rowiko68 comments

Posted in: Brisbane picked to host 2032 Olympics without a rival bid See in context

I would hardly call it a "race", with only one single contender... Hosting the Summer Olympics used to be a huge honour and could bring benefits (if not necessarily of the financial kind) to the host, but these days there doesn't seem to be any appetite for staging this mega event and incurring those huge costs anymore. One has to question whether the current format still makes sense or should be overhauled.

But at least Brisbane is unlikely to experience the huge issues Tokyo is facing during these trying days...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,832 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 4,943 See in context


12 ( +19 / -7 )

Posted in: First positive COVID tests reported for 2 athletes in Olympic Village See in context

@Mirchy, I think the simple answer is, they can't, despite Bach's assurances that the Olympic Village is "absolutely safe". But let's see how this will all unfold in the coming days...

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you think the Tokyo Olympics will turn out to be a superspreader event for the coronavirus? See in context

The signs are there that it will be.

On the plus side, yes, vaccinations are progressing (though still not fast enough).

At the same time I understand that the much more transmissable Delta variant apparently still only accounts for 30% of all new infections (which would be a much lower ratio than in other countries). Despite that, the numbers have been rising fast in the past couple of weeks.

With the Delta variant expected to become more dominant as time progresses, and more movement and risk caused by the Olympics, I believe that the only way is up. The only question is how much.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: COVID state of emergency likely for Tokyo Olympics See in context

IOC Pres. Thomas Bach is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on Thurs, when he will be greeted by … ? [fill in the blank] ... large crowds of cheering people? Nah, maybe not, lol.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan pushes back release of Olympic ticket lottery results to Saturday See in context

If they cut attendance to zero, there won't be any need to release lottery results at all...

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Posted in: Serbian Olympic athlete tests positive for COVID-19 See in context

A lot more to follow in the days and weeks ahead, no doubt.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic chief anxious with one month to go until Games open See in context

"Earnestly hoping" may not be quite enough...

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to lift state of emergency one month before Olympics See in context

Fascinating how a 'slight shift in public opinion' can turn an 80% opposition to holding the Games next month into a 'majority in favour' of holding it...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to cap spectators at 10,000 after COVID-19 state of emergency See in context

Cap at 10,000. Regardless of size of venue???

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan leans toward holding Olympics with domestic spectators: report See in context

I believe that was the plan all along: Extend the SoE until 20 Jun to bring case numbers down to a level that would seem to somehow justify allowing spectators. After all, they wouldn't want to have to forgo all of the ticket revenue, right?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Posted in: COVID vaccines to be available to all under 65 in Japan at same time See in context

"The central government is also considering administering ... the vaccine at workplaces to further accelerate the rollout."

I thought that one of the main problems with the vaccination program was a lack of personnel authorized to give a jab... So how exactly this plan is going to help accelerate the rollout is not quite clear to me...

26 ( +28 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't refers to possible state of emergency extension as Okinawa added to list See in context

Well put, @Aly Rustom and @A Canadian!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: China tells Bach it hopes Tokyo Olympics will be held despite pandemic See in context

And why exactly is this relevant?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga says he has never put Olympics first and that IOC has final say See in context

Obviously trying to save his own neck by deferring responsibility to the IOC. Unless the infection rate miraculously goes down dramatically just in the nick of time, and the Games become a resounding success, in which case Suga will make sure he gets the credit for it. But by clearly distancing himself from any responsibility for the decision at this point, he kind of signals that he doesn't believe that this is a very likely scenario...

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Posted in: Koike says Tokyo Olympics will rekindle hope like 1920 Games after war, Spanish flu See in context

Poignant detail: The article mentions that the Antwerp Games were held 'in the AFTERMATH of World War One and the Spanish flu', i.e. the Spanish flu had been over for 4 months when the Games were held. Hardly what can be said about the current situation, with Covid still raging around the world, and with less than 100 days to go till the start of the Games. Maybe this gives us a clue why the Tokyo Olympics cannot be compared to 1920...

21 ( +22 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 top LDP officials say Olympics cancelation, no fans still an option See in context

It's not a matter of "if", but a matter of "when" the adamant denial will come... Watch this space...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Quasi-emergency COVID-19 measures begin in Osaka, Hyogo, Miyagi prefectures See in context

And how exactly do "quasi-emergency" measures differ from a proper state of emergency? Same difference...

