Nihon Tora comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 3,317 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 31,457 See in context

Not convinced that the masks are doing that much with these latest variants - over in Korea, they did a good job, better than Japan before Omicron came along, and despite everyone wearing masks the same as they do here some 1/3rd of the population had tested positive in the space of three months, and with the positivity rate in testing reaching a massive 65%, it is unlikely that even with the high rate of testing over there that they caught all of the cases. If Japan has done any better with it (and we don't really know if we have due to the lack of testing) then it is likely due to other reasons than mask wearing.

I say that as someone who was enthusiastic about masks in the earlier stages of the pandemic, I wore mine diligently and I was happy to be in a country where wearing a mask or otherwise wasn't a political statement.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 3,464 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 35,922 See in context

So reassuring that the increase in people hospitalized with severe symptoms in Tokyo was 0% today. Yesterday’s 50% increase was very alarming!

Indeed. But don't forget the 330,000 hospitalized in Japan according to that "reliable" source of information that posts that figure on here every day - that's more than the people hospitalized in the UK and US combined at the very peaks of the pandemic! Stay safe everyone!

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Posted in: Masks outside not needed when not chatting: gov't panel See in context

I think people here will actually have to be told they’re not allowed to wear them before they stop!

18 ( +23 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan to allow 20,000 daily international arrivals from June See in context

It’s just politics. If they lift all the restrictions and cases go up, their opponents will say the made a mistake lifting the restrictions - even though the case increase almost certainly had nothing to do with it. It’s risky politically. If they gradually ease restrictions over several months, there is no political risk - it doesn’t affect the vast majority of Japanese people - they can come and go as they please, the foreigners living here have no say politically and tourism only accounts for a small percentage of GDP. It’s not about risks from COVID it’s about political risk.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,355 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 42,161 See in context

The majority of people in Japan have probably already had COVID (mainly Omicron and later) without realizing and actually have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, because nobody gets tested, they are instead terrified, cowering behind masks and border controls, from a disease that they’ve already had and recovered from.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Posted in: Man mistakenly sent ¥46.3 mil in COVID funds gambles it all away See in context

The story that just keeps giving! Hilarious!

Oh well, it's a drop in the ocean really - how much was wasted on Abe-no-masks for example? You could go on forever about how much of our tax yen is frittered away.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to trial small group tours from 4 countries See in context

At this point this is all about the large majority of LDP voters being misinformed/xenophobic/racist and the LDP is fully ready to sacrifice the Japanese tourism industry to get their votes. 

I think this is about right - a combination of people being misinformed/xenophobic and even racist. I'm not sure how many Japanese actively dislike foreigners, but I do think there are an awful lot that just think Japanese and Japanese culture are somehow superior to foreigners and foreign cultures. We get this in other countries of course, but here it seem to be actively encouraged from the very top, as exemplified by Finance minister, Taro Aso, stating that he thinks Japan's success in controlling the early stages of the pandemic was due to "mindo".

These rules are not just affecting tourism. We who live here are basically separated form our families. I can't easily travel, taking my small children and risking having to go through all the nonsense of testing multiple times, form filling and possibly ending up quarantined in a hotel for days on end with my kids like happened to a friend of mine. My father has yet to meet his grandchildren, and my mother has yet to meet one of them, still with no end of it all in sight - all with no real scientific justification whatsoever. I'm sure the Japanese xenophobes will no doubt say something along the lines of "well if you don't like it, go home!". Well that's not so easy, our jobs and careers are here and many of us have been here for a long time - this is home for us. It's not a simple thing to just go back to where we are from.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to trial small group tours from 4 countries See in context

In the U.S., the CDC estimates 75% of kids and 60% of everyone else had COVID by February. I'm sure the numbers are higher now and Japan is probably in a similar situation. Not sure what good requiring triple vaxxed tourists, twice tested, is going to do.

Japan can keep its borders restricted as long as it wants, but they look silly tying it to health concerns when the rest of the world is wide open.

Absolutely spot on.

