Vinke comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,502 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,587 See in context


G. The Japanese people in general are doing great with social distancing, not packing elevators, washing hands even at train stations without soap and water. No one argues about not wearing a mask except for the doctor wanna B posters with no credentials to back their statements. (Usually non-Japanese by the way)

So you probably live in the inaka somewhere, but definitely not in Tokyo. I see social distancing absolutely nowhere, but packed elevators, escalators and people who skip washing their hands everywhere. Add to that the ever-growing group of people who wear their face masks on their chin, exposing their noses.

The concept of social distancing is just not understood here - 20cm is not 2m.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Pet ownership in Japan on the rise amid pandemic See in context


There are many dog owners in Tokyo near where I live. The dogs seem to be treated like royalty and even pushed around in strollers. To each his/her own.

I feel both heart broken and angry every time I see dogs pushed around in strollers - they should be walking and running, getting the exercise they need, sniffing around and exploring places. To be pushed around in strollers and dressed in completely unnecessary frilly clothes is not a good life for a dog - it's hell.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Pet ownership in Japan on the rise amid pandemic See in context

Jonathan Prin

Most pets are bought as tropheys, with pets with special race.

You should pay only for the service provided to take care of the pet, not a dime on the pet itself. So it should be nearly free.

Anyone paying such ridiculous prices mentioned in some above comment is like saying that life doesn't matter.

My family got 2 cats, a mother and one of its kitten and why would I not care for them, even though it could mean I have to give them to another person for temporary or permanent custody ?

Personally, I wanted to take one old pet in the shelter but it was best to save 2 of them at the same time.

By the way, "rencontrer mignon" is French and means "Meet cute", so very Japanese. I hope pet commercial shops will be banished since life has no price in my eyes.

I have to say I think au contraire, with you. I think it's good people have to pay for the pets, as then they need to make a bigger commitment already from the first step. If the pets were free or nearly free, it would be so much easier for people to acquire pets on a whim, and then just abandon them as soon as the charm fades or difficulties occur. All in all I hope people would adopt (=but still pay) their pets from shelters or buy them directly from responsible breeders, and never from the pet shops here in Japan - they are awful places for animals.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 970 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 4,535 See in context


Please it hurts to laugh. Rarely is soap provided at public restrooms. No one here social distances unless there's big stickers telling them where to stand or sit. Masks? Most do the right thing I grant you, its the morons who don't wear them properly that ruins it for everyone else.

Yup, like the man in the picture. COVER YOUR NOSE!!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Sumo wrestler quits, saying his coronavirus fears were ignored See in context

Well, soon there may be no tournaments to arrange, as there may be no wrestlers left - thanks to JSA and their ignorance towards the virus.

Kudos to Kotokantetsu. He made the right choice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: From macaques to crabs, wildlife faces threat from face masks See in context

This is exactly why I've been making and using washable cloths masks (with a pocket for filters, if necessary) from the beginning, and also promoting them to others. It's not just the sheer number of waste and pollution they disposable ones are causing, it's the suffering for the wildlife as well, as depicted in the article.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Young Japanese celebrate Coming-of-Age Day under COVID's shadow See in context


Only people who never want, will or have intergrate in the Japanese life and its culture and traditions, call for stopping this wonderful tradition.

There's a huge difference between stopping and postponing.

-14 ( +9 / -23 )

Posted in: Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travelers from Brazil See in context

( typo from the above: " ...there's simply no social distancing in place anywhere I can see,... )

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan finds new coronavirus variant in travelers from Brazil See in context

Lt. Winters

"There are two problems. A Covid test can be faked easily. It's usually a pdf sent by email. The word positive can be changed to negative by a child with a computer."

Yup, this what happen, when 18 Indonesians tested positive at Narita two weeks ago. This is true, especially, if they are coming from a third world country.

Except Japan requires a certain format for the covid test, with the doctor's/clinics signature or stamp on it. To my understanding this means the 'hard copy' with the original signature/stamp, i.e. not a printed copy. Bit harder to fake that.