28 ( +29 / -1 )

Posted in: Suga rocked by virus rebound in Osaka, forced to call tougher steps See in context

What surprises me the most is that, after more than year of this, those in charge still seem to be 'surprised' about the effects of their action - or lack of it, as the case may be. Apparently nothing has been learnt throughout all this.

So let's continue to impose as few restrictions as we can get away with, so as not to affect the economy too much, infringe on people's freedom of movement or endanger the Olympics, to at least bring the numbers down a bit to show that 'everything is under control'. Then when numbers do come down, let's open up again as quickly as possible. Until numbers spike again - inevitably. It's like a yo-yo that will go up and down forever - or at least until they get their act together and get those vaccines into people's arms, and fast. It's the only way out of this pandemic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Couple pretending to inspect apartment rob real estate agent See in context

@Goodlucktoyou, I do hope you're not being serious!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Some medical experts unconvinced about holding Tokyo Olympics See in context

I think it's not only the health experts that are unconvinced, but 80% of the population. So let's just say the vast majority of people, with the notable exception of the local Government, JOC officials, Mr. Bach himself, and athletes that are eager to compete for a medal despite the risks and the prospect of Olympic Games that will defy the spirit that the Games should be all about, bringing people and cultures together and having a good time while enjoying world class sport.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's android pets ease virus isolation See in context

If this is the future of human interaction and the solution to isolation and loneliness, then I'm seriously worried...

And the quote of the CEO of the company manufacturing these 'humanised robots', saying that 'many Japanese people accept the idea that every object has a soul', has me utterly baffled, I must say.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Driver on Seibu Railway train falls asleep while at controls See in context

"Dozing on and off for 15 minutes"... Don't the trains have control systems in place, rather than relying on passengers reporting it?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Haneda Airport, train stations in Tokyo busy as travelers head out for Silver Week See in context


’Silver week’ is a relatively new term applying to a string of public holidays in September, which gained popularity in 2009, when - unusually - there were 3 consecutive public holidays. Since then it seems the term has stuck.

No Bronze or Iron as yet, as far as I’m aware ;)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga gets word out: He supports Tokyo Olympics See in context

Surprise, surprise...

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Posted in: IOC chief Bach hopes to visit Japan in October to meet Suga See in context

@Luddite Most likely the rules will not apply. The Olympics are ‘too important’ to bother Bach with such ‘petty rules’, I’m sure...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to lift re-entry restrictions on foreign residents from Sept 1 See in context

I was thinking the same, @Luddite!

How can they possibly deport a legal resident for testing positive, with the person posing a risk to the rest of the passengers on the flight (assuming the airline would even accept the person)? And what would happen at the other end? Would they even be allowed entry?

I have visions of people being stuck in transit for the foreseeable future (or until they recover and eventually test negative).

As long as travellers test negative, this is indeed good news and well overdue. But what if they test positive?

Sending them back and denying them treatment in Japan is utterly unacceptable on so many levels!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: New ordinance to boost barrier-free hotel rooms ahead of Paralympics See in context

While this new ordinance seems like a big improvement on the surface, I do have some serious concerns.

Apparently it stipulates that doorways must be at least 80 cm and bathroom doors at least 70 cm wide. OK, great, but I'm thinking: Is that it?

In my books, a wide enough entrace doesn't make a wheelchair-accessable room. What about a roll-in shower, a bathroom sink that one can roll under in a wheelchair, a mirror that can be tilted, or extended door handles that can actually be reached by a wheelchair user? What about all the hotel facilities? Will they be accessible?

It doesn't say in the article, so I can't be sure whether those features are required by the new ordinance, or whether it's just a matter of widening a few doorframes here and there.

And when I read that the aim seems to be to create "a large number of rooms that cater to a variety of customer needs", rather than to offer a certain number of rooms that would meet the specific needs of independently travelling wheelchair users, it makes me feel suspicious.

Even more so when I read that "the newly available rooms will not be for the exclusive use of the disabled, the elderly and others who need them".

It seems to me that the end product will be a large number of rooms that on the surface can be sold as "barrier-free", but won't be accessible enough for wheelchair users who travel independently, and which may be occupied by other guests during peak times anyway, meaning that those who really need accessible rooms may still end up with nowhere to stay.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 16-day-old girl dies after being put in trash can by parents See in context

This is absolutely sickening. Clearly too young and irresponsible to have a baby in the first place. And how exactly were they planning to raise her anyway? With his unemployment cheque? So many things wrong here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says he achieved 'historic' success with Obama See in context

Well said, Disillusioned!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

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