Confusius comments

Posted in: Yahoo Japan to delete hateful posts with AI to tackle cyberbullying See in context

Do the people that make those decisions even know how AI works? To me it's just a buzzword they keep throwing around whenever a problem comes up and they need a solution.

Here it sounds like the system will just check if a post contains words that are on their list for bad words and is easy to circumvent. That's not really taking measures now, is it? That's just the typical window dressing to make it look like you're taking actions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's economy grows 22.9% in 3rd quarter, bouncing back from COVID See in context

Actually it is only minus 6.3. You are only out by 6.7

That's not how it works. It grows after the drop, so you don't base it on the same value but on a different one.

If you start with 100 and there is a drop of 29.2% you'll end up with 70.8. Only then do you add the 22.9% from the growth and 22.9% of 70.8 are not equal to 22.9% of 100. In fact you'll end up with roughly 87.01 after both steps, so Sven Asai is correct.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Posted in: Unwanted pregnancy and financial issues are inseparable. Students had more free time due to coronavirus school closures, and that may have led to an increase in inquiries. See in context

And I wonder if any (or should I say how many?) of those cases could have been prevented by using proper contraception. Of course even then things can go wrong but I know at least one person that at least in the past only used the pill and at one point was afraid that she might be pregnant after she had fun witha co-worker...

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Posted in: My lunchtime customers have decreased because they telework, and business is still pretty slow at night. I borrowed a year worth of operation expenses from a bank, but after that I have no prospects for my business. See in context

The restaurant industry recorded 730 bankruptcies with debts exceeding ¥10 million in the January-October period. The coronavirus pandemic and tightening cash flows have slammed the restaurant industry.

Are there numbers available for other years to compare those figures to? It would be interesting to know just how big the impact of corona was on the restaurant industry. We had a similar case with an article that was talking about businesses shuting down because of COVID-19. It also made it sound like all cases were

down to the virus while in reality there was an increase of 23.9% compared to the year before, so it was not all down to the virus. For all we know this could be something new or something that happens to 700 restaurants every year anyway.

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Posted in: Gov't aims to abolish income cap on subsidies for fertility treatment See in context

The population is not declining because of biological reasons but social ones.

Wait, you mean throwing money at the problem will not solve it?

It's probably the solution that takes the least effort. All the other issues take more of an effort to solve and that is probably too bothersome.

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Posted in: Spurs face title test; wounded Liverpool host leaders Leicester See in context

I think this is an old photo. You know it is!

You're absolutely right. There are articles from November 2018 with that photo, so it was taken at least two years ago.

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Posted in: Sweden limits public gatherings as pandemic second wave swells See in context

I don't think anyone can claim it is superior, but it is worth observing. There is also a tendency among some to compare it with its "Nordic neighbors", but no explanation about why those countries have such low death rates. According to the link below, Sweden's death rate from Covid is lower than those of Belgium, Spain, the UK, Italy, and France. Considering the chaos of the UK, it seems reasonable to ask whether these countries should have adopted Sweden's approach.

The thing with worldometers is that it's quite often not exactly accurate and there are flaws. I've commented before how the figures on that website in cases differ from the official figures published by the governments. An epidemiologist from Yale wrote the following as well.

“I think the Worldometer site is legitimate,” she wrote via email, explaining that many of its sources appear to be credible government websites. But she also found flaws, inconsistencies and an apparent lack of expert curation. “The interpretation of the data is lacking,” she wrote, explaining that she found the data on active cases “particularly problematic” because data on recoveries is not consistently reported.

Pitzer also found few detailed explanations of data reporting issues or discrepancies. For Spain, it’s a single sentence. For many other countries, there are no explanations at all.

She also found errors. In the Spanish data, for instance, Worldometer reports more than 18,000 recoveries on April 24. The Spanish government reported 3,105 recoveries that day.

The case fatality rate for the countries you listed as of November 13 were as follows: Italy 4.1%, United Kingdom 3.9%, Sweden 3.6%, Spain 2.8%, Belgium 2.7%, France 2.3%

You can find this data on Our World in Data that actually uses official figures from all the countries. Per known case Sweden is actually doing worse than Spain, Belgium and France. Since this is just based on known cases and deaths, the figures could very well differ for all the countries though. And of course that is not the risk for an infected person in each country to die in each country.

In the UK we also had a failed response early on, while Italy was unaware of the outbreak in Northern Italy and could not respond in a timely manner. If the UK and Italy had better numbers (also compared to Sweden) had they responded early on, we will never know though but that is something to keep in mind.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers say virus fears banished by success of gymnastics test event See in context

What a load of dung. This event was just a few days ago, so there is no way you can draw any conclusions.

