Ani comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 393 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,634 See in context

Important to keep track of the 7 day average, which gives a more accurate view of the trend. As it gets colder, the number of infections will increase, but it is critical that the number serious cases and deaths remains low. Things will stay this way as long as a viable vaccine is not available. This is life for the foreseeable future...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Shoppers queue, crash website for Uniqlo's washable masks See in context

Isn't it true that these masks are not very effective for viruses and are more suited to protect against bacteria?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: It's 2021 or never for Tokyo, confirms senior Olympic official See in context

There is so much going on in the world now. There are so many critical conversations and social transitions taking place. I think the Olympics should be cancelled to allow for funds, time, infrastructure, mindspace and political will to be directed towards making changes in society that will help make this world a better place. The time just isn't right for a wasteful celebratory event like the Olympics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo hospital reports group infections as Japan fears 2nd virus wave See in context

Testing, testing, testing. No matter how lucky Japan may have been to fend off a disaster the first time, if they don't test aggressively, this will just continue to be an unpredictable situation for months to come. The testing capacity must be utilized to its maximum, especially in the bigger cities like Tokyo.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Once airports and borders open again and people are able to fly freely, how much are you ready to change your flying habits? Forbes magazine says steps being discussed are no cabin bags, no lounges, no automatic upgrades, face masks, surgical gloves, self-check-in, self-bag-drop-off, immunity passports, on-the-spot blood tests and sanitation disinfection tunnels. See in context

No cabin baggage: What about families with kids who need to carry essentials with them? What about business travelers and students who needs to carry their laptops or other important equipment?

Immunity passports: There is no evidence of immunity yet, so immunity passports are not even an option in the short term.

Masks and gloves: Very limited effectiveness in the absence of proper social distancing and ventilation.

On-the-spot testing: May work if it can be done reliably in a few minutes, rather than hours. But the accuracy of such tests has to be close to 100% otherwise the whole exercise will be a waste.

Unless and until a vaccine is found and most of the global population gets vaccinated, flying will be a nightmare and a huge health risk. Businesses will no doubt allow travel for essential reasons only as remote working and video-conferencing will become the new normal accepted everywhere. Travel for leisure will most likely take a long time to pick up and tourists will stay away due to fears of getting infected and expectations of significant inconveniences. So in short, things don't look too good for the travel industry for quite some time to come.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to revise criteria on symptoms for being tested for virus See in context

Keep thinking, Japan. Keep thinking. Thinking always brings good ideas. At this rate of thinking, I am sure the powers that be will come up with one idea by the end of this decade. And since that idea would have been rendered obsolete by then, they would need even more time to do even more thinking. So the circle of thought continues.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe looks to extend state of emergency through May 31 See in context

One question: What has changed in Japan since the emergency was initially announced? Why is it okay to open up some places NOW but it was not NOT okay to keep them open the past month? I am assuming there is a logical explanation, so can someone please spell it out so that we all understand? Thank you.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe seeks to extend state of emergency by about a month See in context

They dont want to have to pay for Zoom! Not to mention, press would have a hard time filming them doing their jobs!

So it's better to create ideal conditions for a "cluster" to form, contradicting the very basic guidelines the Govt itself is pushing. A large group of people standing or sitting in close proximity in a closed room with no natural ventilation... just perfect! #facepalm

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe seeks to extend state of emergency by about a month See in context

Why do so many people have to assemble in one room like this? Why can't they just do it over a video call and make the announcements online via video? Japan just doesn't grasp the idea of social distancing...

27 ( +37 / -10 )

Posted in: Many Japanese defy appeals to stay home to curb virus See in context

The largest chunk of responsibility and blame lies with the businesses in Japan that continue to compel their employees to come to the office to work, failing which, they will either lose their pay or their jobs. A business culture steeped in archaic practices and tunnel-visioned bosses will always opt for the easiest and most risk-free option. Why invest in the health and well-being of employees all of a sudden when these borderline brutal work practices have delivered wealth and success for decades? Don't blame the workers who are forced to ignore the "stay at home" calls - they have their own battles to fight and stomachs to feed. Blame the corrupt and disconnected bosses who refuse to change their ways for the greater good. And unless that changes, innocent people will pay the price, at times, even with their very lives...

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Posted in: Gov't waiting for Golden Week to decide on extending state of emergency See in context

Weekend schedule: Wear one baby cloth mask provided by Govt and stay home (unless you need to take your family and the dog and the cat and the pigeon to the local store to buy food).

