as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 7,377 new coronavirus cases See in context

Japan sees record 4,151 weekly cases of emergency patients struggling to find hospitals

January 19, 2022 (Mainichi)

So not 210, but 4151 having difficulty getting hospital treatment today.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 7,377 new coronavirus cases See in context

I wasn't imagining it as I thought there were constant ambulance sirens in my area the past few days. This article gives the figures for urgent cases unable to get admitted quickly to a hospital.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 7,377 new coronavirus cases See in context

Over 1500 are school aged, but will they move to online learning to slow it down? Could Coming of Age Ceremonies have been online? No, this is Japan.

12 ( +31 / -19 )

Posted in: Japan hopes to lead Asian zero-emissions push: minister See in context

Leading from the back ... ;)

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan hopes to lead Asian zero-emissions push: minister See in context

Japan hopes to lead a zero-emissions push...

And there you have it. The government's only interest is in the leading part, as long as it doesn't involve actually doing. The world knows it is reluctant, lagging, dragging its feet. Look at how quickly the push for renewables was squashed when it looked like industry and consumers were rushing to adopt solar. What about expanding wind, wave, geothermal? What about pushing initiatives like green roofs, or supporting the development of next generation solar, so that windows and walls can cheaply be used to power buildings at source? What about legislating to force companies to cut down on wasteful unneccessary lighting? Then you can think about leading the world (note: it'll take a while to catch up, so best keep schtum about your progress for the moment).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Tsunami caused by Tonga volcano eruption stumps Japan weather experts See in context

"tsunami waves of up to 90 cm"...

I guess this writer thinks that 90cm is insignificant. It was enough to capsize fishing boats in Japanese ports. So consider this:

Waves were estimated to be as high as 38 meters, the height of a 12-story building.

The 3/11 'ten metre tsunami' reached points on land up to 38m above sea level, the height of a 12 storey building. As the tsunami reaches shallower water, it rears up . If trapped in a narrow inlet, like the ones along Japan's Sanriku coast, or channelled through a canal system, the same process happens, meaning even areas many kms inland may be swallowed by a tsunami.

After looking down over the ruins of Onagawa town in Iwate, with someone who only survived because she left her factory and drove up into the hills to check up on her grandmother, I understood what a 10m tsunami means. I was on a vantage point up a hill, overlooking the town, and a local there explained that the place where we were stood was also hit. By water that swept up the hill with the force of the tsunami and rushed back down to our vantage point from above.

I'm 17m above sea level, and one km from the sea, but I kept an ear out for sudden warnings and updates on Sunday night. Actually the alarm went off over 20 times all through the night, so I didn't have much choice :

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,561 news coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 25,744 See in context

In the immortal words of Superman, ”Up, up and awaay...”

This is what is happening in other countries, no-one can be surprised. We can only hope that the health system doesn't collapse with staff off sick and isolating at the same time as hospitalisations spike. Which statistically they are likely to, because of the sheer infectiousness of Omicron, which means that those sick enough to need medical attention will be getting sick at the same time.

Unfortunately Japan's inaction, like failing to speed up the booster programme, and letting the usual mass midwinter rituals - New Year, Coming of Age Day, university entrance exams - go ahead as if normal, mean that this is likely to hit at the same time as peak flu season. They may have nominally prepared by having more Covid beds in hospitals, but the real shortage is likely to be of healthcare workers.

And companies failing to allow people to work from home is likely to exacerbate things.

So do all you can to avoid social contact for the next few weeks. And ignore the usual posts on here who might suggest without evidence you're somehow better off getting it. You're no way guaranteed that's the case, so unless you like playing Russian roulette with your health, do what you can to avoid getting exposed to it.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Posted in: Under the current circumstances, there is no system to follow up on former yakuza after they find work, so companies shoulder high risks by taking in former gang members. It is imperative to cultivate specialized human resources who will support gang members to leave gangs and find employment. See in context

Cultivate human resources? What does that even mean? Yeuurch!