There is the possibility that all spectators were healthy and not a single one carried the virus. Would that show us that there is no risk of a spread if a carrier of the virus ends up at the next event? Surely not. In the same way people testing positive after the event won't tell us if and how big the risk of infection is either unless you can ensure that they were definitely healthy before the event and also had no contact to other people after the event.

You'd have to repeatedly hold such events and at times place carriers (those that will not get caught by the temperature check) among a crowd that is definitely healthy and never had the virus to say for sure if such events are safe. But unless people are willing to play guinea pigs it's somewhat impossible to accurately assess the risk. How likely is it that you'll find thousands of healthy people willing to take part in an experiment that might lead to them getting infected? Afterwards you'd also have to isolate everyone to make sure that they don't catch the virus somewhere else if you want accurate data. Only then would I talk about a success if no one else got infected.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 5 dead in Vienna attack; assailant had previous conviction See in context

Further down in your comment, you mention Europol. Out of curiosity, I skimmed through their website, and right off the bat I notice: "2017 EU TERRORISM REPORT: 142 FAILED, FOILED AND COMPLETED ATTACKS". That is for one year. Where does your astonishing figure of 125 for 13 years come from, I wonder?

So why not actually read the report on the very same page?

The largest number of attacks in which the terrorist affiliation could be identified were carried out by ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists (99). Attacks carried out by left-wing violent extremists have been on the rise since 2014; they reached a total of 27 in 2016, of which most (16) were reported by Italy. The number of jihadist terrorist attacks decreased from 17 in 2015 to 13 in 2016, of which 6 were linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS). However, a precise ranking amongst and within terrorist affiliations across the EU cannot be established because the UK does not provide disaggregated data on attacks.

In the report from 2020 ( they actually name a newer number for 2017. The number of terrorist attacks was 205 in 2017. 137 of those were by ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists, 6 non specified, 24 left-wing extremists, 5 right-wing extremists and 33 by jihadist. Of those 33, 10 were completed, 12 failed and 11 foiled. 2018 there were 24 of which 7 were completed, 1 failed and 16 foiled. 2019 there were 21 of which 3 were completed, 4 failed and 14 foiled.

Instead of just citing a number, it would do you well to actually read the report it comes from the next time. The 142 you cited was mostly made up by ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists (groups like the Irish Republican Army (IRA) or the Basque ETA for example). So the astonishing figure comes from actually just counting the attempts by the one group in question (including failed and foiled ones) and not by adding all attacks by all the different groups.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 5 dead in Vienna attack; assailant had previous conviction See in context

over 37000 islamic terrorist attacks in 70+ countries around the world since 9/11.

When will Europe wake up?

Can they wake up?

I know it's wasted time but you're trying to paint a certain picture, aren't you? You can add up all attacks from 2006 to 2019 in the whole EU and end up with 125. And those numbers include completed, failed and foiled attempts (there are far more failed and foiled attempts than completed ones). That is less than terrorist attacks by ethno-nationalist and separatist in 2017 alone (137) for example. Those groups commit more attacks considered terrorism by Europol than any other group every year so it's not just an outlier.

Why not add where exactly all those attacks happened to paint a clearer picture?

Not new at all, it is ongoing. Only the media ignores the jihadist incidents, preferring to harp on the flue-like virus.

Then I guess Europol is lying as well. On their website you can actually find a document that lists any kind of attack even if it failed or was foiled. Every attack that was actually completed is listed on Wikipedia and was also widely covered by the media. But even that is not good enough for you now, is it?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: 5 dead in Vienna attack; assailant had previous conviction See in context

Some new information the police released on their twitter

3 deceased (2 male, 1 female)

15 severely injured persons, among them is an officer of the Vienna PD

The assault was carried out by at least one suspect who was shot and killed by officers

The assault is considered to have an islamistic motive

The suspect was armed with an assault rifle, among other handguns

The suspect was appearing to wear an explosive vest which turned out to be a dummy

The suspect's apartment has been opened by SWAT and searched

The sighting and evaluation of the numberous video footage is happening at the moment

That is all we have so far. Apparently they are still looking for further suspects so that's why they say at least one. They also have not released what exactly the islamistic motive was or any further information on the suspect.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 5 dead in Vienna attack; assailant had previous conviction See in context

Oskar Deutsch, the head of the Jewish community in Vienna, said that the shooting took place outside the city’s main synagogue but that it wasn’t clear whether the house of worship had been targeted. The synagogue was closed at the time, he tweeted.

