Japan to finally end the Covid-19 State of Emergency after many months
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the ending of the State of Emergency. Henceforth, from September 30, it will be the first time since April that Japan will be free from all measures concerning the Covid-19 crisis.
Ironically, Suga will soon step down and be replaced by a new leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Normally, the leader of the LDP wins the general election. Therefore, the next leader of the LDP will be free to focus on other pressing issues – while maintaining a watchful eye on a possible rebound of new coronavirus infections.
The surge of daily coronavirus infections during the Olympic timeframe was high by Japan’s standards. However, once the Olympic timeframe ended, the decline was rapid.
In a past article, by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated: “The upshot of the Olympics and Paralympics timeframe is 118,000 people recuperating at home; approximately 2,000 national severe cases (higher when Saitama reports its figure and if Tokyo counted like other prefectures); the health care system is under enormous strain; preventable home deaths; bed and equipment shortages; new daily infection highs in the majority of prefectures; and the increasing economic and psychological burden concerning the longevity of the crisis and the severity of the latest coronavirus wave.”
Senior figures dealing with the coronavirus crisis in Japan hint that the changed perception during the Olympics had a dramatic impact on how many people interacted. This concerns a sense of normality and the media sector focusing on the Olympics. Therefore, the rise in coronavirus infections during the Olympic timeframe was dramatic – just like the sudden fall shortly afterward.
NHK reports, “Suga says he wants to lift anti-virus precautions in phases to avoid another surge in cases.”
Suga continued, “We will enhance our response to the spread of infections through vaccinations and improvements to healthcare, and work on balancing antivirus measures with getting life back to normal.”
In the past, infections increased after the State of Emergency – or quasi coronavirus measures – were lifted in the hardest-hit prefectures. Thus caution is being urged this time to a greater extent. Also, Japan is optimistic that the vaccine rollout will reduce deaths and serious infections. Thereby, freeing up the health care system.
Cynicism remains inside Japan because the dramatic fall coincides with the LDP leadership battle. This will be followed by a general election later this year.
Lee Jay Walker says, “Cynicism also concerns Tokyo and limited PCR testing. Hence, in recent weeks, only 2,000 to 3,500 PCR tests have been taken on several days. Indeed, a few days ago, only 1,659 PCR tests were taken in the capital of Japan despite the sizeable population. Therefore, trust in the ruling LDP and the leader of Tokyo stretches the imagination.”
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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