"Once you arrive to Japan if you test positive without symptoms you just go to a hotel anyway,"

You are correct. They should be sent back to their own country.

Oh, and infect more people on their way back? What if and when their lives are here now? Their families, jobs and homes? That means Japan in fact is their home now. There are many immigrants in Japan working to make this society function better; in factories, care homes, hospitals etc. Probably many nurses too, taking care of covid patients. Would you like to send them away as well?

"The second problem is that people are not following the rules of the quarantine at all. We can blame the Japanese system for being too relaxed, the trust system does not work for non-Japanese."

Well said. And people wonder why the Japanese don't trust foreigners.

Funny that, because lately I'm having real big issues in trusting Japanese nationals. The sheer amount of negligence towards safety measures etc makes me want to vomit every time I need to go to the supermarket. Majority of the people now ignore the disinfectants by the door, 1/4 of people are either not wearing any masks or wearing the masks under their nose, there's simply no social in place anywhere I can see, and no shops are limiting the amount of customers within their walls. I'm often the only customer who disinfects hands both on the way in and on the way out, wears a mask at all times, does not fiddle or touch the mask, and keeps the 2m distance (whenever possible) to other people. And still I get the scared stares - "Oh no! Gaijin!"

There have been clips on tv of interviews/phone calls, where Japanese citizens are asking their doctors "huh, what, are you saying I can't go to the super sento or pachinko just because I have covid-19??!"

Based on what I've seen and heard lately, I doubt that many Japanese are following the quarantine rules themselves. I'd say foreigners are following the prevention methods way better.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Young Japanese celebrate Coming-of-Age Day under COVID's shadow See in context

Lt. Winters

Interesting comments. Every year at this time the comments about coming of age day are always the same. It is stupid , it cost too much money etc. This year it is corona. Of course, they forgot to read the following:

"in a message read out to attendees who had to abide with anti-infection measures.

Participants wore face masks, had their temperature checks and were asked just to listen to the national anthem, instead of singing it out loud."

Masks alone do not prevent the infection from spreading, a mere temperature check tells nothing, as you could be spreading covid-19 even as an asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic carrier. The point is, all kinds of events where people are gathering together should be postponed or cancelled for now. The coming of age ceremony could be held next autumn, for example, when the youngsters could have beautiful momiji to back their photos and beautiful kimonos.

And even if some countries are still ignorant and arrogant enough to organise such events, I'm happy to say that e.g. in my native country no events are currently organised, and no events/gatherings of more than 5 people are allowed. Just because someone else does something wrong somewhere else, does not erase the wrong-doing and non-logical behaviour here.

-18 ( +5 / -23 )

Posted in: Japanese pray for end to pandemic in annual ice bath ritual at Tokyo shrine See in context

Ice-swimming (or, Ice-squatting in this case?) has its undisputed health benefits though. It increases the serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin production in the body, as well as enhances your blood circulation and boosts your immune system. A relatively normal thing to do for many people in the nordic countries, for example. ( e.g. : )

It probably isn't such a wise and healthy thing to do so in groups during a pandemic though...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Coronavirus third wave puts many Japanese hospitals on overload See in context


They already have a facility built and ready to use: the Olympic Village.

But as it's been mentioned many times, beds are easy, it's the people running them which are in short supply.

Except the village is not completely ready and operating yet, and definitely not at a level necessary to accommodate any kind of patients. I know, because I know people who are working there.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,268 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 7,790 See in context

(I don't know who is Vince, but if the previous comment was for me) -

It was on NHK tv news. But google is a friend, and I found this article:

They'll basically limit the contact tracing/testing to old folks' homes. This article, to my understanding, doesn't mention the manpower issue, but it was on the tv news.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think the state of emergency will be effective in lowering the number of coronavirus cases in Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures? See in context

First of all I wouldn't call merely closing bars a couple of hours "a state of emergency"...