That is also what other sources say. Why the headline of this article is '2 dead, 15 wounded in shooting near Vienna synagogue', I don't know. The articles on the same topic by AP on other websites are mostly the same and called '2 dead, 15 wounded in Vienna terror attack, authorities say' for example.

Especially when you consider that the police even asks people not to start any rumours, accusations, speculations or unconfirmed numbers of victims, I see no reason to mention the synagogue in the headline at all. So far we only know that it was in fact closed at the time and near one of six shooting locations.

The police will also post confirmed news on their twitter account

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: COVID-19 patients infect half of household: U.S. gov't study See in context

Latest CDC stats - Updated Infection Fatality - Survival Rates for COVID19:

Why leave out this part?

The scenarios are intended to advance public health preparedness and planning. They are not predictions or estimates of the expected impact of COVID-19. The parameter values in each scenario will be updated and augmented over time, as we learn more about the epidemiology of COVID-19. Additional parameter values might be added in the future (e.g., population density, household transmission, and/or race and ethnicity).

Or concerning the infection fatality rate you listed

These estimates are based on age-specific estimates of infection fatality ratios from Hauser, A., Counotte, M.J., Margossian, C.C., Konstantinoudis, G., Low, N., Althaus, C.L. and Riou, J., 2020. Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 mortality during the early stages of an epidemic: a modeling study in Hubei, China, and six regions in Europe. PLoS medicine17(7), p.e1003189. Hauser et al. produced estimates of IFR for 10-year age bands from 0 to 80+ year old for 6 regions in Europe. Estimates exclude infection fatality ratios from Hubei, China, because we assumed infection and case ascertainment from the 6 European regions are more likely to reflect ascertainment in the U.S. To obtain the best estimate values, the point estimates of IFR by age were averaged to broader age groups for each of the 6 European regions using weights based on the age distribution of reported cases from COVID-19 Case Surveillance Public Use Data ( The estimates for persons ≥70 years old presented here do not include persons ≥80 years old as IFR estimates from Hauser et al., assumed that 100% of infections among persons ≥80 years old were reported. The consolidated age estimates were then averaged across the 6 European regions. The lower bound estimate is the lowest, non-zero point estimate across the six regions, while the upper bound is the highest point estimate across the six regions.

The infection fatality rate is actually a parameter for said scenario 5, as are a R0 of 2.5, Percent of infections that are asymptomatic of 40%, Infectiousness of asymptomatic individuals relative to symptomatic of 75% and Percentage of transmission occurring prior to symptom onset of 50%. But again, those are just parameters for a scenario that are estimates themselves. The table that lists all those parameters does not come with a survival rate either. Unless you used another table on the website of the CDC, you really shouldn't add or leave out information to make a point.

Just for "fun" some other numbers directly from the CDC. They don't provide data for all cases though so it's not absolutely accurate. For instance the data on the age group of cases is only for 7.073.144 cases and they only have data for 99% of those. That means that there is currently no data concerning age groups for about 2.109.484 of the 9.182.628 cases on the website of the CDC. It's the same for the deaths in each age group. There are now 230.383 deaths but the data is only for 172.107 deaths and there is only data available for 99% of those. Since those are just the numbers of part of the known cases they will differ from the estimates for obvious reasons.

0-4: 120.331 cases/ 38 deaths: 0.032% died, 99.968% survived

5-17: 519.533 cases/ 70 deaths: 0.013% died, 99.987% survived

18-29: 1.686.149 cases/ 906 deaths: 0.054% died, 99.946% survived

30-39: 1.167.267 cases/ 2.246 deaths: 0.192% died, 99.808% survived

40-49: 1.071.989 cases/ 5.341 deaths: 0.498% died, 99.502% survived

50-64: 1.449.537 cases/ 26.268 deaths: 1.812 died, 98.188% survived

65-74: 538.010 cases/ 36.111 deaths: 6.712% died, 93.288% survived

75-84: 301.859 cases/ 45.766 deaths: 15.161% died, 84.839% survived

85+: 205.412 cases/ 55.347 deaths: 26.944% died, 73.056% survived

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Police arrest suspect in medieval clothing after fatal stabbings in Quebec City See in context

Another Religious based attack ?

If so, I wont be surprised to see some calling for the whole lot to be deported back to whence they came/belong. Since obeying cries from Religious leaders to go out and Kill persons in a certain Modern day Society does not belong in here, so if you wish to live in a backward lifestyle, go ahead, go back and live there, but please, not amongst the rest of us.

Man charged with 2 counts of 1st-degree murder after Halloween sword attack in Quebec City

( )

Quebec City ​police Chief Robert Pigeon said during a news conference Sunday morning that the man came to the capital "with the intention of doing the most damage possible."

