Japan extends minimal State of Emergency: Osaka crisis and carefree slowness

Japan extends minimal State of Emergency: Osaka crisis and carefree slowness

Noriko Watanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the extension of the coronavirus (Covid-19) State of Emergency. Thus the next extension will continue in Hyogo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo until the end of May. However, with increasing daily infections in other parts of Japan, the prefectures of Aichi and Fukuoka have now been added.

In truth, the extension remains minimal. Indeed, some areas of the State of Emergency have even been loosened. For example, department stores can open more freely during set hours than during the last emergency period. Hence, with Suga and the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike being distracted by the Tokyo Olympics, little is changing.

Osaka announced the deaths of 50 people today, which is a daily high figure. Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura of Osaka said bluntly the health care system dealing with coronavirus is “reaching breaking point.”

The BBC reports, “In one nursing home in Osaka 61 residents were infected with the virus, and 14 died while waiting to receive hospital treatment, broadcaster NHK reported.”

Suga said, “In Osaka, we need more time to improve what is a critical situation concerning hospital beds, as variants known to be more contagious continue to spread.”

However, one makes you wonder why Suga and regional governors have just seemed to wish coronavirus away. In other words, actions by political elites at the central and local levels have been shockingly shallow and ineffective. After all, deaths in the first four months of 2021 are higher than all coronavirus deaths in 2020.

Like the slow vaccination program – and no internal Japanese vaccine being available – Japanese political elites just watch and say the same empty words. While for Suga and Koike, they are also distracted by the Olympics and Paralympics.

From the Mekong Delta to Asian nations in Northeast Asia (excluding the Russian Federation that also belongs to Northeast Asia), the death toll in Japan is the highest. However, unlike the urgency that is being shown throughout the Mekong Delta and Northeast Asia, everything is slow and repetitive in Japan.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-57008984

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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