Japan Today

Robert Hancock comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,149 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,194 See in context

The 7-day running averages suggest a new wave is coming, and the recent Scientific American article on the inadequate preparedness by the IOC is not a comforting read at all.

We're down the rabbit hole into Mad Hatter IOC land next month and all in the name of TV broadcast rights and CM money to keep the corrupt IOC rolling in funds.

I hope the family of every dead post-Olympics CV-19 victim sues the IOC and Japanese government for forcing these games on the people of Japan who clearly, by a LARGE majority, do not want them.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Suga dodges questions on whether Olympics can be held under state of emergency See in context

I hope none of the athletes sign the sleazy IOC waiver and none turn up.

Maybe the Japan medical association (whatever it is called) should take out advertisements on all the world main atheletics websites and in atheletics newspapers to explain the strained hospitals, overworked staff, and risk of a super-spreader event to inform the athletes about public negative opinion in Japan/Tokyo about holding this Olympics and advise them not to come.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: As Olympics loom, Japan's health care in turmoil See in context


You see that steep green line to the left in Figure 2 of this Public Health England report? That is the infection rate of the Indian variant in the UK, where about 50% of the population has had at least one shot! What do you think will happen as the variant gets a grip in Thailand where almost nobody is vaccinated, or in Japan (currently 4% vaccinated) after Olympics staff and athletes from S. Asia incubating this variant arrive? The IOC says the Tokyo Olympic village has "safe" accommodations for 18,000 people, so where will the other 62,000 arrivals be accommodated without spreading this variant? Somebody should be asking PM Suga this question and then Japan should cancel this super- spreader event.

The UK SAGE panel is suggesting this Indian variant could cause a winter surge in the UK as bad as last winter.

Be careful—this is not over yet by a long way.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Coates: Tokyo Olympics to go ahead even in state of emergency See in context

“If it doesn’t then our position is that we have to make sure that we get on with our job,” Coates said. “And our job is to ensure these games are safe for all the participants and all the people of Japan.”

And if thousands more Japanese fall sick or die after the Games, either you or the IOC will be picking up the tab for the hospitalizations, loss of income, and compensation for death won't you Mr Coates?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC veteran Pound says Tokyo Olympics 'a go' See in context

The IOC's John Coates and Richard Pound need to be prepared for international lawsuits from every Japanese family that catches COVID-19 14 days after the Olympics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 907 new coronavirus cases; 1,005 in Osaka See in context

The lack of vaccinations in arms is a disgrace. Stockpiling vaccine in freezers is unforgivable.

From BBC today:

Suga has come under fire for his response to the latest outbreak and Japan’s slow vaccine rollout, which began in mid-February. Poor planning and staff shortages mean it has yet to finish inoculating medical workers and has barely started administering jabs to people aged 65 and over.

So far 2.2% of the population has received at least one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine to have been approved by the health ministry. Japan has used just 15% of its stockpile, with 24 million doses sitting in freezers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 698 new coronavirus cases; 1,043 in Osaka See in context

Yesterday was a national holiday so the figures drop today. It's the same as the few Sunday tests = low figures on Monday phenomenon that we've been seeing for the last 18 months.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: COVID-19 vaccination for those under 65 may start in July: minister See in context

It's May in 4 days and AFAIK, not a single shot has been administered yet in Nerima-ku (where I live) to the over-65s group (which I belong to). There are about 40 million Japanese in this age group and the total vaccinated numbers are PATHETIC so far.

From my perspective, the government is pushing propaganda on "may" and "if" possibilities to keep people compliant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: What does Japan's virus state of emergency mean this time? See in context

"It looks like it's going to be 30,000 yen a day if your income last year was under 30 million."

This is for bars, restaurants, etc., I know small bar owners who make less than 30,000 a day profit when business is normal, so they are in clover getting 30,000 yen a day esentially for nothing, but what about compensation for the rest of the freelancers, part-timers, fired contract workers who are getting sweet fa even though their livelihoods are seriously damaged?

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Posted in: Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public? See in context

NHK 7 pm news was "boasting" about Japan's vaccine progress last night; yesterday, in one day, a grand TOTAL of about 13,200 over 65s were vaccinated NATIONWIDE! With 37 million elderly people waiting, a rate of 13,200 a day will require 2803 days or 7.7 years to get one shot!