Pigeon said that "everything leads us to believe he chose his victims at random," adding that he believes the crime was premeditated.

He said the police investigation has found that the accused is not associated with any terror group.


The police chief said Girouard does not have a criminal record, but he did reveal five years ago in a "medical context" that he wanted to commit a violent act.

Pigeon said police currently have no reason to believe the attack was motivated by religious or political reasons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Split couples getting back together again as virus makes it hard to meet new people See in context

There is usually a reason why you break up. Under different circumstances it may be fine to give it a second try. If things end on good terms because it just didn't work, there was no bad blood and you had the time to find a solution for the issue? Yes, then I think it's absolutely fine. But just getting back together after you've not even talked with each other for a year just because it seems convenient? What makes you think that things will be different this time around? Why would you suddenly get along when that wasn't the case before and you never talked about it prior to and after breaking up? What when the whole situation is over? Will things just magically start working out and you'll stay together?

To me that Ozawa guy seems like a convenient tool for his ex. She can get away from her current boyfriend (who is no good now for whatever reason) and gain someone who'll help her financially when she lost her job. It would be a different story were she financially independent and they actually worked things out prior to her coming back but with the current situation that just seems way too convenient...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and YouTube have too much control over what people see and read? See in context

Yes and no, although I rather tend to no. Yes, they'll show what will likely keep people on their website. But ultimately it is the user's choice not to look for information at some other place. It is not like people don't have other options and if they choose not to use other sources then they are at least as much at fault as the big companies. If people were actively looking for other sources, it would be far less an issue what all the tech giants are doing in that respect.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 185 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 614 See in context

Do you know how many test was conducted in the UK and how many in Japan ? It is nice to know.

Japan - UK

10/14: 25,495 - 295,690

10/15: 23,934 - 304,315

10/16: 23,031 - 312,178

10/17: 18,934 - 308,416

10/18: 8,871 - 306,893

10/19: 17,557 - 260,338

10/20: 17,934 - 279,996

As you can see the UK only tests slightly more than Japan. ;)

While more tests would give a more accurate picture of the situation in Japan, it does not necessarily mean that it would hit numbers like the UK. We also don't know how many people without symptoms are among those tested positive for either country for example (I wish every country would also report the severity of each case...). So I hope people keep such things in mind and that comparing countries just by their numbers isn't that easy. If all 614 cases in Japan had symptoms for example but only about 1,000 out of the 26,688 cases in the UK, then the UK would still do worse but not as the numbers would suggest. Of course that goes both ways and makes comparisons difficult without more detailed data.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 78 new coronavirus cases See in context

The total number of deaths in Japan, from January to July, are less than for the same period last year.

Unfortunately that doesn't mean anything at all. The same goes for other countries and shows that any claims that a decrease in overall death shows something is moot. Germany saw in the same period this year less death than in 2017, 2018 and 2019. So while the claim comes up every now and then on here, just because there were less death than the year before doesn't mean anything. I've actually illustrated that before with data from a few countries. People from both sides can make claims all day long but in reality those are just assumptions made largely based on people's views as we have seen here multiple times.

May's breakdown by cause of death shows that up until that month, the greatest drop was seen in patients dying of respiratory illnesses, at 9,066 fewer deaths. Among them, influenza deaths had fallen by 2,270 people, and pneumonia by 5,863.

Yes, I would expect that considering influenza cases were low at the start of the year and steadily going down reaching less than 40% in early February per week. So instead of almost 130k new cases per week in early February last year there were about 45k. As far as I know that also holds true for the time after February (probably to a smaller extent though) and explains why the numbers are lower.

One Japan isn't hiding deaths as some have claimed or putting corona deaths down to influenza.

Some may have claimed that, sure. I merely question the accuracy of the official numbers. Tokyo had an excess of people that died from flu-like ilnesses under such circumstances starting in February for example (excess of 50-60 per week for 5 weeks starting mid February; numbers taken from a news article from May on The Nikkei so numbers for later dates were not available).

Unlike the overall drop in deaths can be explained in some way, there is no explanation why the numbers for Tokyo went up starting mid February under such circumstances though (for a time frame of five weeks at least). Considering that the seasonal flu has an estimated mortality rate of 0.1%, a big increase in cases in Tokyo would have been necessary. When usually 1 in 1000 cases lead to a death you would expect around 50-60k additional cases per week in Tokyo. In face of a lack of such an increase, I think it is absolutely fine to question Japan's official numbers. No, that does not mean that people should come up with some conspiracy theories but there are valid reasons for people to be to not believe them.

