympics already, this is beyond ridiculous and people's lives are at stake.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

"Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.""

and a fully vaccinated American can't get or spread Covid 19 in America? LOL at the logic. If Japan had said this.....

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Why now? We dropped more than 10,000 active cases in the past week and continue to drop since last week. (according to the data on COVID-19 Japan website.

Only 0.6% of Japan's population contracted COVID

0.06% of its population are active

Though, only 11% have been tested.

88% percent have recovered with 1% deaths, which means 99% chance of recovery.

As for the Olympics, would be a great gesture if the IOC reps around the world would honor the more than 80% of Japanese voices and allow us to cancel or postpone the Olympics. I'd rather take the loose of my taxes than to see more people die. (Speaking from experience, may my dad rest in peace)

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Funny, Japan does not allow in America anyway, so the State Department's action is meaningless. In fact, Japan should ban travel to America, because of the Covid and the wave of Anti Asian hate crimes.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Japan has recorded just over 12,000 COVID-19 deaths - good by global standards, but poor in Asia - but Tokyo and Osaka and several other areas are under a state of emergency until May 31 that is likely to be extended.

Yeah, how about good by global standards of pre and post mortem tests to get a close to accurate number.

There is fear of new variants spreading, with only a tiny percentage of the Japanese - estimated at 2% to 4% - vaccinated.

Nope, as seen in the case of Tokyo, one the most densely populated cities in the world, mysteriously the feared variants are less contagious than even the seasonal flu.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Let me clarify why the Olympics must be held:

The TV rights provide over 40% of the IOC budget. The IOC members like money. The IOC doesn't want to refund the more than $2 billion paid for the TV rights.

The TV networks have already taken in billions of dollar in advertising. The TV networks like money. The TV networks don't want to refund billions of dollars.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

So, no spectators have to travel to Japan and I don't think Japan cares. Only the athletes need to come so the IOC, the TV networks and the Japanese sponsors get paid.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

People in the US would probably be laughing at this warning if they could actually travel to Japan.

"Don't go to Japan it's very dangerous there. 12 thousand have died already."

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

@GdTokyo

Of course first I must apply to the relevant ministry for permission to leave. 

No, you don’t need to apply to leave Japan. That was only for a small period of time last fall.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The games MUST be postponed to 2022, not cancelled. If Tokyo postpones them the IOC is checkmate and can not claim damages

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Maybe. Butwhy would Tokyo want to do that?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.

I wonder what is more embarrassing these days. To be a Chinese ? or, to be Japanese ?

Can you blame the black people attacking Asians ? No you can't !

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

Great article link, thanks Luddite.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/24/japan-cancel-olympics-coronavirus#comments

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What’s utterly shameful about this situation is that countries like the US are telling their people not to come to Japan whilst we are STILL allowing flights from India. The US is managing our pandemic better than we are.

Only this week did the Japan government advise on reducing the number of passengers on flights from India to 100 per flight. The UK stopped flights from India over a month ago (and that was too late - now they have a surge of the Indian variant too).

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20210521_27/

We’ll take the SOE seriously when they stop doing such stupid counterproductive things.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Peter NeilToday 09:30 am JST

Let me clarify why the Olympics must be held:

The TV rights provide over 40% of the IOC budget.

It's 75%, with another 18% from sponsors.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

NorthernlifeToday  09:43 am JST

@Peter Neil you left out politicians and brown envelopes...

People are always wittering about "brown envelopes" as though they have some real inside information; do you have any? Something you can share to back up your assertations?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

I get tired of the "the Olympics will help lift spirits" or something similar.

Wake up, do those writing these things really think those that lost loved ones will suddenly have their spirits lifted by a bunch of privileged people living in a fantasy bubble?

In many of the countries sending athletes and privileged officials here the people still haven't even been permitted to bury their dead and I am not talking about some poor underdeveloped countries, western countries also.

But these people will be lifted in spirit by the Olympics,

Get real people.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The US is managing our pandemic better than we are.

Yeah, they (we?) did a great job... Only 600,000 + deaths and counting.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

ScarceToday  06:33 am JST

Here comes the BOOM! Olympics be gone! The most powerful country in the world has spoken!

America is becoming ' Great' again and it has spoken! Suga, IOC - get off your duffs and use your noodles.

Call

the

Games

off

until

next

year

Do it now!!!!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I've been on the fence about canceling then Olympics again, but no more. It's time. Push them to next year, and shift everyone two years from that.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

JosephToday 07:40 am JST

In the USA Covid is pretty much over and things are getting back to normal.