Weekday schedule: Wear the other baby cloth mask, put on your suit, pick up your bag and get into the rush hour train to go to the office, otherwise risk losing your pay (or even your job) because your bosses are pricks who don't trust you enough to let you work from home or don't bother to put in place the infrastructure needed to make that happen.

Japan will become the sample case used by experts for decades to come when talking about how to completely screw up the handling of an unprecedented crisis. Okay, so Japan did not have something like the CDC in the US. But it's been more than 4 months now since the crisis started... is it not enough time for an advanced country like Japan to put together a team of experts and create a temporary CDC that is entrusted with deciding how the crisis is dealt with and the recommending to the Govt what actions need to be taken to prevent a complete healthcare collapse? Why do the politicians continue to lead a response that they are not qualified to handle? Would you call an electrician to conduct brain surgery because a mesh of wires and nerves are "somewhat similar"?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Over 210,000 hotel rooms secured to treat coronavirus patients See in context

I remember back in 2011, the media was criticized for underplaying the seriousness of the Fukushima crisis. One of the points that came up was the tone of voice used by TV commentators which was deemed to be "too calm" and failed to convey the true mood. Now, with the coronavirus crisis, even though the media (at least in the last few days) and the Governors are being more and more aggressive in the tone of their messaging, the people seem to be taking things way too easily. Under current conditions, most of these people in the photograph have no reason to be out and about as if everything is perfectly normal. If they hope to enjoy more sunny days and lovely weather in the near future, they should stay at home or exercise maximum possible physical distancing now. It is rather shameful that people in Japan are ignoring the risks of this virus. I really don't understand what they are thinking... I hope and pray that better sense prevails very very soon. Come on, Japan... don't screw this up...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: At least 1,900 complain over dirty masks delivered by gov't See in context

This is corruption that is seen more in the so-called "third world countries". How has Japan reduced itself to this level? Unbelievable...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Posted in: Koike asks Tokyo restaurants, pubs to shut by 8 p.m. See in context

Effectively, what's going to happen is that more number of people will gather together in izakayas within a shorter period of time. Not sure if this strategy will work, but seems like the Govt legally cannot do more than this. Let's hope people themselves understand the risks and behave in a responsible manner.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Posted in: Trains run as usual, some retailers shorten hours during state of emergency See in context


I took the train down to surf this morning but waves not good. Lots of kids at the beach...socializing. Walked to Fujisawa from there. Businesses all open. Took the express back to Chuorinkan and walked to Yamato station. All businesses open as usual.

What a great emergency response.

This is why flu spreads so quickly as well.

Unless you believe that surfing is an essential function, your action seems to be an even worse violation of the govt request than people going to work or kids playing. You have just proved that diseases spread more rapidly because of reckless human behaviour. You should be ashamed of yourself.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Posted in: Trains run as usual, some retailers shorten hours during state of emergency See in context

No noticeable change in Tokyo as of 9:30 this morning compared to yesterday. Traffic as usual on the roads... people going about doing their own thing. Salarymen in suits keep their heads down as they trudge to work. It's like the state of emergency was a mere formality that has been mostly ignored by the people. Asking people to cooperate won't work. Stricter measures are required, even if that means curtailing a few rights for a limited period of time. If people don't stay alive, their rights won't have much value in any case. Wake up Japan. Look around and see what's going on around the world. Thousands are dying.... all of that could happen here as well if people continue to be so stubborn. :(

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Abe to declare state of emergency for Tokyo, 6 prefectures See in context

Let's just hope this is not too little too late. Fingers crossed... hopefully, Japan will come through this without experiencing the misery that several other countries are facing now. :(

15 ( +25 / -10 )

Posted in: Virus infections not rampant nationwide but Japan on brink: Abe See in context

This was on Zero News channel 4 last night. The professor from Juntendo University said continual increases of 70, 80 per day would not be sufficient cause for a state of emergency but the key word is “sudden” increase and he actually said 200 as an example.

But if these so-called experts have been following what's happening in other countries, by the time this "sudden increase" happens, it is too late... from that point on, the infection rates explode and it becomes impossible to catch up and bring them under control. Declaring the emergency would be aimed at preventing that sudden surge from happening. There's no logic to their wait and watch approach.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Posted in: Virus infections not rampant nationwide but Japan on brink: Abe See in context

Can anyone clarify what is the threshold for the emergency to be declared? 200-300 cases per day? A few hundred deaths a week? What is the criteria that the Govt is applying in this critical decision making process?

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe's two-mask pledge met online with derision and humor See in context

2 reusable cloth masks per household will solve all the problems. Just the kind of "stimulus package" the country needs. The wagyu coupon will be the clincher though. Oh Japan...........

