Robert Hancock comments

Posted in: Japan's summer holiday begins quietly amid requests to avoid trips See in context

You do realize that Japan's infection count is now MUCH higher than counts in France, Germany, UK, and elsewhere, where governments are locking down cities. It is the death rate in Japan that has remained low so far, BUT that could change in days if (when) the virus gets into the many elderly care homes here.

OARS, I think Abe looks seriously ill (not CV-19) and he is obviously MIA regarding policies about infection figures here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 15 feared dead, 9 missing after massive flooding in southwestern Japan See in context

The exact same thing happened in 2018 or 2019 when a care home near a riverbank was flooded and more than 10 people drowned. In a country with increasingly heavy seasonal rains, has nobody learned about flooding risks?

Care homes on flood plains should have the business license withdrawn. And no new housing should ever be built on a flood plain in future—levees cannot cope with massive water level rises as climate change makes deluges MUCH more common.

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Posted in: Tokyo confirms 131 new coronavirus infections on Saturday See in context

Tell me. What's the difference between 2 hours in a hostess/host club in Kabukicho copping a feel and 1 hour on a packed train twice a day, 5 days a week with a salary worker breathing 5 cm from your face along with 150 other people breathing the same stuffy air? In fact, since most people don't visit a club 5 days a week and most clubs don't have 150 people in a confined train carriage space, I'd say the club is probably safer than a commuter train.

Yet, do we hear ever any official word about the danger of train commuting in rush hour? No, because shutting down trains would bring the city economy to its knees in a week.

The dangers of clubbing may be real but the dangers of rail commuting are a lot more serious.

26 ( +30 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan coronavirus cases pass 5,000 as state of emergency fails to keep people home See in context

Hawaii Warrior,

Herd immunity works when 80% of the population has antibodies to an infection. This can be achieved in two ways: 1. by catching it, or 2. by vaccination. Now, look at the first option; in Japan, with 120 million people, reaching 80% of the population with post-infection antibodies means about 100 million people must get sick and recover. Assuming the world average 4.4% mortality rate (WHO figure for March 3) for this virus, that's 4.4 million deaths in Japan alone. Applying the herd-immunity concept to the US, it's about 9 million dead. Need I go on?

Herd immunity based on natural infection is a non-starter. A vaccine is needed and it is 12 months at least away—and then there's the problem of producing hundreds of millions/billions of doses and getting it into people. Also, if covid-19 shows similar mutation rates to other corona viruses, a new vaccine may be needed every year, just like for winter flu.

This is not a simple problem and lockdowns will be here for a long long time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan coronavirus cases pass 5,000 as state of emergency fails to keep people home See in context

On a smaller and lighter domestic note, where is all the Denatured Ethanol spray (for disinfection), and butter (for toast)?

Both have disappeared from all stores in my part of Tokyo. Ethanol shortages I can undertand—maybe prioritizing medical deliveries, but butter? Have cows stopped producing milk or are all dairy farmers in Japan struck down with covid-19?

A buttered morning toast lover needs to know!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike calls for fewer outings; says state of emergency up to PM See in context

Avoid the sardine-packed rush-hour trains at all costs—they are perfect for driving the fast spread of this very infectious virus.

We are still at the base of the J curve, but time is running out. When infection counts start doubling every 2 or 3 days, we are all in trouble and it will be unstoppable until effective medications and finally a vaccine are developed.

2020/21 is shaping-up to be miserable.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Local gov'ts urged to prepare hospitals for peak of virus infections See in context

Here is the real reason why Japan's infection rate is "only" 400 or so. Almost nobody is being tested! And you can bet no post-death testing is being done for suspicious deaths from pneumonia. Consequently, the infection rate here is likely massively underestimated. Why? You can guess.

USA 5 tests per million people — worst in world

Japan 66 tests per million people — second worst in world

UK 347 tests per million people

Holland 350 tests per million people

Israel 401 tests per million people

Italy 826 tests per million people

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Olympic torch relay to start as scheduled on March 26 See in context

Even if Tokyo/Japan were to be CoVid-19 free in July/August (very unlikely), do you think the rest of the world will be? Not a chance. PM Abe has talked about hosting 60 million visitors! That's a huge number, many of whom will be carriers. If it's worth cancelling local soccer and baseball games to protect a few tens of thousands of spectators, it's worth cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to protect 120 million Japanese and 60 million uninfected visitors. Also, if hundreds of thousands of those visitors become infected and take CoVid-19 back home, it fuels further spread just before winter in the north! The spread in Europe and now the US resulting from holiday visits to Italy is a prime example of how this very infectious virus can jump to new locations.

As things stand now, IMO holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would be a huge mistake.

Forget NBC's and others' lost profits, put people's lives first.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's jobless rate rises to 2.5% in January See in context

In plan words, the figures mean Japan is short of people willing to do "slave" labor for little money in KKK jobs.

Hence, the Abe Cabinet push to import such labor.

Simple really.

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Posted in: Ghosn indicted on 2 new charges; Nissan cancels lease on his Tokyo apartment See in context

The problem is the bail and defense-attorney systems exposed by Ghosn's problems, which have ruined the lives of many innocent Japanese defendants too. 

The Japan Bar needs to lobby the MOJ to change the rules to permit the right to the presence of a defense attorney during interrogation by police and public prosecutors, as well as changes to rules for bail in non-violent crimes.

The Bar does not advocate for these changes partly because it regards prosecutors as respected attorneys while defenders are almost held in contempt. Moreover, the motivation to become a defense attorney in Japan is low, because even a good defender will only win about 2% of cases under the present system. 

The training for judges, prosecutors, and defenders is antiquated too and needs revision.

In some sense, although suffering, Ghosn is luckier than most because he has the funds to hire a first-class defense team led by an ex-public prosecutor who knows how the game is played.

Until there is a root-and-branch revision of these parts of Japan's legal system, innocent defendants of all nationalities will suffer.

There are plenty of Japanese attorneys who sympathize with Ghosn's problems but they are hamstrung by the Japan Bar and MOJ.

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