Leaving that aside, generally I'd have thought that if a yakuza member takes that first step to walk away from their gang, they have taken the first massive, brave step, and in most cases that should be clear evidence that they are committed to making a new life outside the yakuza. If anything, I am guessing here that their values, such as loyalty, obedience, putting the org above themselves, should make them a perfect fit for traditional Japanese orgs. If they are more of a freewheeling rebel type (doubt there are many of them that would have hacked it as a yakuza for long), they might fit in with a younger, more pioneering type of start up that wants to take risks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Swedish lab eyes poisoned chalice in malaria fight See in context

While no one thing is likely to be wonder solution, if this can truly just target that specific variety of mosquito and not any other insects, and can be produced easily and cheaply for use over wide areas, it could really be one more useful tool to combat malaria.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,198 new virus cases; 1,711 in Osaka, 1,644 in Okinawa See in context

... does not apply.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,198 new virus cases; 1,711 in Osaka, 1,644 in Okinawa See in context

The data you provided is irrelevant to my comment. The study would have been before Omicron was present which is the dominant variants and the one to which I was referring. The symptoms of Omicron are far different than the previous, where the lower respiratory is effected, the symptoms are mostly cold like.

Sorry @ false flag steve, last one was an academic study report. Maybe this spells it out in lay terms:

Please cite evidence that you base your assertion on that because the range of symptoms (ie temporary) of Omicron may vary (not far different) from earlier variants, that the findings of the study that mild and asymptomatic Covid 19 may lead to (ie long term) lowered organ and vascular function.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,198 new virus cases; 1,711 in Osaka, 1,644 in Okinawa See in context

It really easy amazing that they didn't learn anything from the debacle of last year.

It really easy amazing ... not.

Will peak soon enough without hospitals being full and will notbe huge amount of deaths. The risk of Omicron to your average person is so minimal as to be almost irrelevant. 

The usual boosterism (pun intended) from the usual place. Unfortunately ...

A mild COVID-19 can still cause damage to multiple organs, trigger blood clots in deep veins, a new study revealed on Wednesday. Their new study, published in the European Heart Journal, showed that coronavirus infections leave traces even if those affected are asymptomatic. 


So just as long as you're not bothered about heart, lung, kidney, liver function or stroke risk, you can just ignore Omicron.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Posted in: Okinawa reports 1,414 new coronavirus cases; 922 in Tokyo See in context

I very much hope we don't go the way of some other badly impacted countries with incompetent governments, like the UK, with over a million infections in the past week, over 15,000 hospitalisations and the army needing to be called in to treat patients in hospital as so many healthcare staff are off sick that the health system is being overwhelmed. The Japanese government's same old test less, look the other way , and dither for as long as possible policy risks this country getting to the same place, or worse than last year, when people were dying untreated at home.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Woman with signal blocked-TV loses appeal contesting her obligation to pay NHK fees See in context

NHK licence fee collectors? Buying a landline connection? TVs? Radios? Faxes? Nengajo? All a bit late 20th century isn't it,Japan?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Woman with signal blocked-TV loses appeal contesting her obligation to pay NHK fees See in context

So if anyone with a computer or a smartphone is also liable to pay NHK, that means a large part of the earth's population, right? Someone really ought to make this obvious point in court. In that case, only owners of a TV in Japan should be liable, shouldn't they?

I'm not against some state subsidy for NHK - they should just take it out of taxes, and it should be strictly monitored by lawmakers, to control corruption, and they don't get too greedy.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Britain lifting post-Fukushima restrictions on Japan food imports See in context

Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Gunma, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.

Fukushima & Miyagi, I can understand and also somewhat Yamagata and Ibaraki.

Restrictions on food from Gunma, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka, though? I don't quite understand why there are restrictions on food from those prefectures?

If you saw radiation maps after the disaster in 2011, you will have seen that the radioactive plume swept down into Kanto in a kind of U-shape, including Tochigi, Ibaraki, Chiba, Gunma, Yamanashi more than other places ie higher concentrations. This is apart from the more well known corridor running north-west from Fukushima Daiichi, which led to those areas of Fukushima eventually being evacuated.

Chernobyl demonstrated that contamination levels can remain high in soils for decades, and so Fukushima contaminated food was treated in the same way, because of Europe's experience of Chernobyl.

I would guess that Shizuoka is included because high concentrations of radioactive isotopes were measured in green tea leaves from the prefecture in 2011, and it also produces mushrooms. Fungi are very effective at concentrating radiation that they draw up from soils. In contaminated areas, this makes them one of the riskiest foods to eat. (And also the meat of any wild animals that eat fungi)

The UK has traditionally put consumers' food safety above politics, but beggars can't be choosers. They were so desperate to get a FTA with anyone post-Brexit, that they no doubt agreed to any conditions the Japanese government made, just to get it over the line.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Lamine Diack, ex IAAF chief and former IOC member convicted of extortion, dies See in context

“With the death of Lamine Diack, Senegal loses one of its most illustrious sons,” the west African country's President Macky Sall said via Twitter.

