COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.

oyatoi comments

Posted in: U.S. cuts WHO ties over virus; takes action over Hong Kong See in context

“we have the highest COVID death rate in the world”

US:人口 335m Deaths 103K

UK:人口 65m Deaths 38K

The highest total number, yes. The rate, however, is much lower than many other countries.

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Posted in: Japan's exports, imports fall due to pandemic See in context

"export-dependent Japan"

Here we go again, this oft recycled myth of Japan’s supposed dependence on exports. In fact, Japan is among the LEAST export dependent economies. See here:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports

This insistence on playing fast and loose with the facts is designed to deflect peoples’ attention from the unsustainable nature of Japan’s obscene bloated trade surpluses, much of which is derived from the proceeds of an single industry (automobiles) skewed in Japan’s favour by import restricting measures too numerous to mention. The trade surplus is one mechanism among many that helps to buttress the many, hopelessly inefficient, parts of the economy that have always been shielded from having to make adaptations in the manner that other countries with much freer and open trade have. This is a golden opportunity to make clear to our Japanese friends that without reciprocity, their days of exploiting Western openness in order to crank up huge trade surpluses and take full advantage of global investment opportunities are over.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan braces for worst postwar economic slump See in context

Take Japan’s ‘woe is me, the sky is falling’ song and dance with a huge dollop of salt. If they really believed their own Jeremiads, they’d be wasting no time at all dismantling the hidebound Black Ship repelling rigidities that are supposedly at the root of its crisis. Instead, there is an overwhelming determination for things not to change. Hardly anyone in authority here truly believes that Japan is in crisis, let alone that Japan’s exploitative business culture needs to change. The last thing these people want to hear is that Japan has a moral obligation to its own people and the rest of the world to promote a convergence of standards.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 naked bodies found in Tokyo love hotel See in context

You have to admire the authorities’ efforts at enlisting even the language itself in their unstinting efforts to ensure statistical corroboration for ‘safety country’.

Just like ‘withdrawal advance’ was used to describe the Imperial Army’s retreat at Guadalcanal, “double forced suicide” could be the new template for the treatment of a whole range of other offences.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Arrests, conspiracy theories at Australia anti-lockdown protest See in context

It’s richly ironic how the most trenchant critics of one supposed lunacy have no qualms whatsoever about cleaving to their own cherished delusions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Nikkei ends above 20,000 mark for 1st time in more than a month See in context

As one of the LEAST export dependent economies among the majors, Japan can easily absorb the shock of a much stronger currency. Its days of racking up obscene trade surpluses through an undervalued yen are over. Sub 100 as soon as this crisis is over, if not sooner.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says briefings not worth his time after disinfectant gaffe See in context

Trump’s lambasting of journalists pretensions to impartiality, their bogus claims to be telling the truth at all times and without fear or favour, is right on the mark. Though it likes to pretend otherwise, the media is as beholden to powerful interests as any ‘greed is good’ Wall Street or Silicon Valley corporate stooge.

Vested interests, expert at preserving the undeserved privileges they’ve extorted from the American people, conjured the Trump genie into existence and it won’t go back until the root causes are addressed. No one giving fifty briefings in two months could be expected to stick robotically to a script and only the most obtuse really believe that his off the cuff asides endanger public health.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Truck kills 4 Australian police who stopped speeding driver See in context

“Mohinder Singh Bajwa, the driver of the truck - who had a 'medical episode' - remains under police guard in hospital.”

Too easy for people to obtain a heavy vehicle license.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Virgin Australia goes into voluntary administration See in context

Just like those bailouts to fat cat Wall Street bankers in 2008, the Australian Government overstepped the moral hazard divide with its hasty and ill thought out decision to saddle taxpayers with the cost of a near doubling in financial support to all unemployed. Absolved of any ethical and legal responsibility to have to first dip into their own financial resources, companies responded in entirely predictable fashion, immediately slashing their non essential personnel numbers. Watching this idiocy, who could blame Virgin for expecting the Australian taxpayer not to be yet once more forced to carry the can.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's exports slump as coronavirus hits U.S., Chinese demand See in context

exports is the only way to survive for MADE IN JAPAN.

Yet again the palpably false narrative of export reliance is enlisted to justify depreciating the yen and inflicting even more hardship on the multitudes. At only around 16%, Japan’s exports to GDP ratio ranks 4th lowest behind the US, India, and Belgium as the LEAST export reliant economies among the top 25 globally.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports

The yen will continue to strengthen so long as the country refuses to reconsider its one track mind obsession with a massive and unsustainable surplus trade imbalance that is largely a product of the closed nature of it’s markets. Its natural level is somewhere in the range 70-80 yen to the $US and stronger against many other currencies. Conversely, a verifiably more open market will help the yen stabilise, probably between 80-100.

Japan deludes itself if it thinks that the rest of the world will idly permit it to export unemployment through currency depreciation. Currency appreciation, on the other hand, especially if Japan took the lead, would demonstate to the world its bona fides as a good global citizen and whilst it would make it that much harder to maintain the charade that the paucity of foreign products is not engineered, the common people would have cause for rejoicing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's exports slump as coronavirus hits U.S., Chinese demand See in context

A huge wake up call to “business is war” Japan (and it’s mercantilist imitators) that the economic model that has served them so well has reached its use by date. The deeply rooted ambivalence towards the idea of paying anything more than lip service to global norms and an unashamed belief in the necessity of stymying true reciprocity; cynically claiming to be open while in reality forever building walls that rarely apply anywhere else has to change.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Posted in: Bed vacancy rate for virus patients in urban areas below 20%: survey See in context

The US military, with its wealth of know how, should be offering assistance in setting up field hospitals and test centers. Abe can only say nyet!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Man arrested for throwing ceramic hotpot from 6th floor apartment See in context

”Police said Narito Inoue"

Unless he has more than one name, 出上成翔 has been mistranslated.

https://dailynews24.jp/20200415/4063/#st-toc-h-2

https://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20200415-00032584-mbsnewsv-l27

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 22-year-old mother arrested for strangling 9-day-old son See in context

Japanese get 12 months paternity leave?