I would not call it 'pretty much over' - there are still more than 5.7 million active cases and so far more than 600.000 deaths reported in the States. New cases reported daily are now around 18.000, less than before of course, but far from back to normal.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The USA is talking about a "surge"? Our rates are a tiny fraction of the rates in the USA. 

If you mean testing rates, then you are correct. Japan's testing rates are a tiny fraction of the US.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Why cant vaccinated people go to Japan. How is there a risk of them spreading it.? Very strange.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Not to sound contradictory here but for crying out loud - if USA warns NOT to travel here then goes on to state that it is safe for the athletes to travel - is absolutely wrong on so many levels.

If the T.O. is not cancelled entirely, and G.O.J. allows this insane influx of athletes and personnel then we can convince ourselves beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no COVID-19 and the people perished sadly from other illnesses or diseases deceiving the mass with inflated pandemic reports.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So what is the point of getting the vaccine again???

Your risk of death or hospitalization from Covid drops to basically zero. You. Won't. Die.

In addition, your risk of infection drops dramatically and the amount of virus that you shed and how long you shed it drops which makes you less contagious.

Get the vaccine.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I am sure you know that you can still get COVID even vaccinated. You just won't get very sick and you end up with a bad "flu" at most. But you can certainly spread it to other people. 

Look at the recent SIngapore outbreak. It started from the airport spreading from travelers to workers, all of whom were vaccinated.

No, it makes zero sense to take a small event like that and try to generalize it as a fact. This is silly at best. During the Singapore outbreak, of 28 airport workers who became infected, 19 were fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. That just says nothing about the capacity of the vaccines for preventing asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. However a CDC interim estimates of vaccine effectiveness in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection among 3,950 health care personnel, first responders, and other essential and frontline workers showed that RNA (mRNA) vaccines were 90% effective after full immunization against SARS-CoV-2 infections regardless of symptom status. Partial immunization was 80% effective.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7013e3.htm

Those vaccines are also effective against the Indian variant so the same protection against infection can be expected.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.09.443299v1

This is the sort fo data you should look at, not isolated events. And you are really not helping the cause of the vaccine by claiming as a fact that people can still get infected by the SARS-CoV-2 even when they are vaccinated.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

No problem. American Olympic committee already said no problem they are sure they can still send their athletes to the Olympics because their, Japan’s and the IOC’s safety measures guarantee it will be safe for their athletes. Who cares about government advisories, polls, SOEs whatever, the poor athletes have waited an extra year and it would be just plain wrong to deny them the chance to compete.

“We feel confident that the current mitigation practices in place for athletes and staff by both the USOPC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, coupled with the testing before travel, on arrival in Japan, and during Games time, will allow for safe participation of Team USA athletes this summer,” the committee said in a statement Monday.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

This is the sort fo data you should look at, not isolated events.

But, the isolated events support their narrative, and the data doesn't. Do you just expect them to rely on reality to win arguments on the internet?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Yet tourists are not welcome in Japan or Canada

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The USA is talking about a "surge"? Our rates are a tiny fraction of the rates in the USA. They should be learning from us.

Oh you think so? Yesterday there were just 1500 new cases in the entire USA, tiny Japan was triple over that. The USA infection rate is dropping like a rock with nearly 50% of the country having at least one vaccine in them, here in Japan they're struggling to reach 3% vaccination and only about 50% of health care workers here are vaccinated. Wake up, Japan is the dangerous place to be now...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

USA has no problem inviting Japanese on vaccination tours, however.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

@anon9999

I will have some sympathy for the athletes should the Games be cancelled, but certainly not more than for the other people suffering from the crisis: restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, cinemas, museums, artists, etc.

Why on earth should they not folllow the same rules as the rest of us? And that's coming from a sports' fan.

Now, it will be interesting to see how the situation with the US Olympic committee evolves in the next days. I find it totally crazy and absurd that the country officially says "Don't go" and the committee says "Whatever, we're going".

How is this position sustainable for the US government, I don't know. I wish some journalists would remind Biden about his statement that the decision about holding the Olympics should be science-based.

What are you saying now, Joe?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan has been a disaster this whole year. They need worldwide condemnation before they change.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

This is the sort fo data you should look at, not isolated events. And you are really not helping the cause of the vaccine by claiming as a fact that people can still get infected by the SARS-CoV-2 even when they are vaccinated.

The data you reference do not assess transmissibility, there are already studies being done that focus on the risk of transmission from vaccinated people, and they confirm the possibility still exists and its significant.