You only have to look at the country next door, Korea, where they had even better vaccination and booster rates, similar mask wearing, more restrictions generally and managed to control the virus generally better than Japan did. Until omicron hit and within the space of three months, about 1/3 rd of the population tested positive - even there, it is unlikely they caught all or even most of the cases. We saw a similar rise in cases here when omicron hit, but after a week or two, they said they would have to restrict testing as they didn’t have enough tests to cope, so for the next two months the cases leveled off at around 50,000 per day. In reality of course, it probably reached 10 or even 20 times that number. The simple fact is that a large swathe of the population here, even perhaps, the majority, have already had COVID and have absolutely nothing to worry about.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan to trial small group tours from 4 countries See in context

Just forget about vaccines and testing and everything - we probably had 1/3rd of the population infected here in the past 3 months alone, just like they did in Korea. None of it is going to make the slightest bit of difference whatsoever.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,377 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 21,784 See in context

@steven McCarthy

maybe you had gone to bed last night and missed it, but we established that the 300,000+ figure you quoted was active cases, not hospitalizations. The figure includes the vast majority of people who tested positive who are recovering at home with mild symptoms.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 3,799 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 39,416 See in context

Whether the government has the power to lockdown the country or not, it simply shouldn't happen. It's completely unnecessary. You could make the argument for it when we were in the situation we were two years back when we were worried about hospitals becoming completely overwhelmed, but we are nowhere close to such a situation now. The virus should just be allowed to run its natural course. This is not a radical opinion - the vast majority of the civilized world have now accepted this and there is only the likes of China (which has managed to corner itself by trying to tell its people that they have controlled it so well because totalitarian government is so much more superior to liberal democracy), and Japan with its extreme border controls plus a few posters on here that are now the radical outliers.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,109 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 39,647 See in context

Fair enough, Steven, more deaths. But I mentioned case-fatality ratio - we've had a very large number of cases in a very short space of time, especially with the Omicron variant (I would suggest the real figure is maybe 5-10 times the actual number tested positive due to lack of testing). Way, way more people will have been infected with omicron than you would normally see infected with the flu at the peak of even a bad flu season, that's why we've seen a lot of people die of it in a short period, even though the case-fatality ratio is probably similar to flu. Now that a lot of people have had it, we'll see the rate of spread dropping, and also the number of fatalities decreasing (both have gone down a lot in the last few weeks). Obviously the earlier variants hitting a population with no immunity were much more dangerous with significantly higher case-fatality ratio than the flu. Long covid is still a concern, but I don't agree with you that getting everyone to lockdown and so on is going to be a path to normalcy in this respect - as soon as you lift those restrictions, the cases will go right back up again and we'll be right back to square one. Flattening the curve, was a legitimate strategy when we were trying to keep numbers down to prevent the healthcare services from being overwhelmed - it was never meant to reduce the number of cases overall, only to spread them out over a longer time period so that hospitals could cope - I that point was lost on most people. We are no longer in danger of hospitals being overwhelmed, unless the unlikely scenario of a more deadly variant emerges.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,109 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 39,647 See in context

Case-fatality ratio is now on par with the common flu, maybe a bit higher, maybe a bit lower, but on the same order of magnitude and dropping all the time. If you had no problems going about your normal life each winter without wearing a mask, then there’s not much reason to not do the same now. Many people will have had it without even realizing it anyway. Time to stop worrying about it and get on with life imo.

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

Posted in: World's biggest YouTuber PewDiePie moves to Japan See in context

when he lodges his first Japan tax return and gets the bill. 55% tax rate for high income earners

He's moving here from the UK - the tax is no worse here than it is there.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: World's biggest YouTuber PewDiePie moves to Japan See in context

I imagine he is going to be going for easy content that all the other foreign YouTubers in Japan have already done. Abroad in Japan for example has probably done "Conbini food" , "Riding the Shinkansen" or "Tour of my house" several times already, as have others, but when you have more subscribers, you can do the same things that have already been done and for many, its the first time people have seen it. So if I were PewDiePie, I'd just look at all of Chris Broad's uploads and do the same thing. Lame.

His stuff is nothing like Chris Broad's - he has his formula that has been more successful than pretty much anything and if I were him I'd just stick with that. I imagine he's moved to Japan because it seems to him like a nice place to live, not because he wants to make Japan-themed youtube content.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: World's biggest YouTuber PewDiePie moves to Japan See in context

Japan is a peaceful society and has no room for those who are anti-Semitic or anti anything, soon he will find out that their is no room here for this kind of behavior.