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Posted in: European nations revive curfews, lockdowns amid growth in virus See in context

With new cases hitting about 100,000 daily, Europe has by a wide margin overtaken the United States, where more than 51,000 COVID-19 infections are reported on average every day.

So much for testing as the key to containing the virus.

You do realize that they are talking about Europe with a population of about 746 million and not the European Union with about 447 million people? In Europe and within the EU you will find different apporaches and policies in most countries. The daily life in France is different from the daily life in Portugal which again is different from the daily life in Finland and so on. Some places will do better and some will do worse. You rarely hear how many places outside the EU approach the pandemic though, so that is important to keep in mind. How often do you read an article on the policies in places like Monaco or Liechtenstein? Just adding them all together will also do injustice to some while it makes other look slightly better. Yes, that is probably also the case in the US where there will be differences among the states and their policies. Some places will do far better than the average while others will do far worse.

When you look at the figures from October 14th, the US had 52,517 new cases while the had EU 64,754. This translates to about 0.160 new cases per 1000 people in the US vs . 0.145/1000 in the EU. The four countries with the most new cases in the EU, the Czech Republic (8,326), France (12,993), the Netherlands (7,368) and Spain (7,118) made up 55.3% off all the cases while they only make up 31.6% of the population.

Going by the numbers mentioned in the article, they are probably working with the numbers from October 7th to 12th though. If you take other dates the numbers won't add up. The average per day would mean about 50,665.7 cases per day for the US (0.154/1000), 68,394.7 in the EU (0.153/1000) and 103,932.8 in Europe (0.139/1000). Why they only chose a period of 6 days I do not know. The time frame coincides with a rise in cases in Europe and the EU and stops before the 13th where both Europe and the EU saw a drop in cases. If you were to add either the 6th or the 13th for a whole week, all three (US, EU and Europe) would see a drop of the average. In the EU for example that would mean an average of 65,650.4(0.147/1000) in case of the 6th or 65,768.2(= 0.147/1000) if you add the 13th in comparison to the 68,394.7 cases from the 6-day time frame. The Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands and Spain together sat at 0.283/1000 daily cases in that 6-day timeframe and made up 58.5% of the cases in the EU. In the rest of the EU with about 306 million people there were 170,437 registered cases in the same time frame, which translates to 0.093/1000 cases per day. This shows how it is important to look at the single countries or states and not group them together. Just by excluding the four biggest offenders I made some of the other countries look far better that also have an average above 0.093/1000. If numbers in France go up we have to look at what France is doing and what is going wrong. The same goes obviously for every country. But it does not mean that other countries that have done well and kept the numbers down are suddenly doing worse just because they are part of Europe and the numbers in Europe are considerably rising.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 1,805 suicides reported in Japan in September See in context

I don’t think people are saying that.

Are you sure? A highly upvoted comment says something along the lines.

That's even more in just a month than the reported death by the COVID in Japan (so far 1631, probably underestimated but anyway...). Just think about it. This actually illustrates so well that over-reacting to a threat can produce a worse outcome than the threat itself.

The total number of deaths (including the deaths from influenza and other medical conditions) is lower year-on-year but we still have an increase in the number of suicides during the pandemic. Which comes to show that the increase might have something to do with the continuity of frightening news about the virus in media and social networks.

Actually the deaths from influenza are likely down since there were a lot less cases. In early February it was down by more than 60% compared to the years before in Japan (about 45k new cases per week vs about 129k). Tokyo still had an excess of people that died of flu-like ilnesses (50-60 per week for 5 weeks starting mid February; those numbers are from a news report from May so numbers for later dates were not available). Total numbers unfortunately rarely tell the whole story.

Also, like I said before, suicides were down by 20% early during the pandemic. If the overall number has gone up I don't know. I absolutely think that the pandemic has had an impact, I merely question if it was as big as some people make it out to be. It is quite important to analyze why people decided to commit suicide. I wouldn't be surprised if the pandemit was in fact the last straw that broke the camel's back in many cases but that also means that there was probably already something amiss. By focusing too much on the pandemic as a cause people seem to lose sight of the many other factors that lead to suicides. Those factors were around before the pandemic started and will still be around once the pandemic is over. So while the numbers will likely fall again the underlying issue will likely still be there.

Obviously everything should be done to keep the number of suicides down as much as possible, but it's not a scenario where only one of the two groups can be saved and we have to choose.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: 1,805 suicides reported in Japan in September See in context

It is actually quite amazing (or should I say shocking?) how people are unable to read those numbers. While the virus will without a doubt have an impact on the number of suicides, there would still be suicides even without the virus around. People did commit suicide even when the virus wasn't around, so why would it be the reason for all suicides now? We don't have much data to go with apart from an increase of 143 or 8.6% compared to the year before. Without more information there is no way to say if there would have been a decrease or even an increase in cases. We saw a drop of 20% in April for instance. By the same logic some display here the virus was also the reason less people committed suicide in April then...