You can see for example the PHS study on household transmission

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phe-monitoring-of-the-effectiveness-of-covid-19-vaccination

(Impact of vaccination on household transmission of SARS-COV-2 in England)

we have shown that both the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and BNT162b2 vaccines are associated with reduced likelihood of household transmission by 40-50% from individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 after vaccination

The important thing is to go to the most relevant source of information, not only the one that says what you want to hear. At this point vaccination cannot be said that eliminates the risk of transmission so the risk should still be considered when vaccinated people come into contact with an unvaccinated population.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Who said history never repeats? Suga fiddles while Tokyo burns.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Oh, yes, got to love Suga's positive attitude and willingness by pledging once again:

"....has made an ambitious pledge to finish vaccinating the country's 36 million older people by the end of July."

Facts are: not all medical staff have been fully vaccinated yet. Not all with preconditions have been fully vaccinated yet. Not, not, not ..... do NOT make those pledges and promises! Looking at a different char, for Ehime, less than 4% have received their first shot so far, Osaka 4.6%, Hiroshima 4.9% and so on. Is there anything else that should be said?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

After reading many comments here I am kinda wondering; Which source of info should we believe? CDC? WHO? USA? Japan? Italy? India? Fauci? Getting either different info from different source or flip flop info from same sources. So confusing!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The decision to invite the 2020 Summer Olympics to Tokyo was a fatal mistake for Japan, to be sure. With the games to open in two months Japan is still struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. What a tragedy!

The games haven’t been cancelled all across the board as yet, of course. But I feel sympathy for the people concerned -- athletes, organizers, spectators/supporters who have been looking forward to the games, and all.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let's see. USA: almost 590 thousand deaths so far, 33 million infected, more then 10 thousand new infections daily.

Japan: 12 thousand deaths, 700 thousand infected, 3-4 thousand new cases daily.

Yeah, sure, sure the situation in Japan is horrible, while the U.S. is a shining example of safety.

Or may be it's Japan that should warn its citizens against travel to the U.S.?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Some readers may be wondering how a rich country like Japan has a healthcare system that is at "full capacity" despite Covid cases being relatively low vs other rich countries. The reason is that Japan's healthcare system is actually 90% private hospitals and 10% public and only the public hospitals are accepting Covid patients. This means 90% of the capacity is not available and cannot be forced to help even in the face of a global pandemic. The real problem are these 90% of private hospitals and the outsized control that the Japan Doctors Association has in this country. They are simply putting the profits of their own hospitals before the broader good of society. If these hospitals were fully open to Covid patients, you would be hearing very different statistics (i.e. less than 8% of hospital beds are occupied by Covid patients). Instead we hear that the medical system is "buckling" and hospitals are over capacity... well, that's because only 1 in 10 are being used to help fight this pandemic, while the private hospitals are more than happy to give you a JPY 40,000 covid test or a government handout when it comes to administration of vaccines. Dig deeper into the Japan Doctors Association and you will find this is a hugely flawed system and much of the blame should fall on these private hospitals for not stepping up in this time of extreme circumstances.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Embarrasing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If Japan cancels the Olympics, they can get work on getting their virus situation much better . . . then perhaps open for tourism for those who have been fully vaccinated . . . regarding the investment already made for the Olympics, perhaps Japan can think of hosting a future World Games?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Pim

I fully agree with you.

my post was meant to be sarcastic of the US Olympic committee decision but I didn’t pull it off and I think people take it as supporting their ludicrous statement

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They are simply putting the profits of their own hospitals before the broader good of society.

If they go out of business, what is the point?

Private hospitals don't have tax money to fall back on like the public hospitals.

They only get a slight increase in money from treating covid patients, not enough to cover the cost and risks involved.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The twin alerts don't ban U.S. citizens from visiting the country, but they could have an impact on insurance rates for travelers and may factor into decisions by Olympic athletes and spectators on whether to compete in or attend the games, which are due to start in July. There was no immediate indication as to what effect the warnings might have on would-be Olympic-goers.

They already announced no foreign spectators... These articles seriously get dumber by the second.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I'd have preferred that the US Government would have banned American athletes from participating.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Alfie NoakesToday  09:54 am JST

It's 75%, with another 18% from sponsors.

Yes, you're right. My source was wrong. Cheers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@anon9999

I'm so outraged by the whole Olympics nonsense that I totally missed the sarcasm :-).

@J@Tokyo

Great point, thanks. We always here the health care system is breaking down but it's almost never put in perspective.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Quote from above: "The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said it still anticipates that American athletes will be able to safely compete at the Tokyo Games."