Makes you wonder what the less illustrious sons are like. Until you realise the person saying also got elected with a little help from Lamine Diack.

Basically, the stench of corruption coming from the IOC and the "Olympic movement" in general means that he was just one that got caught with his fingers in too many pies. Most of those doing the same get away with it, so you could say he's the fall guy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Barbados will spur others to ditch the queen: experts See in context

Well, if anything, it shows that when the people of a nation state want to reform their constitution, because it's in need of it, that it's entirely doable. Many nation states, not least the UK, are showing a dire need for major constitutional change. In the UK, the state of the Union itself, the monarchy, lack of proportional representation, the exclusion of overseas electors from voting, hereditary peerages, an unwritten constitution, all need urgent work, as the political system has become so dysfunctional it's falling apart at the seams.

Granted, a population of 300,000 is tiny, but Bajans need to look to cooperating more closely with other Caribbean and Central and South American neighbours. Bit of a pipedream, but still...

They need to look out though, as many neighbouring countries have suffered invasion, attempted invasion or proxy wars in the past few decades: Grenada, Panamá, Nicaragua ... Small countries are always easy pickings.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Uber Eats Japan will not be charged for hiring Vietnamese overstayers See in context

Noticed the implication here: it's not Uber Eats that's to blame, it's two rogue employees who have of course been 'ex'ed so the company can pretend it's nothing to do with them. And of course the full weight of the law will fall on the Vietnamese who are the real baddies of this film. Riiight...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers letting more skilled foreign workers stay indefinitely See in context

If they really want to crack this challenge, the government needs to start thinking how to pursuade people from other countries to consider immigrating to Japan. The arrogant assumption that the world is clamouring to come here is at the root of its repeated failure to make a dent in the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's car exports keep plunging due to supply issues See in context

If car sales were to keep shrinking, it would cause short term pain, but would be great for the environment. Although they'll need the materials to do it, it would be great to see manufacturers take advantage of the disruption to start making a move to green industries e.g solar panels, wind turbines, tidal power generators, heat exchangers. But I won't hold my breath for Japan to be that agile.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Posted in: Koike discharged from hospital; to resume work next week See in context

'did not have any illness and is recovering?'

Huh? Does that even make sense?

Her disappearance for a couple of weeks could be read many different ways. She could be genuinely exhausted. She could have been laying low for election season - I know the feeling. She might have had Covid - not at all surprising for someone who must meet so many people through work. She might have long Covid and that would be a no-no to state publicly. Long Covid seems to be a kind of taboo in this country, even though figures in other countries have put the incidence of long Covid as high as a third of all people infected (meaning symptoms lasting at least 12 weeks from initial infection). With someone in a high-stress job, of her age, I'd think the risk of Covid turning chronic would be quite high. I don't understand why it's such a taboo here, but I can imagine if she was still suffering symptoms, there would be a lot of pressure to keep it quiet.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Kishida's debut on world stage offers few clues about his foreign policy See in context

Clueless, yes. Turning up at a climate conference by jetting halfway round the world for a few hours. Really impressive. It also seems Japan didn't get the memo, as the entire article talks about guns, geopolitical jockeying and the like, when the conference is about the climate. CLI-MATE crisis. And yet it seems the Japanese delegation wanted to pop in for half a day to show leadership. Yeah, right. And talk about a completely unrelated subject. Nice one, Kishida! Start as you mean to go on.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Hints for fighting back against ballooning energy costs See in context

No talk of adequately insulating houses, adopting heat exchangers to overcome extremes of heat and cold, subsidies for installing solar panels, green roofs? Encouraging people to stick a finger in the dike to plug the leak of money, instead of fixing the problem. These measures could also generate employment by encouraging people to do it through simple subsidy schemes - not massively complicated, carefully limited ones, as usually happens in Japan.

Surely just from the point of view of national security and reducing reliance on imported energy, it would make sense, never mind saving people so much money, enabling them to live more comfortably, and even protecting the environment.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Over 70% fully vaccinated in Japan; among top 3 in G7 See in context

Does anyone else find it a bit sad and needy, that a group of people need to crow about the fact that their country is in the top three of seven countries? If Japan 'comes 26th' globally, is the country's pride wounded by being 'outdone' by places like Cambodia?