A real addition to the foreign community in Japan it seems...(sigh)

Do you even know anything about him? He's not anti-semitic in the slightest - the only reason he attracted any controversy is because a bunch of radical left-progressive Twitter activist types don't have a sense of humour and cannot understand context.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture sues after ¥46.3 mil subsidy mix-up See in context

Ok I get your point about jail and the amount being not worth it.

But sorry Mr. Money bags ¥46 million is definitely life changing for most people.

For one thing my mortgage is gone as would nearly everyone I know, the rest would buy a house.

It's a fair point - it would buy you a lot out in the countryside where this occurred. In Tokyo, you'd be lucky to get a pokey old 1DK! What I meant was, even if he could pay off a mortgage or buy a house, it's not like he'll be able to retire in a life of luxury, which is really what you'd need to justify spending any time in prison, and likely pretty much unemployable when you got out.

Did you happen to notice there has been no mention whatsoever of the prosecutor getting involved? It's a civil case, not criminal.

I think I noticed after I posted! Not sure why they can't treat it as a criminal case - it seems to me that a crime has been committed after all! But then I'm no expert in Japanese law!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture sues after ¥46.3 mil subsidy mix-up See in context

I wonder what on earth he has done with it? Transferred it abroad somewhere? Bought a load of bitcoin? Took it out and hid it under his bed? Or, as I suspect, just blew the whole lot on pachinko!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Town in Yamaguchi Prefecture sues after ¥46.3 mil subsidy mix-up See in context

I think you can be looking at up to 10 years imprisonment with hard labor for either theft or fraud here. No doubt the prosecutor will push for the maximum. Hardly seems worth it for what is not really a life-changing amount of cash these days.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily foreign arrivals in June See in context

There is no science involved in any of this

So what would be scientific to you, opening suddenly without quota or restrictions?

I dunno, how about, simply checking out the many countries that have opened their borders already, only for it to make no difference? How about listening to the WHO who said two months ago that border restrictions were ineffective at this point? How about taking the 50,000+ daily cases here for the last three months and then multiplying that number by 5 or 10 to realize that we've already probably had 20 to 30% of the population infected here this year alone - just like they did over in Korea, a country where they similarly wear masks religiously, have even better vaccination rate and probably similar genetic make-up to here and where they actually did enough testing to show it. How about just using some simple common sense to realize that if your border restrictions only apply to foreigners, and you have almost no restrictions domestically, it isn't going to make any real difference when you have a virus that transmits as rapidly as measles. So, yes, I think that opening without quota or restrictions is well overdue.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily foreign arrivals in June See in context

There is no science involved in any of this. It is purely about politics - pandering to the xenophobic LDP voter base and trying to make an impression that the government is “doing something” and that they’re carefully controlling everything in stages. The border restrictions are having next to zero effect in the grand scheme of things.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

Posted in: Sometimes we overdo it, such as wearing masks all day because we are afraid of what other people think. I think we should review our mask-wearing measures for times when masks are unnecessary. See in context

50,000 cases a day for the last 3 months - multiply that by 5-10 to get something closer to the real figure (I keep saying that, does anyone disagree? I think it's a reasonable assumption considering the amount of testing going on) - and that's with pretty much 100% of the population wearing masks out in public at all times. It seems to me that the masks are doing next to nothing at this point. The latest variants are just too transmissible for them to be effective.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: Gov't eyes extending education subsidies to middle class in Japan See in context

Rather than some of the population having to pay for the education of others children?

Everybody benefits from having educated people in society - ever been to see a doctor? University educated. How do you know the building you are in won’t fall down in an earthquake? Well, the university-educated structural engineer made sure of it, etc. etc. As a tax payer, you can argue that you don’t want to pay for others education, it’s a fair opinion. But if we don’t, then fewer people will get those degrees, and if there are fewer doctors and engineers etc, what do you think happens to their salaries? You’ll end up paying more in the end - students are cheap - they don’t have families to feed and mortgages to pay for, doctors and engineers not so much. Also, the people that can afford to pay for those degrees, those from wealthy backgrounds will end up even more wealthy, just exacerbating the gap between the rich and poor.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,451 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 42,160 See in context

These numbers will almost certainly be just the tip of the iceberg. Since Omicron hit, you could probably add a zero to get closer to the true figures.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,711 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 42,538 See in context

I think most people have on a day to day basis. But the main concern for me is a more dangerous variant emerging.