Dear Americans athletes : Please don't go to Japan, as your government advises.. Please.

You will be walking into a health crisis of major proportions in Japan. The situation is dire. Not enough hospital beds, not enough medical staff, not enough people vaccinated and sick people being sent home to die.

You olympians will be in the way whether you sick or well.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan," the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new COVID-19 update."

Meanwhile the cases and deaths in the US are nearly 18 times that of Japan per capita. The irony. I live in the US.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The US for better or worse, has been transparent (translated:factual) throughout this entire pandemic.

California population 39,510,000

Covid- tests today 179,934

Case 1,081 

Test positivity= .8%

15 ( +16 / -1 )

You will be walking into a health crisis of major proportions in Japan. The situation is dire. Not enough hospital beds, not enough medical staff, not enough people vaccinated and sick people being sent home to die.

The situation is still worse in USA itself and most other countries. Give the fear-mongering a break.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

It is not the country's hypocrisy, it is the sector of people who refuse to comply with scientifically proven measures.

By implementing the world-leading vaccination system at warp speed so that more than half the country has received an inoculation certainly shows the majority of this country thought the pandemic mattered.

Compared to Japan though, the US has been like a literal Disneyland during the pandemic as long as you self-isolated only with family members who did the same. Hot spots were easily identifiable, right down to which cities had the highest positivity rates.

Driving to malls, supermarkets were as piece of cake as everybody wore masks inside those places. Compared to entering cars of a train packed with people shoulder to shoulder, and meandering through the narrow aisles of Japan's "supermarkets" life in the US was great,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Pim..You are so 'outraged'? Apart from sign a few petitions - What active steps have you taken?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@theResident

Signed the petition indeed,.invited many to sign it, wrote comments here and on several international newspapers, particularly in my country, wrote to and called my embassy in Japan, wrote to my national Olympics committee, inform friends and family of the situation here.

I wish I could do more but I have to work and pay the rent too.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

RIP Olympics.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Private hospitals don't have tax money to fall back on like the public hospitals.

My partner (a doctor in a private hospital) just had their salary reduced. Tax is the same. We are borrowing money to survive. I think this is a common story in japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Senior doctors on average earn ¥2 million/month.

Many earn even more

http://www.salaryexplorer.com/salary-survey.php?loc=107&loctype=1&job=13&jobtype=2

 Doctors working at hospitals owned by private individuals obtained the highest average annual regular salary of roughly ¥15.76 million.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Pim: I'd concentrate on work and and pay the rent then. It's al too little, too late.

If we get through the weekend and no major countries decide not to send a team - The Olympics are going ahead.

The Okura Hotel today is busy issuing accreditation and uniforms for volunteers - and flags adorning lamp posts through Yoyogi Park went up last night.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Having read these posts and assuming that most of the posters live in Japan, it confirms my suspicion that Japan is now in the "paranoid" stage of Covid acceptance. It's where the rest of the world was about one year ago. When you start hearing people worried about getting Covid AFTER being vaccinated, that's paranoia. If there is one thing I've learned after Covid is that the world is full of sheep. Scared little sheep who follow the herd to escape danger. The problem is that I have to now wait out the mental cycle until wise mind reappears in order for the country to open for travel.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

GoodlucktoyouToday  01:22 pm JST

My partner (a doctor in a private hospital) just had their salary reduced. Tax is the same. We are borrowing money to survive. I think this is a common story in japan.

Yeah, right.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@theResident

I'll take your advice... until the next JT article probably :-), meanwhile noting that you no longer totally exclude the possibility of a postponement/cancellation.

Petitions and "Online activism" for lack of a better word are only a part of the equation and not decisive ones for sure, but they keep the debate alive. If the Games are indeed postponed, it will have more to do with the real situation of the virus and its variants' spread in Japan - which I think we don't really know but I guess foreign embassies have their own information -, and, as you say, the pull out of a major country. Seems clear now that J-Gov won't move an inch.

U.S. position is now very weird but Biden's PR confirmed the country's support to Japan. France is tied up with the next Olympic slot. Germany?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has been a disaster this whole year. They need worldwide condemnation before they change.

Agreed....this is oh so "very regrettable ".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Pim - The games will sadly not be postponed. That has been made very clear by the IOC. I believe and hoped that the whole Olympic cycle would have been reset so that Tokyo hosted in 2024, Paris in 2028 etc - If you are so inclined thats a view I was voicing on this very website as soon as they were originally posponed.