The thing is, we don't have any idea how many people exactly did commit suicide because of the pandemic. It could be the 143 more compared to the year before. It could be more and it could be less. We also don't know if and how many people were saved by taking measures (or rather non-measures) to stop the spread. What if in the same time frame 200 or 300 people have been saved by the measures. Would you still think it was a dumb idea then?

The only thing for certain here is that there was an increase in suicides. Discussing why there was an increase and how big the impact of the virus and the measures was is fine. But going on like all suicides are down to the virus and associated measures is, sorry to put it this way, quite dumb.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan's cumulative total of coronavirus infections tops 90,000 See in context

Nihonview, you would do well to refer to sources that at least have accurate data. Worldometers is not such a site and many of the numbers there are quite different from the official numbers provided by the different countries. There are better sources like Our World in Data where you will actually find the official numbers but they are not presented in tables.

It's not helping that you keep listing numbers without any context either. There are so many factors in play that make it impossible to really compare Japan to any other country you listed since both testing and tracing policy differ. It is also not helping that Japan's level of testing is on the level of Zambia (0.14/1000 people per day vs Japan's 0.15/1000). Japan is even behind such "wealthy" countries like Rwanda (0.18) or Namibia (0.42).

Of the countries you listed, most let anyone get tested. Japan on the other hand focuses on those that show symptoms. Many of the asymptomatic cases that get tested in other countries and test positive never would get tested in Japan. Most also trace and test in every case that comes up. Only the US and the UK have limited tracing like Japan (although the degree may differ). In Tokyo for example around 50% of the cases have been of an unknown route of infection most of the time.

When other places test 6.9 times (Germany for instance) or more than you do, it's likely that they will find more cases (especially since they trace in every case and even asymptomatic people will get tested). When the numbers of other places are high (people with symptoms + asymptomatic people) while your's are low (mostly symptomatic people), then how do you compare that? I've not had the time to analyze newer numbers (unfortunately most countries release their numbers differently, so it's a pain to compile) but at least from mid August to mid September Japan did far less testing than Germany for instance, had less cases, but more people died on a weekly basis. Just having less cases is not a good way to compare places. The lack of testing early on (granted it is not that much better now) also means that the number of death may be skewed. The Nikkei ( had a report in May on an excess of people that died in Tokyo from flu-like ilnesses of about 50-60 per week for 5 weeks starting from mid February. That's as far as the data reached at that time. In that time frame flu cases were even down by over 60% in Japan (44,737 vs 129,989 in the same week the year before) and had already been falling before for quite some time. So there you have a few hundred more in Tokyo that might have died in relation to COVID-19. But a lack of testing won't tell us if it is a coincidence or not. So if someone were to ask me if Japan is doing just fine or actually worse than it appears, I'd have to say that I don't know. I'll refrain from making any assessment in either direction when it comes to Japan. Japan is doing things her own way and that is fine. But that also means that it's not exactly possible to compare her number to those of other countries. There are quite a few other countries as well that do their own thing (like Russia for instance) and I'd refrain from comparing those to other countries also, so it is not just Japan.

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Posted in: LDP lawmaker apologizes for saying 'women lie' about sexual assaults See in context

The issue with the statement itself is that it comes from Sugita. The article already gave such an example. Calling couples unproductive since they can't bear children (because of their sexual orientation) and therefore are not worth taxpayer investment. Or saying that there were clear errors on Shiori Itō's part since she drank alcohol with that guy. Oh, she apparently also laughed at an illustration with a woman with the likeness of Itō that also read "failure at sleeping around for business". Apparently since it's again something she denies doing.

If any other person said that women lie when it comes to sexual assault, you could give them the benefit of doubt. But a person that repeatedly says such stuff and alwasy ends up apologizing (often because it she was misunderstood and so on) does not deserve this. Considering that it was during a briefing about caring for the victims of violence and sexual violence against women says a lot. She is right that there are some women that lie about sexual assault and rape. Yes, it is important to talk about it. It has a negative effect on both real victims and falsely accused, since it damages the credibility of the former and can destroy the life of the latter. But there is a time and place to talk about it and a briefing where you talk about actual victims is certainly not the right place nor the right time for it...

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Posted in: Nearly 36,000 Japanese firms shut down business due to COVID-19 See in context

The number of companies that discontinued business stood at 35,816 from January through August, up 23.9% from the same period of the previous year, according to the report.

