Japan is edgy after the growth of coronavirus since Olympic change: Abe, Koike, and confusion
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The correlation between a sudden increase of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Japan and the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is hindering trust. This applies to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Tokyo Governor, Yuriko Koike. Therefore, the increased concern by Koike and the policies of Abe need questioning.
Indeed, while Abe loathes to lockdown the economy, even if he might be forced to based on the prevailing conditions on the ground; it seems more like political opportunism in relation to Koike. After all, within a virtual day of the games being postponed then suddenly she announced that Tokyoites should only go out at the weekend based on certain criteria. However, the problem is that the first case of coronavirus in Japan was in the middle of January.
Obviously, the over-emphasis on the Olympics by Abe and Koike is creating both fog and confusion. This relates to the sudden speed of Koike turning to the coronavirus issue to a greater extent. Meanwhile, trusting the Abe administration is difficult given the lack of testing for coronavirus in the first two months.
Time reports, “The sudden rise in the number of virus cases in Tokyo and the government’s strong actions immediately after the Olympic postponement have raised questions in parliament and among citizens about whether Japan understated the extent of the outbreak and delayed enforcement of social distancing measures while clinging to hopes that the games would start on July 24 as scheduled.”
Yukio Hatoyama, the former Prime Minister of Japan, is known to be outspoken and going against the grain. Yet, in relation to the cynical nature of events then many people share his indignation.
He stated on social media, “The coronavirus has spread while they waited. (For Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike) it was Olympics first, not Tokyo’s residents.”
Thus, with the number of coronavirus cases increasing in Japan then the policy of “quietism” by the central government and Tokyo Governor for two months are confusing people. This is based on nations witnessing a deteriorating situation in the first few weeks. Therefore, how come Japan seemed on top of the situation only for a downward spiral to happen after the failure of the Olympics?
Koike said, “The number of infections continues to increase from last week and we are at a crucial moment that will determine whether we can minimize the number of further infections.”
However, what really happened in the first two months of the coronavirus crisis along with minor concern until the postponement of the Olympics? Therefore, how can people trust either the Abe administration or Koike given the estranged nature of the coronavirus crisis in Japan – in the shadow of the Olympics?
If coronavirus cases keep on increasing in Japan then new policies will be needed to protect people. However, the less than sincere approach by Abe and Koike means the many people feel confused and let down.
After all, one minute Abe and Koike sought to preserve the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite the brutal reality of the coronavirus pandemic. Following on from this, you had over 50,000 people viewing the Olympic Torch and people enjoying the cherry blossom season. Then, within a flash, they both turned to the coronavirus crisis with greater passion and warned about sterner measures after the failure to hold the Olympics this year.
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