You seem to think that I 'want' the Olympics to take place. I don't think they should be, But I do still totally exclude them being cancelled now. Just too late.

What I do believe is - that they will be a surprisingly runaway TV success worldwide.

Yes - I'm ready for the downvotes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

n1k1Today  09:42 am JST

Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.

I wonder what is more embarrassing these days. To be a Chinese ? or, to be Japanese ?

Can you blame the black people attacking Asians ? No you can't !

Nothing to see here, move along

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Must get their a act together, First problem summer weather in Tokyo and then COVID surge. November 2021 would have been ideal, A real Momij Olympic event . Looking forward to my trip for 3 weeks. Nov 17-Dec 6 th,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USA has no problem inviting Japanese on vaccination tours, however.

Yeah, and with less that what 3% of the Japanese population vaccinated with 1 or possibly their 2nd shot, just how many Japanese have been vaccinated, and WANT to travel to the cesspool that the US has become over the past 4 years?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@theResident

No, I clearly remember you said in previous posts that you hoped the Games would be postponed but didn't believe it would happen.

I also agree moving everything back four years would have been ideal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If it doesnt take so long and cost so much, I would want to travel to US to get vaccines there.

General population have no realistic chance of getting a vaccine before 2023 in Japan. The mass vaccination sites will only be open for 3 months, and after the Olympics, there would be even less incentive for the Japanese government to vaccinate the general population.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Checked with the pharmacy nearest where I live, and they are giving out free vaccines without a reservation five days a week. There were people trying to get shots today, but Sundays and Mondays are the two days when they do not take walk-ins.

As for the Olympics, it seems to me that the fully vaccinated should have little to worry about, but the problem is that Japan has strict entrance restrictions. That is OK, I will watch them on TV.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And the games stand cancelled in 3, 2, 1 ....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Yubaru

Yeah, and with less that what 3% of the Japanese population vaccinated with 1 or possibly their 2nd shot, just how many Japanese have been vaccinated, and WANT to travel to the cesspool that the US has become over the past 4 years?

By vaccination tour, I mean the non-vaccinated Japanese going to the US to get vaccinated. It was on the news the other day. The USA doesn't seem to care if it helps their tourism industry.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Among 141 countries and regions, a Level 4 country (US herself) raised a warning (Japan) to Level 4.

For US, 80% of all other countries are Level 4. By the way, it's been reported US is sending US athletes and staffs as original plan ( if Mainichi reporting the fact).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

LOL

official numbers are still so much less then most other countries in the world XD

also America still beeing worste hit country in the world even compared with India, awesome.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

official numbers are still so much less then most other countries in the world XD

"official" in Japan is the opposite of realistic

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is hysterical! As if it's possible for Americans to travel to Japan.

It's not possible. They cannot get into the country.

There is no need to warn anyone about traveling to Japan!

But this was headline news on CNN! What a joke!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

As if it's possible for Americans to travel to Japan.It's not possible. They cannot get into the country.

Really? Did anyone tell the American military that their bases are cut off from the rest of the planet?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@1Glenn "Checked with the pharmacy nearest where I live..."

So where in the world do you live?

PS It seems to me that the CDC were probably tipped off during/after Suga's visit to discourage ordinary US citizens from even trying to visit Japan during the Olympics. Emphasis on "Olympic athletes fine, but really, no spectator hopefuls please". This now looks to have been interpreted worldwide as 'Japan is DANGEROUS'.

It does not take into account the fact that Japan's 'State of Emergency' is in fact simply another lockdown avoidance technique, to keep their WURS graphs relatively flatter heading towards the Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We all are the level 4. we are the world. Just as simple as that

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is now in the big leagues, joining Brazil, India and others in the level 4 category

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If Japan is smart, they will sit back and watch the US and the IOC slug this one out.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But they'll send their athletes. What a fiasco. Message reads 'don' t travel to Japan that won't let you in anyway. What a load of nonesense

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In addition stop immigration to Japan not only sightseeing travel at the same time lamentable .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I take issue with ethno-centric people who call the USA a cesspool.

Being in New England is not only a pleasure but a place people want to live during these dark days. Number of people fully vaccinated: in the state of Massachusetts is 3,454,126

Number of first doses given of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: 4,086,923 Total doses shipped to Massachusetts: 8,842,020. Sorry but Japan dropped the ball on this issue (no Olympic pun intended).

Get to it Japan . I want back as soon as possible so it is up to you not Sino interference to prevail today

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How utterly embarrassing for Japan to be the least vaccinated of civilized nations.... LOOOOL

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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