That means that roughly 28,907 businesses did close in the same time frame last year and the number went up by about 6,909. Kind of shocking to read that kind of sensationalism from an article by Reuters. Even if most have named COVID-19 as the reason, I doubt that it was really the reason for every closure when almost 29,000 closed down last year when there was no virus around. That does not mean that the virus did not have a great impact, but to me it is kind of dishonest to attribute it all to the virus. We have no idea to what extent other factors like the tax increase affected those businesses either.

Like SPRING said, it's always (ok there are exeptions) a sad thing when a business has to close down though since people will lose their job. I hope those people will soon find a new one.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 88 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 331 See in context

Got it, you don't feel like actually providing any arguments for your claims and don't want to talk about anything others have actually contributed to the discussion either. That's fine, but it'd be nice if you would at least stop calling others complainers or armchair analysts just because they disagree with your view.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 88 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 331 See in context

After 9 months of low deaths, low hospitalization and generally low infringements on freedoms people are still complaining about testing numbers.

Enough already

Mid February to mid March there were an additional 50-60 death per week with flu-like illnesses including pneumonia in Tokyo alone. Shortly before the influenza cases in Japan were down by over 60% and had been falling for some time. And even around that time the flu cases were way down compared to the flu seasons the five years before. You know, more tests would have told us if that has anything to do with the virus. Oh, same with the 1000 extra deaths Tokyo saw in April. Those deaths don't necessarily have anything to do with corona, but without tests you won't know. Also Germany as well as England and Wales had a drop in deaths compared to the years before at times while they registered corona deaths. Low testing means we have no idea how accurate those numbers are. Not tracing every case means that there is always the risk of a preventable spread of the virus somewhere else. When other countries test around 7 times as much per week and see less deaths while discovering more cases, then there is also an issue.

There have been several users like Tobias J Gibson that provide interesting information on many occasions. Many more people have pointed out why testing is important. Heck, even a database that is regularly cited in academic scientific journals says 'Limited testing and challenges in the attribution of the cause of death means that the number of confirmed deaths may not be an accurate count of the true number of deaths from COVID-19.'. It is fine if you think that only barely testing is fine, but instead of labeling others as complainers you could actually join the discussion and argue your point of view.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 88 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 331 See in context

Japan and Sweden are two shining examples of how adults handle a crisis.

Sweden: 580.74 deaths per million people; its neighbours Norway(49.25), Finland (61.54) and Denmark (110.49)

I don't know, but doesn't seem that great to me. All those countries have far less deaths (Denmark: 640, Finland: 341, Norway: 267) than Sweden (5,865). Denmark and Norway also trace every case, so they are more likely to find people without symptoms. And if those die, they still count. Finland like Sweden only traces some of the cases.

Japan week 33-37: 773,376 tests, 26,771 cases, 395; Germany same timeframe: 5,220,909 tests, 43,189 cases, 153 deaths

So in those 5 weeks Japan did conduct 4,447,533 less, had 16,418 less cases (remember symptoms are a prerequisite for being tested and they only do limited tracing), but saw 242 more deaths. People always say that the variant of corona in Europe is more lethal, yet Japan has had more deaths despite less cases vor weeks? Oh, since there are no final numbers for the number of tests conducted for week 38 I left it out, but Japan saw again more deaths than Germany. Germany unlike Japan traces every case and will find more asymptomatic cases, while Japan does only limited tracing like Finland and Sweden. Since even asymptomatic people that die are counted (people that died in accidants, had heart attacks,...), it makes quite a difference if they hunt down every case or not. Yes, that also means that a person that dies in a road accident that tested positive will be counted, although the probability is so low that it shouldn't be significant (deaths from road accidents have ranged from 159 to 256 per month in Germany this year for example; it is highly unlikely that the majority of those tested positive before their death and their death would impact on the overall picture). Yes, the deaths in most country will also include people that died of other reasons. But even if the virus was not the main cause, it may very well have contributed to their death though. Only research will show what impact the virus had in the end.

In one study they examined the cardiac MRIs of 100 people that had recovered and 78 had cardiovascular involvement irrespective of preexisting conditions. Those weren't all cases with severe symptoms though. 18 had no symptoms and 49 showed minor to mild symptoms. 33 were severely unwell and needed hospitalization and 2 of those underwent mechanical ventilation and another 17 underwent noninvasive ventilation. Of course the study has its limitations but its findings are nontheless interesting.

Outcomes of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients Recently Recovered From Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):

Taken together, we demonstrate cardiac involvement in 78 patients (78%) and ongoing myocardial inflammation in 60 patients (60%) with recent COVID-19 illness, independent of preexisting conditions, severity and overall course of the acute illness, and the time from the original diagnosis. These findings indicate the need for ongoing investigation of the long-term cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19.