In the 6 or so weeks since vaccination of the 4.7 million healthcare workers started, 1.5 million have had 1 shot and 70,000 have had two. Again PATHETIC.

What can we learn from these figures? The answer is there is clearly almost no available vaccine in Japan and that is partly why Suga was on his recent begging mission to Biden and Pfizer. Although the latter has now promised to have shipped enough vaccine to Japan by September to vaccinate all 125 million here, that is a LOT different from having that vaccine in arms. This vaccination program is going well into 2022 EVEN IF Pfizer keeps its end of the deal. Remember, Abe told us he had secured enough vaccine for 60 million people before the Olympics and that has still not arrived yet.

The people of Japan are not being told these facts (probably due to IOC/government fears of having to cancel the Olympics since almost nobody here will have been vaccinated). At the next election voters need to kick the LDP out of office for this disgraceful lack of transparency and ineptitude.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan has entered 4th wave of COVID-19 infections, says gov't panel chief See in context

So exactly where are those many millions of Pfizer vaccine shots that are supposed to have flooded into the country? Still in EU perhaps? Where are lines of people waving coupons and booked-in to get shots? In reality, Tokyo had just 4000 available shots 2 days ago. This really is pathetic management.

It's not happening is it Minister Kono?

36 million over 65s vaccinated by end of June—dream on.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 421 coronavirus cases; 760 in Osaka See in context

Ummmm—do the maths

125,000,000/43,000 = 2906 days or 7.9 years!

You think is "not that bad"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 421 coronavirus cases; 760 in Osaka See in context

And according to the same Japan Time, article 1.5 million medics have been vaccinated since February—what is that daily rate? 

Well, giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they started on 28 February, that's 1 + 31 + 12 days = 44 days of vaccinations. 1,500,000/44 = 34,090 medics vaccinated/day. Which is doubly pathetic for a group that really should be able to vaccinate itself if given access to vaccines.

Now, assuming unlimited vaccine availability, how long to vaccinate 36 million wrinklies (I am one) at the same rate? 36,000,000/34,090 = 1058 days! Even if they triple the medic's rate to 100,000 a day, it's still 360 days. To reach the target of end of June, it's about 500,000 a day or about 13 TIMES more people EVERY day than when medics were vaccinated! It's been doable in some countries but Japan has NOT proved it's doable here so far.

And this is not including the remaining 95 million non-wrinkly Japanese.

I'd forget end of June guys—the government is pushing propaganda. 

And if you are a non-wrinkly, don't plan on anything before 2022.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 421 coronavirus cases; 760 in Osaka See in context

If the figures in this Japan Times article are correct, the number of available vaccines today at the start of the much-heralded vaccine rollout is beyond PATHETIC.


1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers prioritizing Olympic athletes for COVID-19 vaccination See in context

Had the authorities been vaccinating with AZ for the last 2 months instead of messing around with testing it on the "unique" Japanese physiology, this latest 4th wave would probably not have kicked off.

Instead, a 2-month head start would have at least protected some from infection with the new variant. And remember, EVERY new infection is a Petri dish for the virus to "experiment" with new variants, something this group of virii is very good at.

And there are still 3 more days until the next batch of Pfizer vaccine arrives, IF it does. Then it has to be distributed at –70°C, the application system, which is by telephone (good luck with getting thru to make a booking) and not online, has to work, and people have to turn up. Most of the older 37 million high-risk group won't get the first shot (let alone the second shot) until mid-June unless the antiquated booking system manages 500,000 a day (37 million/0.5 million = 74 days and 74 days from April 12 is mid-June). And, at the present rate of success with under a million medics vaccinated in 6 weeks, I don't see 500,000 a day being realistically achievable here.

I think this Suga LDP government has really dropped the ball and some people will die as a result.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan getting more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to immunize elderly faster See in context

The slowness of this vaccine rollout is appalling. Although the UK has little to admire in respect of this pandemic, it has been vaccinating 800,000 people a day. Japan has managed 800,000 in more than a month. Yet again, the government has missed the window of opportunity. If the recent baseline increases in Osaka and Tokyo are due to a new variant that starts spreading, this promised late-April rollout will be too little too late and more people will die unnecessarily.

The LDP deserves harsh criticism for its slow response, which I hope will be reflected in the autumn elections.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Recent Comments


Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.