37 ( +38 / -1 )

Posted in: The Japanese government is considering cash handouts and coupons to support households hit hard by the coronavirus. Do you think this is a good idea? See in context

A cash handout of 10,000 Yen per head after the Lehman shock had virtually no positive impact on the economy. The coupons that were being considered were for travel vouchers and Wa-gyu. Not sure how that can be considered helpful in day-to-day life. The most useful thing to do would be to waive off Inhabitant Taxes for at least one quarter and provide additional tax breaks based on specific income slabs. The maximum amount of care must be taken to ensure that part-time workers who rely completely on daily wages are protected first, which is often not the case.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Around the world, political leaders trying to cope with the coronavirus pandemic are making calculations centered around the question: How many deaths are acceptable, as weighed against millions of jobs lost and trillions of dollars of economic output foregone? What's your view? See in context

The fact that such a question is even being asked publicly is a sign of how bad the situation is around the world. Under "normal" circumstances, just the thought of finding any number of deaths being "acceptable" would be horrendous. But these are not normal circumstances and health workers around the world are having to make these impossible decisions every hour, every day, for weeks and months at a stretch. The sad reality is that while this happens, politicians in many countries are arriving (secretly or openly) at "acceptable death counts" based not just on the economic factors, but more on the consequences of their actions/choices on their own political futures. Most of the discourse in political circles about economics centers around the long term impact of decisions taken now on the political ramifications in the future. And that is why the crisis has gone completely out of control in so many countries. Japan may be looking at a very bleak future if the country's leaders don't step up to this challenge and take decisive action, without thinking about saving their own careers or protecting other vested interests... The true cost of human life being lost at such a global scale can never be accurately calculated. Only time will tell what is the wider impact of this unprecedented crisis on human society. My view is that this is one of those once in a millennium events that is changing the world forever. Economic numbers and job losses will be overwhelmed by the unfathomable social turbulence that we are all hurtling towards.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo's infection spike after Olympic postponement sparks questions See in context

The biggest problem in Japan is the complete absence of independent reporting. When you combine that with a population that rarely, if ever, openly questions what the "news" networks dish out, you end up with a deadly concoction of lies and cover-ups. If there was ever a time for Japan's media to take a stand and do some serious & unbiased journalism, this is that time. Unless and until that happens, nothing will change.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor says people can enjoy cherry blossoms next year See in context

Meanwhile, the Association of Coronavirus Infected Droplets (ACID) has agreed to also pause its activities in the country to abide by the Governor's request. The official spokesperson of ACID has said it will resume normal operations from Monday, like the rest of the population of Japan.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: 92 from Chicago let in at Narita airport without being asked to self-isolate See in context

These mistakes are not because of specific individuals. The fault rests with the leadership. To mitigate risks, policies and frameworks must be clearly defined and communicated to those responsible for enforcing them. Otherwise, under pressure, even the most experienced frontline staff can make mistakes. A sorry state of affairs indeed... :(

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, spared mass outbreak so far, now sees national crisis after Tokyo surge See in context

Fast forward to 6 months later... Japan "analyzes" the situation and finds "inadequacies" in the way the coronavirus crisis was handled. The people responsible call a press conference, make a statement of apology, bow for 60 seconds and leave the room. They continue to hold on to their jobs with no legal or social consequences. End of story. Life moves on. The country looks forward to enjoying the autumn colours and counts down to Olympics 2021.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to set up coronavirus task force; no state of emergency yet See in context

They seem to be crawling towards declaring the emergency that would allow a total lock-down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to set up coronavirus task force; no state of emergency yet See in context

And here come the skeletons... tumbling out of the corner closet. The coming days and weeks will make it very clear how poorly Japan has handled this crisis...

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics in 2021 will be beacon of hope, says IOC See in context

Delaying the Games was the right decision. Hosting an event that celebrates human resilience and capability while thousands are sick or dying around the world would have made everyone associated with the event look cruel and selfish. No doubt this will cause a lot of problems in terms of logistics, but even so, human life must come ahead of any global event. All we can do at this stage is hope that the coronavirus situation comes under control much sooner than next year. Fingers crossed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts warn Japanese growing complacent of coronavirus risk See in context

Despite the negativity surrounding the situation in Japan, for our own sake, I do hope Japan does not have to go through the chaos that many other countries are going through now. This is one time I hope that all the decision makers who many of us thing screwed up, actually didn't and the calls they made turn out to be the right ones. Because a catastrophic health crisis is the last thing this country needs at the moment. Maybe this is wishful thinking, but time will tell.... fingers crossed. Hoping that everyone stays safe and we can all get through this stressful phase as a united world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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