Nihon Tora comments

Posted in: Travelers returning from Japan's summer break crowd trains, airports See in context

No doubt there will be a corresponding spike in covid cases next week.

That has been said after every holiday during the pandemic - all that we ever saw was a small wobble - a slight drop due to little testing during the holiday then a slight rise after as those who couldn't get tested over the holiday did so when everything opened again - the following week it was right back to where it was. In other words, all the freaking out about huge spikes after holidays/ Olympics/ new year parties etc. turned out to be for nothing.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Suspect in attack on author Salman Rushdie pleads not guilty See in context

I just read that he’s been charged with attempted murder - max sentence is 25 years. I hope they can find more than that to charge him with because imo these types should stay in prison for the rest of their lives.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's summer holidays in full swing with lack of COVID restrictions See in context

The continuing border restrictions are an absolute disgrace. Not only can my family still not come to visit (my mum would be coming with her 30+ year partner but he is not eligible), but because of the lack of flights, it also makes it prohibitively expensive for many of us in Japan to travel abroad. It just makes no sense whatsoever, unless of course, you are doing it to score points with your xenophobic voters.

Anyway, I'm surprised anybody actually took any notice of the recommendations not to travel domestically - again - a rule that didn't make much sense when the virus had already spread to every prefecture in the country. Stay in Tokyo and pack the shopping malls, trains and streets - sounds to me a worse idea for spreading the virus than getting out to the countryside. If you are unknowingly infected you might spread it to someone in a small village where further spread would be self limiting - stay in the city and spread it to dozens of people and on it goes in the densely packed area. Just another restriction that when you think about it, didn't make much sense.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Posted in: Japan reports record high 250,403 coronavirus cases; 34,243 in Tokyo See in context

Around 3,000 people in Japan die from flu in an average year

As with COVID though, there are many different ways of classifying a death with/from a disease like this because very often they are contributing factors, and in both cases, rarely killing people in good health directly. In a bad flu season in the UK, it is estimated that around 30,000 people will die of the flu, so the 3000 figure seams a bit low for a country with double that population - possibly that number was just people that died directly of the flu at old age and not with it as a co-morbidity. The death rate for flu is generally accepted at a little less than 0.1% - the current variants of COVID are something similar to that, although a lot more people are getting infected at these peaks.

Another point to note, the last two flu seasons have been virtually non-existent due to the COVID restrictions - it is likely that if the COVID pandemic never occurred, quite a few of the people dying of COVID now would have been taken out by the normal flu epidemics that would have swept the country over the last couple of years.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Man sleeping on street arrested after head-butting police officer who woke him up See in context

Also, Japanese news articles on the incident are using the phrase 路上 which is being translated into "on the street" in English in this article.

In that case I’ll agree, the literal meaning is probably true. As written in the article, it is ambiguous for a reader from the UK where the expression “slept on the street ” is generally used to mean slept anywhere outside - usually either inebriated or having being kicked out of the house for some reason!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Man sleeping on street arrested after head-butting police officer who woke him up See in context

What would you base this interpretation on?

Where I'm from, we'd use the expression "slept in the street" to convey the meaning, "slept outside" all the time. I'd say it's a pretty standard expression in the UK - homeless people are often said to be "sleeping on the streets" - it doesn't usually mean in the middle of the road!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Man sleeping on street arrested after head-butting police officer who woke him up See in context

Ken - I think most people would take "sleeping on the street" to mean just sleeping outside, probably on the footpath, not actually in the middle of the road obstructing traffic, and I think that is the meaning the article intended. I don't think it is illegal here, unless you are causing some kind of obstruction or other kind of nuisance - the police officers will wake someone up if they find them like that, more to check if they are OK than anything.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to roll out Omicron-targeted COVID vaccine as early as October See in context

If we just give it to the high risk people instead of trying to give it to as many people as possible multiple times every six months, maybe the virus won’t develop escape mutants quite so fast?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Unvaccinated Novak Djokovic pulls out of Montreal tournament See in context

I'm not antivax or anything, but my position all along has been that coercive vaccination policies are an absolutely terrible idea. But please don't take my word for it, you can read a proper study on this published recently in the British Medical Journal (very reputable) by some of the worlds top epidemiologists from some of the most prestigious institutions (Johns Hopkins/Harvard medical school/Oxford uni etc.) who completely agree with me.

You can read the article here - it is full open access. I strongly recommend the vaccine mandate hawks and the like to read it and maybe learn something. It is absolutely scathing of these policies and recommends that we return to non-discriminatory, trust-based public health approaches:

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: New Zealand's borders fully open after long pandemic closure See in context

Flight prices are up everywhere but Japan is especially badly affected because of the continuing nonsense border restrictions here that mean far fewer international flights and so higher ticket prices.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan reports 233,094 coronavirus cases; record high 40,406 for Tokyo See in context

He admitted he called Japanese people sheep and mindless robots and wrote a stupid justification for his racism. 

