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

wanderlust comments

Posted in: Japan's state of emergency is no lockdown. What is it? See in context

The meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and live events industry has also been hit, with cancellations starting from more knowledgeable and caring clients much earlier in February. These are jobs that can't be done from home! Some video-conferencing or webstreaming has been done, but is often limited due to security, and now people at both ends are absent from their workplaces.

The on-site AV, lighting, rigging, camera, production, printing and conference management companies have seen zero income for a couple of months now, along with many of the freelance specialist technicians and engineers. They typically have 2-4 months of reserves, and rely on good cash flow management. Another month or two, and they'll be unable to pay their staff left, along with premises, overheads, and the inevitable purchases of the latest equipment that clients demand.

All are wondering what kind of support will be available?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Masks are everywhere in Asia, but have they helped? See in context

Not expecting Abe's two cloth masks to be in hands of the populace for at least a month, how they can they be a key response to the outbreak? It will be about three months too late!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Environmentalist C W Nicol dies at 79 See in context

As a fellow Welshman who spent some of my childhood in the forests and mountains of North Wales, I could understand his love of the Japanese forests and woodlands, and his Afan Woodland Trust, named after a famous Welsh saint, did much to restore and preserve the woodlands. One of my favourite Japan novels was his 'Harpoon' (Isana) that was loosely based on the story of John Manjiro, one of 5 sailors rescued by an American whaler, and taken to the USA, at a time when Japan's isolation meant that leaving the country was punishable by death. He later returned, as a skilled harpooner, and after a brief period in custody, was of great service to the emperor, in a similar manner to Will Adams, the anjin-san of Shogun fame. Orffwys mewn hedd -RIP.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't to grant tax moratorium for virus-hit firms with 20% revenue drop See in context

SMEs try to minimise their taxes, they don't want to pay the 50% corporate tax, so it won't affect them much, though not paying NHI, pension and asset tax will help a little as it comprises around 18% salaries. They often rent their office or premises, so property tax and city planning tax are also out. With zero income, what they want are positive help with rent and salaries, or even just salaries of staff as other countries are doing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Fujifilm starts Avigan trial to treat coronavirus See in context

Fujifilm should be urgently doing accelerated clinical trials around the world, not just a single study in Japan. There are enough clinical trial research organisations (CROs) idle now who could assist them.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Private-sector advisers to Abe call for massive economic stimulus measures See in context

Very few of the SMEs (Small/ Medium sized Enterprises) that make up a large part (60-70%) of the Japan economy will be able to afford more than 3-4 months of staff wages, overheads, compulsory payments, with zero income coming. Cash flow reserves will dry up. A 6-7 person small business such as a shop, media company, workshop, import agency, or restaurant will need income of around 1.5-2.0 Million Yen each month just to cover these costs. Once this goes, staff are released, the business dies, and in turn they can't pay their rent, mortgages, loans, food, utilities and other daily necessities. There is a huge ripple effect. Any support must be delivered within the next 3 months,

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Kansai Electric vows to improve governance after bribery scandal See in context

We'll use on-line payments and Bitcoins as our preferred bribe currency instead of brown envelopes, it will improve transparency!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan said to favor home-grown design for next-generation fighter See in context

...U.S companies, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman, are still potential partners, the sources said...

More like subtle soliciting of brown envelopes from potential partners...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan not planning to declare state of emergency but will expand entry bans See in context

In an unusual move, Qatar Airways is increasing the frequency of its flights to some regions around the world, from its ME hub, and is helping bring lots of expats and travelers/ holidaymakers home. It even started a new flight to Brisbane, a new 4th destination in Australia.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Contagion' movie stars tell fans coronavirus is 'real life' See in context

New Scientist commented very favourably on the realism of the film, though the scenario was accelerated for Hollywood. An eminent virologist was an advisor on the film, which was based around the Nipah virus, and coincidentally went from bat to banana to pig to human in Hong Kong/ China. Might wake up people to what could and is happening.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to set ambitious target for esports expansion through 2025 See in context

Good to see some post-Olympic planning. Besides a possible Osaka World Expo in 2025, they do not have much in their calendar...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: JAL to let female crew ditch high heels after #KuToo campaign See in context

Next, maybe both JAL and ANA can get rid of the oversized neck scarf that they make staff wear. Flight attendant friends say it is both uncomfortable and gets in the way at work.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: World's ailing airlines appeal for aid See in context

One consequence of reduced flights; a number of airlines will keep some airplanes and crew flying to ensure that some pilots remain qualified; they need to have a minimum of 3 take-offs and touch-downs every 90 days in the same type of airplane to remain type qualified. Otherwise, if and when the situation clears up there may be few or no pilots qualified/ available to fly, unless authorities waive the rules, probably not possible due to legal and insurance requirements,

As stated above, airlines are also using regular flights with no passengers to carry freight, a Boeing 777 can carry more than 55,000 kg in its 2 cargo holds, though the price is much higher than if it were in a dedicated freighter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: UK health minister says 560,000 volunteers sign up to help NHS See in context

Make sure that they all have the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), before getting close to any infected patients. A number of medical, nursing and healthcare staff have already died caring for infected patients.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan considers one-year grace period for corporate taxpayers hit by virus See in context

A typical small business of 5-6 employees, would need income of between 1.5 and 2.0 million yen each month to pay wages, premises, overheads and statutory costs like NHI. Income now is down to zero. It probably would not have paid much tax, if any, so a tax rebate is meaningless, as is a tax grace period. It may have cash reserves for a couple of months, but that's all. It needs hard cash now to offset the total loss of income. Other governments around the world are giving up to 80% of lost wages to people, not loans or tax rebates.