Not impossible, but unlikely at this stage. Omicron changed the way it infected cells and by doing so, thrived much better in the upper respiratory tract rather than deep in the lungs - in doing so it gained hugely in transmissibility. Because it affected the URT more than the deep lung tissue it became less dangerous. In other words, the gain in tranmissibility and decrease in virulence were effectively reverse sides of the same coin, likely making a more virulent and highly transmissible variant less likely. Also, much of the reduced danger in later variants is down to immunity provided by vaccination as well as previous infections.

Don't just listen to my opinion though, check out what one of the top scientists in the field, Professor Sir John Bell has to say about it:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/07/sir-john-bell-most-people-who-have-had-the-covid-vaccine-are-completely-safe

Also, ask yourself this, if the unlikely nightmare scenario or a more dangerous and transmissible variant does emerge, who is likely to be better protected? Those who have just had a vaccine based on a single spike protein from the original Wuhan strain, or those who have had that vaccine, plus have been infected with Omicron and built up antibodies to not just a more recent and very different spike protein, but also any one of the other 20 or so proteins that make up the virus?

I would add that in the case of an endemic virus, if we put restrictions in place that say, reduce daily cases by 50%, then all it means is, that variant, instead of emerging say, in the next year, will emerge in the next two years instead.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,711 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 42,538 See in context

Cases cases. It’s endemic, there will likely be descendent viruses of COVID-19 in circulation 100 years from now. Most people just get a cold, in rare cases it can lead to serious illness and at the other end of the scale there are likely those that don’t develop a full blown infection even if exposed. If you are not one of those lucky people, then rest assured, a virus that spreads as rapidly as measles, one of the most transmissible viruses known, is going to find you one day. You can mask up, social distance, wash hands all you like, it will at most, delay the inevitable. Just stop worrying about it and get on with your life because when it inevitably finds you, it is very unlikely to lead to serious disease, especially if vaccinated.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Posted in: Gov't confirms it will start accepting some foreign tourists in June See in context

If Japan opened the borders completely tomorrow with only these 3 requirements… 1) wear a mask in the airport 2) temp check 3) wash your hands upon entering the country…. You’d still whine about all the draconian restrictions….

Nope. My family would be free to visit, I would be able to travel abroad with no real hinderance, so if they did this I would be delighted and even though I would still consider such measures superfluous, I wouldn’t complain at all!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Posted in: Gov't confirms it will start accepting some foreign tourists in June See in context

It’s just pathetic. What to do if they find a COVID case in a foreigner? For the last 3 months there have been 50000 cases domestically every day. And that’s only positive tests - the real figure is likely to be five to ten times that number. If you have had cold or flu symptoms this last few months, probably a good chance it was COVID - especially if you felt unusually fatigued. Realistically, more like 250000-500000 cases every day for the last 3 months. If you are prone to it, you are almost certainly going to get COVID if you haven’t already, probably multiple times. Just open the border already, no testing, no quarantine, no vaccine requirements, this thing is over.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Posted in: Gov't confirms it will start accepting some foreign tourists in June See in context

This PANDEMIC is no where near over .

In the sense that there are still many cases, then yes, it isn't over, nor will it be for the foreseeable future.

In the sense that we have already built up sufficient immunity to serious disease through vaccination plus now a significant percentage of the world population having being exposed to the virus so that the disease presents no more threat to the average person than the seasonal flu - sorry, but it was over months ago.

BTW, I see the mods removed my previous post in this thread because it was "vulgar/offensive". All I can say is, I've seen worse on here - it seems to me that I just have the wrong opinion. What is vulgar and offensive to me is the way that the Japanese government, with full support of many of the Japanese population continue with these ridiculous rules targeted at foreigners, but not Japanese people and that are rooted more in xenophobia rather than scientific consensus.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Posted in: Japan to ease COVID border controls 'in stages' from June: Kishida See in context

Has anyone of the posters been to Japan before? When I first came (and never left) in 2003. everybody was wearing masks, same as today.

That just simply isn't true and never has been. Japanese people wear masks if they have a cold or flu so as to try to stop coughing over everyone around them and spreading the virus. Also, some people that have hay fever wear masks, especially at times when there are high levels of pollen in the air as they believe it alleviates their symptoms. Altogether, at any one time maybe 5% of people would be wearing a mask. That is completely different to the situation today where close to 100% of people are wearing a mask at all times when out in public, irrespective of whether they have hay fever or cold or flu symptoms.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

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