Probably more a comment on Japanese culture rather than race. Japanese do that and worse all the time without even giving it a second thought, so I think most people won’t have much sympathy there.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Posted in: Japan tops global new COVID cases in week to Sunday: WHO See in context

As for the hospitals filling up - aren't we still in that ridiculous situation where something like 80% of hospitals cannot accept COVID patients because the disease is classified at such a serious level that its too hard for them to meet all of the regulations? If so, how about re-classifying the disease to a similar level to the flu and it would make it easier for a lot more places to accept patients?

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Posted in: Japan tops global new COVID cases in week to Sunday: WHO See in context

Must be because of the "mindo" - Taro Aso's words earlier in the pandemic.

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

Posted in: Man gets 20 years in prison for taking woman hostage at internet cafe See in context

20 years? It's a terrible thing he did, but for example, that thug that punched a kid who asked him to stop smoking on the train, only got 2 years.

Oh, come on - holding somebody hostage at knife-point is a way more serious offense than, what? Common assault on an adolescent? 2 years for that would be considered pretty hefty in most countries. Where I'm from, it would probably have been community service and some compensation to the victim - almost certainly would not have landed jail-time unless it was a serial offender, or other aggregating factors such as a hate crime.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan reports 186,229 coronavirus cases; Tokyo has record high 31,878 See in context

@Sven - What do you want to do? For sure we could implement more in the way of suppression tactics such as they are doing over in China at huge economic cost, but what will it ultimately achieve? It is silly to imagine that such measures could eliminate the virus at this stage. In the face of an endemic virus, all it does is spread it out along the time axis - that may be desirable if your healthcare services are facing collapse like in the earlier stages of the pandemic with variants that were much more deadly, but right now, although it is a struggle at these peaks, most healthcare services are just about coping. There is a valid argument there that slowing it down might allow us more time to develop a universal coronavirus vaccine, but that is a big "if" and might be decades away - the global economy would be completely ruined if we were to try to pursue a "China-like" strategy over a long period in the hope that we might be able to develop such a vaccine. There is also the threat of a new more pathogenic variant emerging with the same or higher transmissibility as the current variants - it is not impossible, but so far it seems that the virus has become more transmissible and less pathogenic. A similar thing could happen with any other endemic virus, such as happened with the Spanish flu pandemic - we never had any restrictions or rules in place every winter when flu cases went up - our response should be based on the real virus, not a fantasy one.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Sunak, Truss ready for battle to be Britain's next PM See in context

I saw an interview with Kemi Badenoch where she simply answered all of the interviewers questions and criticisms in a direct and straightforward manner - obviously she didn’t stand a chance in the leadership race. The remaining two are just career politicians and will have no chance of connecting with the so called “red wall” voters. The next election is Labour’s to lose - all they need to do is keep a lid on all the indulgent woke and radical stuff that turns off a large swathe of British voters outside of the capital.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Record torrential rain continues in wide areas of Japan See in context

A few weeks ago, the JMA declared the rainy season over in Kyushu, Shikoku and most of Honshu. They got that wrong because it came back a week or so later and all this current rain is a result of the usual rainy season front. They called it too soon!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan reports 66,745 coronavirus cases See in context

The speed at which Corona virus changes (variants) is phenomenal, unfortunately

maybe because we put evolutionary pressure on the virus by vaccinating everybody multiple times including groups that weren’t really at much risk? Perhaps once we realized the current crop of vaccines were not suitable to achieve herd immunity, we should have just focused on using them to protect only those at high risk?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Seniors dying at home with air conditioners off - why don't they turn them on? See in context

The idea that a clean and properly functioning air conditioner is going to make you sick is nonsense - all it does is cool the air and removes a bit of moisture - with the high humidity in Japan in summer that's not usually such a bad thing. Some of the newer designs have a built-in humidifier function to replace some of the moisture removed during the air cooling process. You can always buy a separate humidifier. Beyond that, just make sure it is kept clean.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: I love brand items. Because I can't go on a shopping trip abroad now, I'm buying them in Japan. See in context

OK if you are wealthy, but if that 500k is like 2 months' salary, like it would be for a lot of Japanese women in their 30's, then it's pretty stupid if you ask me. That money could have been invested, for example.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan unlikely to ask people to curb activities despite COVID spike See in context

@John Noun,

Although I generally strongly disagree with Steven Mccarthy on most things regarding the coronavirus, I think he is right that if you are living here, then close family members can now visit (although the link he sent was obviously wrong). See this link instead. - see section 2 "Entry of foreign nationals with other special exceptional circumstances" - "A foreign national who is to acquire the status of residence of “Temporary Visitor” for the purpose of visiting a relative / an acquaintance (in a case of visiting an acquaintance, only a foreign national who have a relationship to him/her equivalent to a relative, or who is recognized his/her necessity to visit Japan.) ."