So my answer, with the current actions, is obviously no. The current state of things will not change anything.

There should be some real, effective measures taken, to actually show this really is a state of emergency. Now it's just a charade, and the J-gov and the governors are simply crossing their fingers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,268 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 7,790 See in context

There was a report in the news today, that Kanagawa has stopped contact tracing and testing for covid-19 cases, except for the immediate family members of an infected person. I.e., if e.g. one of your colleagues at work tests positive for corona, none of you will be tested.

They say the reason is they simply can't cope with the influx of cases anymore, and "don't have the manpower" to handle it all (all the while there's an increasing number of people looking for jobs...). But, this as well, could be the real reason for the ridiculously - and dangerously - low level of testing in this country.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Suga pledges to improve coronavirus situation in 1 month See in context

Some (wise) parents have started to pull their kids from schools, and enter them to foreign schools offering tuition online. I hope this spreads and sends a message to the J-gov.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Posted in: New coronavirus cases in Tokyo soar to 2,447; nationwide tally 7,570 See in context


@Vinke: I agree with your post, except that the test numbers of 5000 is for Tokyo, not all of Japan.

True, that was a typo!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: New coronavirus cases in Tokyo soar to 2,447; nationwide tally 7,570 See in context

Simian Lane

And now for some much needed perspective. The Czech Republic is a relatively small country and is clocking over 12,000 new infections a day. I’m not saying 2,000 is wonderful, I’m just saying this daily increase reporting isn’t horrifying this reader or making him do anything different to what he was doing last week. I care more about temperature drop, then wear a warm jacket.

When comparing cases in Japan/Tokyo, to cases in other country or a city, please take into consideration also the amount of tests done:

The Czech Republic is first of all offering free tests to its citizens. Japan/Tokyo is not.

The Czech Republic is performing 4.20 tests per thousand people.

Japan is performing 0.25 tests per thousand people.

The Czech Health Ministry is aiming to provide 60,000 tests per day, up from the current average of 28,000.

In Japan the current average is +/- 5000 tests per day. Japan said many months ago, that it aims to ramp up the testing to around 60,000 as well, but nothing has happened.

Also, where do you think the virus has more opportunities to spread? In a country or a city with scarce population and where strict measures against the spread of the virus are taken (Czech Rep.), or a country or a city with extremely dense population, where pretty much no measures against the virus are taken (Tokyo/Japan)?

22 ( +29 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 1,591 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,001 See in context


What makes this figure incredibly disturbing is this number - just 4477 tests.

Unbelievable, and unsustainable if things are to improve.

Exactly! I can't believe the WHO and international media has not noted this.

15 ( +28 / -13 )

Posted in: Worry, frustration, uncertainty as state of emergency looms for Tokyo, neighboring prefectures See in context


The only concern I have is that the school will also close. Then my wife should stay home and take care of our kid. And she will lose her income and probably her job

Why is it automatically your wife who should stay home? Why not you?

Or, why don't you negotiate with your employers and take turns - take care of your kid together, equally.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Suga to make decision on state of emergency on Thursday See in context

Officials of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry said the risk of infections spreading through schools is low given limited coronavirus infections among children to date. They also pointed to the relatively small number of cases in which children have developed severe health complications related to COVID-19.

Errr - first, they do almost no testing - so how can they know, if there are infections among children, or not?

Second, kids CAN and WILL spread the virus around, even if they're asymptomatic, to their possibly vulnerable parents and grandparents, who then again spread it further to their colleagues, neighbours and friends.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 884 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,295 See in context

@Ashley Shiba

One way to be tested and not to pay is go and donate blood when their is call out and they will automatically test for the coronavirus as well as HIV if you have a worry of having that. I plan to donate the next time there is a bus set up by my next station.

