Japan Covid-19: PM Suga says “time for stricter measures” after the Olympics just finished
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis is at its height in Japan since the Olympic timeframe began concerning the changed perceptions. Thus, while individuals were watching Japan winning Olympic medals – and emphasis on the Olympics in the media – it helped to either provide a sign of normalcy while for others the hypocrisy was startling. Therefore, both forces created a further carefree approach.
Shigeru Omi, the chief coronavirus advisor to the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, sums it up best. He said, “The biggest risk is the lack of a sense of crisis, and without it, the infections will further expand and put medical systems under severe strain.”
Hence, during the Olympic timeframe – and continuing – daily new highs are being reported for coronavirus infections in many prefectures. Similarly, new daily high infections for all of Japan have been broken often in recent weeks.
Suga, who loathes providing economic financial assistance unlike his predecessor Shinzo Abe, amazingly said, “We plan to comprehensively implement our measures, which fall under three pillars. They are: improving the medical system, preventing infections, and carrying out vaccinations.”
Firstly, nearly all deaths from coronavirus have happened on the watch of Suga. Likewise, infection rates are at the highest because of his lackluster approach. The same applies to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike who is more media-savvy but equally vague.
Secondly, why is Suga saying this now? After all, the coronavirus entered Japan in the middle of January last year. So why didn’t he – and regional leaders including Koike – implement stronger measures against infections and prepare the medical system for the worst-case scenario late last year?
Suga and Koike knew full well prior to the Olympics that the highly infectious Delta variant (first reported in India) was spreading in many parts of the world. Also, new daily cases were being reported in many parts of Japan. Despite this, it seems that recent State of Emergencies in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama – prior to and during the Olympics – were solely aimed at this event.
Hence, the financial and psychological well-being of ordinary people appears secondary under Suga. Thus no economic support and virtually no changed policies since he came to power. Therefore, the onus is on ordinary people suffering economically and psychologically while the government does little.
Kanako Mita says, “Suga and Koike – and others – are like broken records. Hence, again it is teleworking and reducing commuter rates. Yes, the policy of yesterday, today, and tomorrow once more and with little economic support for vast numbers of people struggling – or who are suffering from reduced wages, loss of perks, and reduced bonuses.”
The main policy of Suga is to rely on foreign vaccines and drugs concerning anti-virals and so forth. After all, unlike many other nations, Japan is slow in producing its own internal coronavirus vaccines thus countless bottlenecks.
More prefectures have been added to quasi-emergency measures. However, like prefectures under the State of Emergencies – the same basic policies. Tokyo, for example, is under the State of Emergency but since the Olympic timeframe new daily high infection rates and serious cases have emerged. Therefore, with the health care system under enormous strain in Tokyo and in other parts of Japan during the ongoing State of Emergencies, – what confidence in the same tried and failed policies now?
Eventually, like other nations, the current serious coronavirus situation will reduce in severity and then start again to a lower level if proper lessons are learned – or, it will start again at a higher level like in Japan during the Olympics timeframe.
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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