Japan Health Minister apologizes for the large party despite Covid-19
Kanako Mita and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
The Japanese minister in charge of Health, Labor, and Welfare apologized deeply for 23 officials enjoying a late-night farewell party despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. Thus Tamura Norihisa apologized profusely for betraying the trust of the people of Japan.
It comes at a time of increasing daily coronavirus infections in several parts of the country. This includes Osaka and Tokyo – and other parts of Japan. Therefore, the actions of these officials are shocking given the prevailing situation.
Katsunobu Kato, a government spokesperson, uttered, “It is extremely regrettable that the health ministry, which is in charge of the coronavirus response, was involved in such a case.”
Indeed, despite the recent lifting of the State of Emergency, the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is requesting Tokyoites to refrain from late-night drinking, eating, and maintaining a sense of vigilance. Hence, the actions of individuals linked to the ministry are undermining public trust.
NHK reports, “It’s been learned that 23 officials at the ministry’s bureau in charge of the health and welfare of elderly people dined at a restaurant in Tokyo last Wednesday. Some of them are said to have stayed until close to midnight.”
Reuters says, “Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures emerged from a state of emergency over COVID-19 infections on March 21, but the government has continued to ask restaurants to close early at 9 p.m. and for the public to limit gatherings.”
The gathering took part in the opulent district of Ginza in Tokyo. Therefore, at a time when many people are struggling in Japan and are worried about the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the ministry, just like a few politicians caught going to hostess bars in recent times, is undermining public trust.
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