5-6 employees may equate to 3-4 families with children, paying rent, mortgages, and all the costs of daily life here, and they in turn pay local shops and businesses, who will in turn lose sales. Quite a multiplier effect.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese comedian Ken Shimura tests positive for COVID-19 See in context

He is the Japanese Benny Hill!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: As governments around the world apply strict measures to contain the coronavirus, millions of people are losing their jobs and companies are facing bankruptcy. Do you think the economic fallout is worse than the health impact? See in context

I wonder with so many small businesses, freelance workers, and self-employed suddenly without a job and income; unable to pay rent, mortgages, loans, staff, and basic needs; if we'll see an increase in the suicide rate? With virtually no tangible government support, banks unwilling to lend money, friends and family in similar positions, will people decide that they can't go on, and take their own lives?

It's something else that we should prepare for.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Olympic torch relay to proceed as planned See in context

Yoshiro Mori must have just come back from his 3 x week dialysis, looking at the bandage on his wrist/ lower arm. Is he really fit and well enough to be in charge of the transition of the 2020/ 2021 Olympics?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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

More bureaucratic nonsense and stubborness from the authorities here. It reminds of post-3/11 when they were waiting for faxed orders for medicines and health supplies from towns and villages that had been flattened and flooded, with no power or communication lines.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Canada won't send Olympic team in July; urges postponement See in context

Great statement and decision from Canada, and they didn't even say sorry! I believe that many countries will now copy the Canadians, leaving the IOC with no choice but to postpone.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC chief rebuts growing calls for Olympic postponement See in context

A lot of the money has already beeen spent by the host country and city in construction and preparations. Assuming Japanese construction companies have not cut corners and used sub-standard materials, they should still be standing in 2021. The IOC is sitting on cash reserves of around 2 billion dollars, that should be enough for even them to keep going for another year, until the gravy train starts up again.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan car lobby group chief says coronavirus having big impact on sales, output See in context

Disruption to the global supply chain is a major factor, Japanese manufacturers can't obtain parts from cheap suppliers in China and SE Asia, and local parts makers are unable to tool up and scale up in time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Why Italy? The factors behind a coronavirus disaster See in context

Compare Japan - in public little displays of affection, kissing, hugging, shaking hands, almost no skinship; with Italian warmth and physical familiarity, embracing, kissing, etc..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan plans corporate tax refunds for virus-hit companies See in context

a sales slump itself will not qualify a company for a refund if it stems only from the economic fallout...

So basically nothing for most companies. Compare the offer of ¥12,000 per person, to the UK paying 80% of wages up to GBP2,500/ month for nearly one million people.

I'd expect a lot of small to medium sized businesses to go bust, they have small cash flow reserves - typically just a few months, and with zero income from sales they are unable to pay salaries, overheads and bank loans; and both full-time, and part-timers who make up around half of the workforce, will be unable to pay rent, mortgages, loans, monthly utility bills, etc..

Already I know of a few of these businesses that are kept going by the owners using their savings, but they will not last long; a small company with 5-6 employees and an office/ workshop needs at least ¥1,500,000 month to cover their staff and expenses.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: N Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles See in context

Looks like a chubbier version of Herr Flick, the Gestapo chief from the comedy series 'Allo Allo!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Governors ask people to avoid Osaka-Hyogo trips during long weekend See in context

At the same time, Miyagi-ken is asking for 'exchange population' through high-quality tourism programs!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC says no need for any drastic decisions on Tokyo Olympics See in context

The Lords of the Rings are desperate for the income from broadcasting rights, especially US TV. They have to pay for their lifestyle.

What other global organisation in the small print stipulates and requires 'smiling, positive and welcoming staff at the airport', sports facilities (!) FOC for every IOC hotel guest and IOC staff member, as well as dedicated traffic lanes for their staff. (Ref: Sports Diplomacy: Origins, Theory and Practice By Stuart Murray - 2019)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Kansai Electric ordered to improve operations after bribery scandal See in context

Maybe change the brown envelopes to bit-coins?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan eyes scaling back crown prince's April ascension rituals See in context

Very few people attend these ceremonies; just a handful of the chosen elite, vetted by Imperial Household Agency. The average Suzuki or Satoh has little idea that they are even happening.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Osaka man arrested after reserving and canceling 1,873 seats at 2 baseball games to get more space See in context

**@mmwkdw** charges of obstructing business? Haven't come across that one before.

It's a 'catch all' that is often used when no designated crime has been committed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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