Nationalist Kishida and tourism: Japan hits 20 percent of all daily Covid cases

Nationalist Kishida and tourism: Japan hits 20 percent of all daily Covid cases

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The one sure thing under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan is that he utilizes nationalism at the drop of a hat. His foreign policy is aimed at being avidly anti-Russia and spreading the anti-China mantra. Kishida’s Covid-19 (coronavirus) policy also highlights the difference between Japanese nationals and international tourists who need guides. Of course, Japanese tourists and business people leaving Japan don’t need guides. 

Ironically, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) utilizes Yasukuni Shrine on the one hand: but Japan relies on the armed forces of America to protect the nation-state while also following the geopolitical whims of Washington. Likewise, Kishida’s hypocrisy abounds about the treatment of foreign nationals concerning the coronavirus in Japan. After all, Kishida specifies that foreign tourists need tour guides and monitoring is higher than ordinary Japanese nationals. However, Kishida relies on foreign vaccines to fight the severity of coronavirus when people become infected. 

Kishida is enforcing the “us” and “them” mentality that dominates vast spaces of society. For example, foreign nationals – irrespective of male or female – rarely win cases concerning child custody in Japan when the other partner is Japanese. Therefore, his foreign policy is avidly anti-Russia and anti-China -and his coronavirus policy firmly stipulates the “us” and “them” mentality. 

Recently, Japan is nearing 20 percent of all daily international coronavirus cases. Under Kishida, he seeks to give up on any type of rational measures to stem the tide of infections. Yes, no need to stifle business too much. However, even mild state of emergency measures to quasi measures (a far cry from the draconian nations of Canada and the United Kingdom) brought down coronavirus numbers – on the whole. Therefore, why is Kishida enforcing draconian measures on foreign tourists: while Japanese nationals are entering the nation along with business people in high numbers?

Simply put, petty nationalism is part and parcel of Kishida’s term in office despite all his smiles when with G7 leaders. Thus no shock that few tourists are entering Japan. Indeed, it is ironic that tourists need to abide by strict measures. After all, Japan accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of all daily international coronavirus cases in recent days. 

Only 1,500 foreign tourists entered the country according to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan – since tourists were allowed to re-enter Japan last month. 

Yes, only 1,500 tourists entered out of 484,000 people in the figures released. Approximately 60 percent of people who re-entered Japan were mainly Japanese tourists or Japanese business people who didn’t face the same draconian measures in the nations they came from. Others are international business individuals, international students, and cheap labor from poorer Asian nations. 

Japan can’t note the obvious racism. Also, Japan currently accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all international daily coronavirus cases in recent days (today’s coronavirus count will be lower because of the Sunday effect. However, it will probably rise from Tuesday onward). Therefore, who needs protecting from who? 

NHK reports, “The agency and the Japan Tourism Agency attribute the low number to the time-consuming process needed to travel to Japan. Tourists are required to obtain a sightseeing visa and show a negative PCR test result. They can only travel on group tours, which are less preferred by Western tourists.”

Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Prime Minister Fumio Kishida took office on October 4, 2021. Since then, Covid-19 (coronavirus) infections in Japan and the Yen to Dollar rate sum up his administration – it is the “do nothing approach.” Therefore, over 85 percent of coronavirus infections have occurred since Kishida took office – while the Yen decline to the dollar is roughly 25 percent.”

Petty nationalism and the “do nothing approach” sums up the early period of the Kishida administration. It is hoped that he will end his “egotistic international trips” – along with endless statements that berate the Russian Federation and China. 

Instead, Kishida should focus on the mountain of debt, static wages (recent energy price increases and foodstuffs negate small wage increases), pension issues, the low birth rate, and the endless coronavirus crisis that puts enormous strains on the health care system, and other important issues. 

Sadly, Kishida seems more focused on doubling the military defense budget despite Japan’s perilous economic situation concerning debt – and avoiding real bread and butter issues. Thus the treatment of foreign tourists says a lot about the petty nationalism of Kishida. 

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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