Unfortunately, here in Japan, work is a 12 months a year deal, and always takes precedence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't promises swift coronavirus payouts, starting in May See in context

Zichi: Will it include the 80,000 serving time in prisons?

48,800 in 2019. Which doesn’t of course include all those who elsewhere would’ve gotten a cutodial sentence but here get an order of the feather duster suspended one.

https://www.prisonstudies.org/country/japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Nikkei ends lower as investors lock in recent gains See in context

Just for balance, how about using 'lock in losses’ to refer to people who capitulate to fear and sell their stocks at a discount to what they were expecting, rather than hold onto them and see them go down even more.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Health ministry says 400,000 could die in Japan without virus containment measures See in context

Unless they’re saying that these 400K extra deaths would be on top of the 1.4 million annual deaths a year in Japan, they’re playing fast and loose with numbers. Conversely, statistics showing that the total number of deaths in a number of countries in the first quarter of 2020 clearly surpassed those in the same period in 2019 would go a long way to removing the penumbra of doubt surrounding the authorities claims.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Nikkei ends lower as investors lock in recent gains See in context

To reinforce the message that henceforth trade will be all about reciprocity, and until results verify an awakening among elites here, 80-90 to the US$ is highly doable. Enough indulging those who promise much but deliver little; send a strong, clear message and weaponise the currency now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe defends mask give-out plan; eyes budget submission next week See in context

To the locked down poor; bah humbug! Are there no prisons? ... And the Union workhouses? ... The treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?"

Abenezer Scrooge

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man re-arrested over attempted rape of restaurant worker See in context

would be looking at a decade in the pen for each offense where I come from.

Overly tolerant attitudes about male sexual aggression, both from people at the very top and throughout the wider society, ensure that’s a highly unlikely prospect.

https://www.theage.com.au/world/revealed-the-workings-of-a-uni-rape-club-20030705-gdvzq0.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Many go to work despite Abe's call for telework See in context

Every household should be given cash.......... rather than the 2 pathetic cloth masks

It seems even the masks, promised weeks ago, have been all but forgotten. As for seeing so much as a brass razoo from those who make Scrooge seem like the personification of generosity, abandon hope all ye who enter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Pandemic set to tip Japan into deep recession this year See in context

test the metal

I don’t need a test to tell me it's badly fatigued.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Pandemic set to tip Japan into deep recession this year See in context

Even if they tripled the pledged assistance, assuredly they’d manage to make a meal of it. To ensure that as few people as possible qualify and outdoing even themselves in hypocritical parsimony, they’ve taken cynicism to the next level and restricted it to households, thereby knowingly excluding millions of deserving individuals who elsewhere would not have had to put up with such a charade but could rightly have expected some unbegrudged financial help. All we seemingly have to look forward to however is more of the same old tired cliches that better days await; they neglect of course to mention that it’ll happen only when the recovery has kicked in elsewhere.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Man given 5-year term for shooting ex-agriculture minister over money trouble See in context

You’d think 10 million yen would be small beer for someone like Tamazawa and wonder why it doesn’t seem to have entered his head to sit down with his old classmate and hammer out a cash settlement compromise. Talk about ganko oyaji!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Panic buying slows Japan's household spending decline See in context

Even if they tripled the pledged assistance, assuredly they’d manage to make a meal of it. To ensure that as few people as possible qualify and outdoing even themselves in hypocritical parsimony, they’ve taken cynicism to the next level and restricted it to households, thereby knowingly excluding millions of deserving individuals who elsewhere would not have had to put up with such a charade but could rightly have expected some unbegrudged financial help.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 18 trainee doctors who ignored dining ban infected with coronavirus See in context

Japan’s game plan, up until the Olympics were deferred, was predicated on the assumption that allowing people to behave stupidly with impunity eventually confers herd immunity. Realizing this approach risks overwhelming the health system, it’s now switched strategies. As we can see here though, there are obviously those even on the front lines who never got the memo and are faithfully doing their originally assigned part.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Record 49% proud of Japan's history, traditions: gov't survey See in context

I love coffee: "When Vincent van Gogh traveled to Japan.."

Maybe in a parallel universe, but not this one.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/04/van-gogh-and-japan-review-documentary-japanese-art

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Darvish speaks of anti-Asian discrimination in U.S. amid outbreak See in context

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/29/china-coronavirus-anti-foreigner-feeling-imported-cases

When the chips are down, people everywhere look for scapegoats. It’s crude, rude, and offensive when instead of solidarity, people double down on investing the other with all their fear and loathing. Human nature, maybe. But we have better angels than that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to give ¥300,000 in cash to each household in need See in context

“I imagine those on welfare will not have seen any drop in their income so few will be eligible, though god knows I'm sure many would appreciate a bit extra.”

Japan’s deserving needy can only look on with stunned incomprehension at how other countries are assisting those at the margins who may not have experienced any drop in income. People on welfare in Australia were already receiving well over A$2,000 a month in benefits before Covid 19 came along and the Government announced they’d also be receiving two cash payments totaling A$1,500 AND an almost DOUBLING of the existing welfare payments for the next six months. Also, these payments were NOT granted per household, but individually.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan 'on the brink' as it struggles to hold back coronavirus See in context

“why are two or three people sleeping?”

”I can only see three people sleeping in that photo.”

The first sentence needs an ‘only’, in the second it’s in the wrong place.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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