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

Vinke comments

Posted in: Tokyo confirms 63 new coronavirus cases, a record daily increase See in context


Everything I have read says that the virus only results in mild symptoms for 80% of people. We can live with that. If we feel unwell, we stay home. I've done it before with the flu and I'll do it again. It is the vulnerable -- the elderly and those with existing medical conditions that need the most vigilance and care.

You should update your knowledge. This virus is causing severe physical distress also for the young and healthy, and it is also killing young people. Do you really want to gamble with this?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan struggles to get a grip on social distancing See in context


Open up those remote houses in the mountains and villages for rent. The ones that are a couple of hundred meters apart from each other. Entice folks to move there temporarily.

I know you mean well by this idea, but remember, you can have covid-19 asymptomatically, and still infect others. Now if people from Tokyo, where there's a high risk of catching the virus, move to these small villages and spread the virus there, that would cause unthinkable problems for these said villages, and especially put a strain on their health care system. So no, people should just stay where they are, stay home.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, spared mass outbreak so far, now sees national crisis after Tokyo surge See in context


My family members in Italy, Britain and America asked me about those low virus figures in Japan and all suggested the true figures were hidden because of the Olympics. That view is now world spread.

Exactly. Heard the same from my relatives&friends in Europe too. Hidden because of Olympics & economy.

Japan (i.e. Abe, Koike & Co.) tried so hard to 'save face' and being a model country by covering up the cases and not doing any drastic actions to fight this virus. Now the whole world is questioning.

If (=when) the cases blow up, Japan will not just loose face, but have a forever stained blot on it for its' lackluster and dangerous attitude towards this. Reading how people with severe symptoms have been refused testing, just because they a) can't name the person who could've given the virus to them, or b) haven't been to Italy/China, is getting close to human rights violations imo.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Telework, stockpiling spread in Tokyo after Koike's press conference See in context

Dear commentators - How are the possibilities for remote working in your companies, or your partners' companies?

My friend's company has made remote working pretty much impossible, even tough he's in the high-risk group for covid, and his job could be done remotely. He'd need some kind of a permit, and to get that, he'd need to go through multiple channels, fill multiple papers, with multiple stamps, which would of course take a lot of time and effort. RIDICULOUS.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan to set up coronavirus task force; no state of emergency yet See in context


And just like that...magically within a day after officially postponing the Olympics we have Koike urging Tokyo residents to avoid going out unnecessarily and Abe,s yes men " panel of experts" declaring the virus " rampant" after weeks and weeks of proclaiming that infection increase rate in Japan is minimal and Japan appears to be " controlling the outbreak.

Anyone who can not see that for the past month Jgovt prioritized the Olympic $ over the health of its population is blind. Disgusting.

Can we now finally have the testing ramped up from a few hundred a day to the trumpeted 8000 capacity so we get the true picture of where Japan stands Shinzo?

...and because of this, what I've gathered, many young & middle-aged Japanese don't trust the Japanese news & Abe anymore, especially regards to the virus. I have acquaintances who are organising events in Tokyo, declaring in social media platforms that they don't want to be pushed around by Abe and other loons, that because of their ambivalent actions they don't believe in the dangers of the virus anymore, thus they will not cancel their events next weekend. They think it's dangerous only for the elderly, and that checking the temperature of the guests is enough to prevent the virus spreading. ....uhhh. I'm at a loss.

I'm actually really hoping for strict measures for Tokyo, immediately: official orders to cancel events, official orders to work remotely (for the professions that this doable), official orders to stay home.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Koike urges Tokyo residents to stay at home at weekend See in context

@Jeff Ko

41 new is nothing; other countries are posting 1000+ a day. Stay home, spend time with loved ones but do not panic and be thankful that you are in one of the safest place in the world.

41, officially. Other countries are testing way more than Japan. Tokyo, the city alone, then again has way more people than some countries. Do the math.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Warnings fail to stop Japanese crowds from viewing cherry blossoms See in context

Is there anything we could do, as citizens?

Online petitions in Japanese for the government to enhance their measures and for the people, to plea them to stay home and avoid crowds? I find there's so much ignorance going on among Japanese people, and just lack of knowledge, how dangerous this can be, and how you can spread the virus even without symptoms.

Shouting about this in the comment sections of English language media won't help changing the attitudes, I fear.. and I want to be able to do something.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Fun is not canceled: A message of solidarity from Japanese artists and event organizers See in context

Yeah I hope all of this fun is done the virtual way, like Europe is doing.

But by the looks of it, it's the opposite. Tens of thousands of people on the move last weekend.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts warn Japan may not have enough new virus test kits See in context

@Burning Bush

No need to test everybody, just elderly people.

