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Mask requirements can be ended when the infection trajectory and epidemiological surveys show that the coronavirus pandemic has been completely stamped out.

23 Comments

Toshio Nakagawa, president of the Japan Medical Association, warning that Japan should not follow in the footsteps of Western nations that are moving to relax or drop their mask mandates.

© Asahi Shimbun

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Then masks will never be removed as Covid will never be “stamped out”!

17 ( +21 / -4 )

He also said, "I think the time in which Japan will remove masks in a 'living with covid' situation will not come".

Original Japanese Quote: "ウィズコロナの状態でマスクを外す時期は日本において来ないと思っている"

He is basically either still believing that the virus can be eradicated, going against what the scientific consensus is, or he believes that masks should stay permanent.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Who the players are in Japanese health policy. Approximately 55% of physicians in Japan are members of the JMA. https://japanhpn.org/en/players/ .

(From JHPN: https://japanhpn.org/en/jhpn/ , the Health and Global Policy Institute).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

in other words this will never happen-at least in Japan.

???

enough is enough.

live your live FREE.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

There will be no Post-Covid world. only With-Covid, surely this guy knows that? Basically folks, the masks are here to stay. Sorry kids...

This will be Generation D.

D meaning disconnected and distant.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

This guy is a fool and should be roundly ignored.

Wear a mask if you want, but don't force or guilt others into doing so if they don't want to.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

I didn't realize Japan had mask mandates. Except at the beginning of the pandemic, most places in the U.S. never had one and the ones that did ended them months ago. No evidence to suggest they work.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This seems like an extreme position to be taking. The Coronavirus is unlikely to ever be completely stamped out, and while I haven't minded wearing the masks as a temporary measure necessitated by an emergency situation, the idea that wearing these things are going to become a permanent feature of society is truly repellant.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

In other words, mask mandates will never end.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I didn't realize Japan had mask mandates. Except at the beginning of the pandemic, most places in the U.S. never had one and the ones that did ended them months ago. No evidence to suggest they work.

Japan has no mandates of any kind. The Japanese government has simply “requested” people do this or that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Honestly, I am fine with that. I am not sure I would drop my mask ever again even if I were allowed to. I went from getting a cold once every year or two to...not ever being sick since the whole pandemic started. I had a few friends who always were masked prior to the whole pandemic as well, and I am understanding why.

I am not so sure how many people would drop masks even if the government announced today that it was no longer necessary.

Maybe in a world where more countries had adopted the necessary measures to eradicate the virus early, we wouldn't even need to have this discussion. Precious few did, however.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

That means never, doesn’t it. Completely stamped out doesn’t fit with all those ‘living with the viruses’ projects.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Masks have always been a mere onegai in Japan, people wear them out of social pressure ( I personally don't care what random strangers think of me but native-Japanese people have a different mentality).

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Honestly, I am fine with that.

I think you are in the minority in that opinion.

I am not sure I would drop my mask ever again even if I were allowed to. I went from getting a cold once every year or two to...not ever being sick since the whole pandemic started. 

I've also been sick less since the pandemic started, but I'm not sure how much if any of that is attributable to mask use as opposed to other measures. I also think a tradeoff involving "having fewer colds" in exchange for "never seeing human faces in person ever again" is not one that makes any sense at all.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

What a stupid thing to say. Covid will always be with us.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What a stupid thing to say - the coronavirus will never be stamped out completely. Everybody will be exposed to COVID at some point (probably multiple times), and most probably already have. In England, they recently found that around 70% of the population have already been exposed. In the USA, its already 50% - many of those happening in the between December 2021 and February 2022, especially in younger age groups. In Japan, we have no idea because there is so little testing going on, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the official number of cases is out by as much as a factor of 10 - in other words, as much as 60% of people already exposed. The masks had their place and no doubt did their thing when health services were under pressure, but with these latest highly transmissible variants, the fact that everyone is likely to get it anyway, the lower virulence of latest strains and the high levels of vaccination, they are probably doing very little at this point.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan has no mandates of any kind

That doesn't reflect the fact almost all businesses require you to wear one... even the restaurants that then allow you to take it off.

'Selectively enforced' seems a better description

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What mandates? I have forgotten to mask up on a couple of occasions (never wore one most of my life, so when in a hurry I sometimes forget and then also forget to put one in my bag), no one said or did a thing, and I have entered shops (and bought some, too, and quickly put them on). And there's no enforcement anyway. As for lifting the non-existent mandates when Covid is stamped out, guess that's just a way of saying they'll be in place forever.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Masks outside serve little or no purpose, which is why it was never mandated in the UK, though indoors it was. In the current circumstances with high vaccination and comparatively low levels of death from the disease the mandates have all been lifted.

Efforts at zero infection are doomed to failure, the current versions are fairly highly infectious and even should ant country achieve its eradication, unless they hermetically seal their borders it will be imported from outwith its jurisdiction. Therefore any such is an exercise in futility, witness China’s unsuccessful efforts.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For people who are saying that masks are not mandatory, while technically true in the "legal" sense, they are mandatory for all intents and purposes, unless you are willing to have a legal discussion every single time they are pushed.

People who say that there is no "enforcement" because they some times have gone without masks and found no problems, I can only assume it is really just "some times", and to places like a super or a conbini.

Here in Japan places like Theaters, Planes, Karaoke, Costco, some restaurants (specially buffets), Gyms, any type of school, including open air motorcycle schools, Museums, among others DO say to require masks, that people not wearing masks "might" not enter, and they DO enforce it.

I have had the misfortune to be painfully aware of this, because my partner should not wear masks because of a condition he has, and we are CONSTANTLY discriminated and in a battle against these zealots.

We also found out that in places like planes, you can have a "face shield", or how we like to call them "mask police deflectors", which are a joke, but at least people do not longer bother you anymore.

Many of these business claim not to discriminate against people who cannot wear masks (since that is actually against the law), but for all intents and purposes they are.

For example, plains tell you to tell them beforehand about it, supposedly so you are no bothered after boarding, but we have STILL being bothered at the airport, changing our seats multiple times, and always ending way in the back isolated from the rest of the plane.

Places like the Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo has this wonderful program for people who cannot wear masks in which you are FORCED to wear an armband showing that you are "maskless", which seems like something that has never been used in the history of the world as a way to shame and discriminate people.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I also have to make clear that the reason most of these places say to implement this policy, is at the request of the Government.

For example, planes have enforced this because it is a policy of "THE SCHEDULED AIRLINES ASSOCIATION OF JAPAN", which has deep links with Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and they are basically forced to follow what the Ministry says, or there will be consequences.

Another good example are Movie Theaters, which enforce these rules because they are all part of the "Japan Association of Theater Owners", which not only has deep connections with the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, but the organization was created by law in 1957 with the "Law Concerning the Appropriateness and Promotion of Life Sanitation-related Business Operations".

Most restaurants that I've encountered that enforce this do it because it is a requirement for them to get extra Covid relief money (which also includes things like closing early, and things like that).

And so on... In other words, even if it is not by "law" that these requirements exists, the government hand is behind it all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are there masks mandates in Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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