Japan in new Covid-19 infection high thus curtailing the Obon holiday for many
Kanako Mita and Chika Mori
Modern Tokyo Times
Japan recorded a new high in daily coronavirus (Covid-19) infections of 1,597. Thus the important Obon holiday (August 13-16) will be curtailed by many Japanese people – even if not declared by the central government. Therefore, this will bring sadness to millions of families who meet during this special period.
In Japan, the Buddhist and Confucian legacy of Obon is a time when family members meet and pay respect to their ancestors. It is believed that ancestors will revisit family altars. Hence, irrespective of the religious angle in secular Japan, it is a time for families to bond.
Yet the coronavirus crisis means that this period is a threat to the elderly because they belong to a high-risk group. This especially applies to people linked to areas of high infections. Therefore, each region will provide different advice depending on the respective situation.
In Tokyo, another 462 new infections were recorded, while in Osaka (255) and Okinawa (100) both reached new highs. This means that common sense will prevail for most people in avoiding relatives during Obon this year.
The State of Emergency was declared by the Governor Of Aichi, Hideaki Omura, because of increasing infections. Also, he understands the importance of Obon and the need to protect the elderly and other vulnerable groups. Thus he asked people to desist from all non-essential trips within Aichi outside of emergencies.
Yuriko Koike, the Governor of Tokyo, is requesting people to refrain from leaving the environs of the capital city. Hence, while it isn’t enforceable, many will oblige naturally. Therefore, Obon will feel very different this year for millions of people in Japan.
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.
https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis
https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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