I believe you need to prepare a letter of invitation as well as a "pledge" and your relative will need to apply for a visa at the Japanese embassy in their country.

I would recommend that your family member contact the Japanese embassy in their country to check the details and eligibility as the rules are still somewhat unclear.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan unlikely to ask people to curb activities despite COVID spike See in context

All of the arguments for the border restrictions are nonsense - the first one is that they want to keep variants out - well, how many variants have the border restrictions actually kept out? None. Most of the variants had already arrived here before anyone even knew they existed. The second one - foreigners can't be trusted to "follow the rules" - just how many tourists would be coming here? At any one time maybe a couple of hundred thousand? Probably a lot less than that considering most tourists were Chinese and they won't be coming any time soon. The population of Japan is over 120 million, what difference is a couple of hundred thousand going to make. And as if those tourists are going to come here, be asked to wear masks, see everyone here wearing masks and then say "Actually, I'm not going to wear a mask!". Seriously, how many are going to do that? It's just ridiculous!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Posted in: Japan reports 94,493 coronavirus cases See in context

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that mask are not working for various reasons.

It's hard to make effective comparisons between different countries like that because there are so many other variables that come into play. But yeah, I'd agree that the masks are not so effective with these latest variants - over in S. Korea they wear masks as religiously as they do here - their measures seemed to be effective until Omicron hit and then within the space of two months 1/3rd of the entire population tested positive - no doubt they missed quite a lot of cases too (positivity rate in testing went as high as 65%).

I'm not that bothered about masks really, I'll just be glad when they get rid of the border restrictions.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan in 7th coronavirus wave, but no restrictions needed: Omi See in context

Do what you like with masks and 3 c's and what have you, but for crying out loud, lift the stupid border restrictions! Completely useless!

My mum still cannot visit as she would be coming with her long term partner who is no relation, so he wouldn't be able to get a visa.

Still not allowed to leave the country for work reasons unless its unavoidable or an emergency at our institution.

And as for us residents travelling out of Japan - have you seen the cost of flights out of Japan lately? Because of the border restrictions, the number of international flights is still drastically reduced, driving ticket prices through the roof! Want to take a family of four on an international trip this summer? Well, unless you drive a Lamborghini, or brand new S-class and live in a 2 oku yen condo in Aoyama, you can probably forget about it!

And all for what? Probably as many as half the people here have already had COVID anyway! Most don't even know it!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan reports 55,018 new coronavirus cases See in context

And how many of these cases have been spread by Japanese 'crowd-mind' disdaining, 'independent-thinking', too-bad-for-you feeling, UNMASKED GAIKOKOJIN of the sort who here, just recently, a majority of which had negative opinions of still mask wearing Nihonjin

Considering foreigners represent a little over 2% of the population and that the vast majority of them are university-educated and likely left-progressive politically leaning and among the most enthusiastic proponents of vaccines and mask-wearing and other transmission prevention measures, I would say, hm, very close to zero?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Singapore conducts two more executions See in context

I’m sure hanging shoplifters would be an effective deterrent too - does that justify the implementation of capital punishment for such a crime?

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Posted in: Japan reports 45,821 coronavirus cases See in context

How many times does this have to be explained on here? There are not 190,000 people hospitalized in Japan - that is a ridiculously high number that would have been higher than in the whole of the US at the very worst time in the pandemic!

According to Google: The current number of hospitalized people in Japan is 5028 including 341 in intensive care and according to Tokyokeizai, 68 critically ill (presumably on ventillators).

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 3,616 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 24,903 See in context

The dead cat bounce has happened elsewhere too - I expect to see numbers going back up to around 10K per day in Tokyo over the next couple of weeks before settling back down again. It's endemic, it won't go back to zero, rather it will continue to go up and down for the foreseeable future. Those advocating for masks and other restrictions are effectively advocating for that for the rest of our lives - for a virus which leads to little more than flu-like symptoms in most and for which vaccines are readily available for those at higher risk. No thank you.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Posted in: Tokyo raises alert level amid resurgence in COVID-19 cases See in context

As soon as everybody realize that they will get the corona no matter what, this madness will stop. Immuno compromised or not, mask or no mask, vaccine or no vaccine, YOU will get it.

there seems to be a percentage of people that don’t develop infection even after exposure, but aside from those people, I think you are right. Everybody catches a cold at some point, everybody catches the flu at some point so why on earth won’t everybody catch a virus that spreads in the same as those two but 10 times faster?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo raises alert level amid resurgence in COVID-19 cases See in context

We've seen the exact same thing elsewhere with the BA4 and BA5 variants as well as waning immunity from the big wave a few months back - all completely as expected and nothing to freak out about. This virus is endemic, it isn't going anywhere, case numbers will continue to go up and down and, all the best with your mask-wearing and social distancing but you will have a better chance of avoiding the flu or the common cold over the longer term.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

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