I honestly think the best thing to do is to semi-quarantine the elderly and let the virus runs its course through the population so we all get immunity to it.

Anybody under 60 has very little risk from this virus.

Many others have pointed out other cases of young&healthy people who've gotten very seriously ill, here's another one:

And yes, even one death is a death too many.

Actually, Japan’s government strategy may just be to let the virus runs its course.

In this, I fear, you might be right. One estimate from a European country said that without any restrictions and quarantines, the epidemic would last around 90 days there, but with a large amount of patients in hospitals & casualties. With restrictions, the epidemic would (and probably will, as they are implementing the restrictions) last for around 6 months. Now I wonder if Japan follows this no restrictions strategy, in the hopes of the monster disappearing just in time for the Olympics. The amount of sick & dead people will be sky high though. Scary scenario.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: The Japan conundrum is just the fact that if you don't test for it, you're not going to find a lot of cases. See in context

@Mr Kipling

But..... influenza rates are down and there hasn’t been an increase in the number of pneumonia cases (hidden as Corvid-19) so at present testing or not testing, there hasn’t been a jump in cases..... However, time will tell!

Where can you see stats/info for the pneumonia cases? (or other respiratory illnesses, or deaths marked off as such, or diabetes, or heart problems,etc?) Genuinely asking.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan offering more options for vegans See in context


Unlike many developed countries around the world, I can't really see any increase or interest in the Japanese public when it comes to veganism or healthy eating. But there are more and more options for vegans nowadays. Just behind by about 10 or 20 years, but still.

I reckon one reason for the lack of interest is is the lack of awareness for where and how the meat, the dairy & the eggs comes from.. unpleasant things ne, hide it under the rug. E.g. kids&teens have no idea.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: 11-month-old boy dies after being bitten by two dogs See in context

Really sad for everyone involved. This comes down to training though, of both dogs and people; e.g. how people approach dogs and behave near them. Also, the article stated they went to pick up the dogs' feeding plates; the dogs may have been protecting their food, or their master.

I also question why the article states "the owner allowed the dogs to run loose in the garden" - so? That's great, and that's how they should be at their own home! Free, not in a cage, like sadly so many dog owners seem to do in Japan.

In any case, things are not black&white with animals, and I wouldn't blame only the dogs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Amusement parks to resume some operations See in context

@Ashley Shiba

People who do not live in Japan read the English articles and you will see Japanese do not need any announcements from the Japanese government to take heed of this deadly virus. I am an expat, Japan has been home for26 years and can tell you I see daily the train platform where there are nearly 6 hundred and or more standing waiting for a train that number has fallen to maybe a hundred to two hundred. There is no hoarding and people are not crowding the stores there are no masses in the shopping mall it is dead. When I get on the train every Monday and it is cram like a sardine there is actual standing space in all my years have never experienced anything like it.

I don't know where you live, but in Tokyo in my area the supermarkets and restaurants are packed full and super busy, trains close to normal! I.e. business as usual, people really are ignoring the virus here. Brilliant though, if this is not the case everywhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Amusement parks to resume some operations See in context

I have my foil hat on, and came up with this very grim, dystopian, probably and hopefully a thought of science fiction:

We all know Japan's age demographic is an upside down triangle. There has been years of talks how this is economically a huge challenge. Now, then, if there was a virus attacking especially the elderly... don't interfere, let it run its course? Money in the bank, so to say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Expert panel discourages large gatherings, recommends reopening some schools See in context

Many possible answers, e.g. about low numbers on testing, here:

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Vegan hamburger steak rice bowls added to over 1,900 convenience stores in Tokyo See in context


Why pretend vegan food is meat? I've never understood this approach.

It's not the taste/texture of meat or meat dishes that vegetarians & vegans dislike, it's where it comes from and how.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Plane leaves Japan for Greece to collect Olympic flame See in context


If your entire livelihood was built around a one-time Olympic event, you're doing it wrong. What were your plans in September, October, and after that when the Games were done? Maybe it's time to start looking toward those plans now.

Perhaps you don't know how the Olympics work and how they are arranged. Work for them takes years, and people are hired for them on a project basis. People who work for Olympics have to apply for their jobs separately, and again, for each games. Again, the work is not just for the few months, but a few years. Or do people really think the infrastructure, permits, absolutely everything involved around the games, just appears from somewhere in few months?

Hundreds of people have moved to Tokyo, and to Japan, to work on this exact project. They have left their homes, home countries, etc. and brought their families to Japan for this job. People have counted on to be hired until the games are over - until October or so. If the games are suddenly cancelled, and the jobs suddenly gone, how do you expect to find a new job immediately? Especially in Japan, where age discrimination is rampant.