Good idea, works for some. Just be sure to check the criteria before you go, as not everyone are eligible to donate. For example I can't donate blood in Japan, as I've resided in some European countries on their no go-list between 1980 and the present day. Majority of European countries are on that list..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan begins year's 1st day of work as coronavirus continues to spread See in context

In neighboring Miyagi Prefecture's Onagawa town, which was ravaged by the tsunami, Mayor Yoshiaki Suda said in an address to municipal employees, "Learning from experience over the past 10 years, we will overcome hardships as a team."

Too bad the government isn't working together with the citizens as a team... it's more like they're playing against us.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Do you think those people calling for a lockdown in Japan have secure jobs and income? See in context

Why are you even asking such intentionally divisive questions in the first place, JT?

The whole point is, that if we can't get the infection levels down and the virus in control, NO business will eventually be able to continue, as people can't use any services when they're sick, because they're out of money because of being sick and paying for hospital bills, or because they're afraid they'll get sick .

With a more strict and effective SOE we could get to a better situation much more quickly, in everyone's favour.

The whole point is, that the government should aid those who would temporarily suffer from a SOE.

I don't have a secure job and income, but am praying and pleading (and I never pray), that this government would finally actually DO something.

(And P.S. - the possibly upcoming new SOE is a joke, a charade - closing bars 2h earliers is not going to do anything.)

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Posted in: When you first heard about the coronavirus, did you think it would escalate into a global crisis that would still be with us as the new year begins? See in context

Last winter I watched the Pandemic on Netflix, and two days later there were the first news of covid-19.

I remember nervously chuckling about the coincidence, thinking surely the situation won't evolve to anything too serious.. and then again fearing, that "Oh ****, maybe it will". And it did.

In a way I'm not surprised at all about the severity of the virus/pandemic itself, but what has baffled me is how people are denying science, and how people are turning against each other, not working together for the common good.

I also didn't expect to loose friendships over this virus, but I did. Maybe it's for the good this way, though.

Can't really deal with people who are so irresponsible, think the virus is a hoax, that masks are for nothing, and believe in 'spirituality and mindfulness' (maybe even unicorns) to cure everything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: 5 taken to hospitals in Tokyo after choking on mochi; one dies See in context

@Hello Kitty 321

A lot of people make their own omochi.

Ah, yes, probably. I'd totally support Smithinjapan's idea especially in cases like that.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: 5 taken to hospitals in Tokyo after choking on mochi; one dies See in context

Pirate coins (check from wikipedia), with the diameter of approximately 2,5cm, were one of my favourite candies as a kid. They also posed a notorious choking hazard, so eventually they were retracted from the market. A new, smaller version came out later, but it's not the same... taste and feeling is different.

However, perhaps some kind of variation could be produced of the mochi as well? Sell the mini mochi alongside the traditional one?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,337 daily COVID cases; nationwide tally 4,519 See in context


No problem in my view. Think about the total population in the Tokyo Yokohama area. Drop in a bucket.[

Plus no rise in severe cases. Walked 12.6 kilometers today. Only heard one ambulance.

Sadly though, the hospitals can only also accommodate a drop in the bucket - not the whole population of Tokyo Yokohama area. 59 deaths yesterday, making it the second worst day so far.

Where did you walk, by the way? By the river/sea? In the forest? Surely no ambulances there.

I live a few km from a hospital taking care of covid-19 patients - ambulances all day long.

11 ( +22 / -11 )

Posted in: Tokyo governor warns of explosion in COVID-19 cases See in context


Stop looking at a picture in Tokyo and saying this is Japan. There are plenty of people, shops and restaurants that observe social distancing in non-Tokyo Japan. I swear people that live in Tokyo and the media are hypnotized in believing there is no World outside of Tokyo.

Great if it is so, but it doesn't really help us who live IN Tokyo. Tokyo, where 14+ million people live.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 944 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,834 See in context


The good news is the numbers should be lower the next 5-6 days, since the testing will have stopped for the year-end holidays.

I don't think brushing the problem under the carpet and giving people a false sense of security is in any way a good thing...

Responsible country and responsible clinics should stay open and keep on testing over the holidays.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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