More to the point, are they going to vaccinate children here, or will those elementary schoolers be excluded from the statistics, and left as a reservoir to infect and reinfect each other and the adults in their lives? How does excluding younger children from programmes skew these numbers?

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Posted in: Tokyo, other areas lift restrictions on eateries amid virus resurgence worries See in context

And please, knock it off wit this "fearful" narrative. This is only what people who have yet to experience health problems say. For many of us, already dealing with crippling health issues, we know covid will be the nail in the coffin. The way people pander this "fear" narrative sounds like eugenics.

It avoids them having to deal with facts, which they truly fear. They themselves are insecure about being seen as weak, that's why they are obsessed with fear. If you look around the world at the poster boys in government peddling the 'fear' narrative, you'll see what I mean.

It also helps when pushing anti-science, anti-truth policies, as anyone who opposes them must be 'cowering in their basement' or whatever the local equivalent is. This line was peddled for Fukushima ('lingering radiation fears' and 'baseless rumours', not ongoing radiation), Brexit in the UK ('Project Fear' - now a slowly unfolding trainwreck), and now with the pandemic ('I'm not wearing a face nappy' - how revealing is that? , 'cowering in fear' etc. etc, not public health based on science).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Mount Aso volcano erupts See in context

Mt. Fuji could go off sometime in our lifetime. 

After seeing a documentary about Mt Hakone, I think I'd be even more worried that. But yes, keep a crash helmet and a proper mask and goggles handy, just in case.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Hair from culled Hokkaido deer made into jeans See in context

I wonder, can't some of the crop damage be avoided by electric fencing? I know there's some maintenance involved, but it could be solar powered during most of the growing season. You'd probably need about 4 strands because deer can jump so high, but still ... I'm sure it'd protect a lot of crops.

Also, I'm quite sure wild boar must be causing as much , or more damage. What do they do to stop that?

Some culling is almost certainly necessary if you have an ecosytem that is out of whack. What would have kept the deer population in check in the past - wolves?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo area set to end COVID-19 restrictions on eateries See in context

Simple explanations for simple minds. Don't let simple facts get in your way.

In recent years there has been rapid growth in diabetes in Japan which now is one of the nations most affected by the worldwide diabetes epidemic... Approximately 13.5% of the Japanese population now has either type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. 

So according to your reasoning, Japan should be badly hit by Covid, precisely because it has one of the worst diabetes problems. Also cardiovascular issues, particularly complications of hypertension, would make huge numbers of people vulnerable to Covid complications. That's around 23% of male adults and 17% of women.

Oh, and then there's cancer, which is the leading cause of death in Japan. All those cancer patients are very vulnerable to severe Covid.

And as for 'natural immunity', you seem to assume it's like some kind of magic invisible cloak that you are born wearing, that wards off evil viruses. But levels of immunity are not static, they're in constant flux, and if viruses are constantly mutating to evade an organism's defenses, then how could it be some kind of 'birthright'? Even the immunity conferred by exposure to a virus is not static, which is why you might have got flu last season, but that does not guarantee you immunity from this year's variant. The same is happening with this coronavirus, so what was true 18 months ago does not necessarily hold today.

So not simple, complex, which is why experts say it's puzzling. And I'm not a scientist, so I'm not going to come to any conclusions, as I'm not qualified.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 36 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 372 See in context

Just had a PCR (saliva) test at the doctor's, costing Y3200. The doctor says as early Delta Covid are commonly similar to colds (headache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and earache are the most common), it's important to get tested early, and even if you test negative for Covid, to avoid overburdening the health system, you should not go to work or commute for 8 days, to avoid passing it on. As the two are hard to tell apart in the early stages, it's important to do your part to slow down the spread of colds by being responsible, otherwise the health system will get clogged up. If you have Covid, as a rule of thumb you should isolate for 10 days.

Unfortunately the government advice is still stuck in April 2020, so don't be surprised if health centres refuse you the free PCR test until you tick their (fever, loss of smell, cough) symptom boxes, by which time you will have been spreading it around for four days, if you don't stay home. My company is sympathetic but basically sticking to the outdated government 'guidance', which means forcing people out and about to spread this thing around. Sigh!

And I second the advice about the flu jab, @livvy

4 ( +11 / -7 )

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