People are not stupid, of course they know, that they need to find new jobs after the games, but finding and getting a job, and perhaps organising your life again in another country, takes months. You can't do it in a split second. People are also working in 10-14h shifts now, so there really isn't that much time to quickly secure the next job.

I can't believe how cold, insensitive and unsupportive some people can be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Ticket holders anxiously await word on Tokyo Olympics See in context


I would try and pawn them while they're still worth something. I wonder what you'll get from Viagogo? Although, they are pretty smart cookies....

They haven't sent the tickets yet, so there's nothing you can pawn or re-sell yet. And re-selling should be done via the official ticket resale service as well, which is also not open yet.

I.e. people who have won and bought tickets, are kind of hostages at the moment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan testing for coronavirus at fraction of capacity See in context

@Bruce Chatwin @ Tokyo-M

After weeks and weeks of this, we've had 29 deaths in Japan so far from this virus.

-- After weeks and weeks of this, we've had 29 deaths in Japan officially attributed to this virus.

There. I fixed it for you.

In 2014, a professor at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine wrote:

"Autopsies in Japan are performed on only 1.6% of all deaths, the lowest rate among developed countries. Cause of death is almost always determined by simple visual inspection, as it was 100 years ago."

In a 2011 Japan Today Kuchikomi article:

"It’s an astonishing fact, in these murky times, that only 11% of the corpses Japanese police deal with are autopsied. This can’t possibly be adequate. A glance at autopsy rates elsewhere confirms this suspicion. Among developed countries, 50% is about average. In Sweden, it’s nearly 90%."

This, exactly this! I've been searching on this topic fo days now, and only from reliable, academic/scientific resources.

The testing has been made unbelievably bureaucratic, and getting a permission to get tested has been made very difficult.

Hospitals are not required to share data on patients who died of "normal reasons" (like pneumonia), or report staff members who've become sick. No tests + no autopsies = "normal" deaths, normal figures.

More on this e.g. from:

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: No gender, photo, or first name – One company makes major shakeup to job application forms See in context

For the legal part they could just insert a check box with "Are you over 18/20 years old?" (which ever the legal age limit would be), and not ask the candidates actual age. I also find this question intrusive and insulting, and I never include my birthdate in my cv or applications. I do have a photo of myself on my cv though, so people can get a rough estimate.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Plane leaves Japan for Greece to collect Olympic flame See in context

I really can't understand all this hatred towards the Olympics.

I do understand worries over the virus, but nowadays it seems like people are almost hoping that the virus won't go away and that the games won't happen. Don't you people understand how many people depend on these games? How many businesses? If the games are cancelled, many people (my family included) will loose their jobs, simple as that. Many small businesses have also invested in the games, and now with all this trouble with COVID, you wouldn't really want more trouble on them by cancelling the games.

Postponing them would be reasonable. But cancelling all together a disaster.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: No. of suicides in Japan at historic low in 2019 but more teens kill themselves See in context

The overall education system in Japan should review their policies and the ways they interact with kids and teenagers. It's not just the academic demands and stress from so much (also, a lot of un-necessary) work, but also the way some teachers and other adults talk to the young ones. The attitudes and thinking that "a rule is a rule", that things have to be done in a precisely certain way, no room for creative thinking, no room for self expression etc. are surely a factor. The young ones feel they are being pressed and put in a box, and nobody is there to listen to their worries, to support them, to help them find their way. I'm from the Nordics myself, worked in Japanese schools for a time, and the greatest difference in education is exactly in these factors.

What I've found appalling as well is the way tragic events are dealt with. They're basically hidden, brushed under the rug. People pretend like it didn't happen, so they don't actually deal with the issues, which would be very important psychologically. I worked in a school where one of the students committed a suicide. It was shortly announced, and then it was never talked about again. They offered short counceling only for the students of the perished student's class. Nothing for other students, nothing for teachers. Teachers wouldn't talk about it, deal with it. They wouldn't think, together, what was the reason, how could the students be supported, and if there's something that could be done to prevent something like that from happening again. It was horrible, and to me, also disrespectful for the student who was now gone. May she rest in peace.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Doubts growing in Japan over Tokyo Olympics See in context

Postponing would be great, but cancelling would be a disaster.

Please don't forget that for many people their livelihoods depend on the games. People are hired to work for the Tokyo Olympics as a project - it's not an on-going situation. No games = no jobs.

If the games would suddenly be cancelled, e.g. my husband would loose his job. It would be very difficult for us in our 40's to suddenly find a new job with a similar salary - we wouldn't be able to pay our rent and bills, we'd be homeless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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