Catching people without symptoms is insofar important that they can pass the virus on to others, but the virus may even cause damage to them. There was also an article some time ago that the virus was appartently able to pass the blood–brain barrier.

In the worst case (that the virus actually doesn't cause much damage) more testing will give you data that lets you analyze how a highly infectious would spread, which is already a huge gain.

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Posted in: Number of suicides among Japanese jumps in August See in context


Yet somehow less than 6% of the people that died in France by August 13 were obese (about 21% of the adult population of France can be considered obese). The Agence nationale de santé publique releases a document called Point épidémiologique hebdomadaire with the French numbers concerning corona every now and then including numbers to comorbidities. In all age groups ,apart from those aged 0-14, around 30% of the people that died had no or no known underlying health conditions (15-44: 34%, 45-64: 29%, 65-74: 33%, 75+: 35%). And among those that actually had at least one (7455 cases by August 13) , only 6% (444) were obese (or 3.9% overall). More people that died were actually suffering from diabetes (16%). Almost all other comorbidities were more common (respiratory system: 13%, diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels: 34%, hypertension: 25%, neurological conditions: 9%, renal illnesses: 12%). Immunodeficiency was the only comorbidity that occured less (2%) than obesity. Yes, most likely there were far less without underlying conditions but obesity is not something anyone would miss.

With most western countries have obesity rates nearing and even surpassing 30% that put a lot in the high risk category.

That's weird. When you look at those 18 and over in the EU, no country get's even near the 30% for women. Malta with the highest rate was sitting around 24% in 2014 (newer official numbers will likely be released next year). For men only Malta got near the 30% but was still below it. Most other countries were around 20%. Still higher than Japan but the obesity rates are nowhere near what you are claiming. Even with the numbers from the WHO from 2015, not a single country surpasses the 30%. Sure there the UK reached 28.1% and there are some other countries that got near the mid 20s, but most were sitting around 20 to 24% which is again a far cry from what you claimed. So please instead of saying western countries, name the countries you're talking about and also give the numbers.

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Posted in: Number of suicides among Japanese jumps in August See in context

For the past decade, Japan has seen a drop of number of suicides annually. There is a likelihood it will rise significantly for year 2020, no thanks to the merciless and torturous Covid outbreak and the continual relentless spread...

The thing is that Japan saw a drop of 20% in suicides in April. So we'll actually have to wait and see how it pans out. If we're lucky (obviously 0 suicides would be far better) it is only that people postponed their suicide and the numbers keep falling overall like the years before.

This single month figure easily outnumbers the whole corona-related deaths (1,495 since February of this year).

Outnumbers the registered corona-related deaths. In Tokyo from mid February to mid March there were an excess of 50-60 people that died from flu-like ilnesses (including pneumonia) while the cases of influenza in Japan were down by over 60%. Just like in every other country there are likely missed cases and we don't know to which extent. Like Mr Kipling pointed out there may also have been far more deaths without any actions. It will take quite a while until we'll have a general idea of that though. So we'll have to see if the medicine was actually worse than the virus. Also every unnecessary death is bad. Just because more people die because of another reason, we should not try to avoid other things that lead to people's death.

The only thing we really know is that there have been an extra 246 suicides. There is no way of knowing if the overall number would have gone up anyway or if it would have gone down. if there was no corona around In my opinion it is quite likely that there have been many (or even a lot of) cases where the virus and what accompanied it (businesses closing down, people losing their jobs,...) will ultimately be the reason why people made this choice. We don't know how many of those were already contemplating commiting suicide and would have done so in the end anyway for other reasons. Obviously there will also be cases where people considered it before but would not have done it without corona around. The latter and those that have never even considered commiting suicide before corona are the real problem. If there was no corona, those could still be alive. But we don't know how many those are.

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Posted in: Do you think employers should be required to tell workers when someone in the workplace has tested positive for the coronavirus? See in context

Everybody here, who works in a japanese company knows that a japanese Guy will never stay away home from work for 2 weeks because he or she is sick.

That in itself is an issue though. And it is unfortunately not something I'll ever understand. It's fine if it's just a cold or something else trivial but otherwise people should stay home. Why take the risk to infect other people with wathever you may have? It is especially important at times like we have now. If I have to choose between working some more and getting sick, I'd go with the former and that has nothing to do with corona.

So yes, a company should absolutely tell their employees if someone tested positive. Unfortunately there is already bullying at some work places, like kyushubill pointed out and things could get out of hand. In order to avoid that just don't name the person and make sure everyone is informed, so that appropriate steps can be taken.

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