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News A new SoE, this time with teeth?

thomas

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In a news conference today, PM Suga mentioned the possibility of imposing a new state of emergency that could start as early (?) as next Saturday. Under pressure from the governors of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama, his administration will consult with health experts and decide on what measures to take. Tokyo Governor Koike has already urged restaurants, bars, and karaoke establishments to close at 8 p.m. (or 7 p.m. if they serve alcohol). The PM also mentioned that vaccinations could start in Japan in February.


Suga also told the press conference the government will submit to the Diet a bill to provide benefits for those who comply with anti-virus measures and penalize those who do not and offer financial support for hospitals combating the virus. Legislation giving the government the authority to declare a state of emergency was enacted in March last year. It provides a legal basis for governors to ask residents in their prefectures to stay at home and also enables stronger steps to deal with outbreaks, including the requisition of medical supplies and food as well as expropriation of private land for emergency health facilities. But the legislation does not provide a basis for imposing a lockdown with travel restrictions or fines for leaving the house, as some other countries have done.

 

Majestic

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Frustratingly slow. Remember how quick the government was to shut down the schools last February? That was back when the daily numbers were in the single or double digits.

Wonder where our comrade Bentenmusume-san went. Hope he's still around. He used to chime in quite frequently regarding Japan's response to the covid virus. Benten, if you are around, give us a ping.

And Toritoribe-san's been silent lately, too. But I reckon he's just been busy, and/or taking time off for New Year.
 
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thomas

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Wonder where our comrade Bentenmusume-san went. Hope he's still around. He used to chime in quite frequently regarding Japan's response to the covid virus. Benten, if you are around, give us a ping. And Toritoribe-san's been silent lately, too. But I reckon he's just been busy, and/or taking time off for New Year.

🤫 I am sure I'm not breaching any protocols when I reveal that @bentenmusume-san is busy with offspring and @Toritoribe-san with his business. I hope they'll be rejoining our forces soon.
 

bentenmusume

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@thomas

Thanks for kindly apprising everyone of my situation, and please rest assured no protocols have been breached, toes stepped on, or otherwise. ;)

@Majestic

Likewise, thanks for thinking of me. As Thomas alluded to, family affairs have been demanding most of my attention these days, leaving me with little time, inclination, or energy to opine on current events, the Japanese language, and so on and so forth. (My first and most immediate concern with the new SoE was how it might impact our ability to visit our newborn daughter in the hospital, though this won't be an issue much longer as, thankfully, she'll be coming home with us soon.)

Since I've been "summoned", however, I'll take the opportunity to get back on my soapbox for a moment and say that I remain thoroughly unimpressed with both the national and Tokyo governments' response to pandemic, which seems to consist mostly of a whole lot of dithering, waffling, and blame/responsibility-shifting. Actual action, when (rarely) taken, seems motivated more by political gamesmanship and a desire to salvage approval ratings rather than any sort of coherent, consistent plan actually based on objective analysis of the situation from both medical/epidemiological and economic perspectives. (Again, I'm speaking of the Suga cabinet and Governor Koike in Tokyo here. The governors of Hokkaido and, to a lesser extent maybe, Osaka, seem to have had some moderate success, but as I'm not living "on the ground" there I don't feel comfortable evaluating them.)

I remain concerned for my friends in the food and drink industry, especially as this new SoE seems to be—inexplicably and almost cruelly—targeted exclusively at restaurants/izakayas, as if it were an incontrovertible fact that COVID is spread exclusively by people drinking or eating out after 8 pm. As usual, there are no restrictions on packed commuter trains, offices/employers (except "encouraging" them to allow for telecommuting), etc., and from what I read they're not even going to demand pachinko parlors shut down this time, provided they meet ventilation standards. Yet all food-and-drink serving establishments will be kindly requested (要請) to curtail their hours to the point that they can scarcely do business at all, then publically shamed (店名公表) if they refuse.

...This after the same national government was heavily promoting the "Go To Eat" and "Go To Travel" programs as recently as a couple of weeks ago, with Suga himself getting caught having taken part in a lavish 8-person dinner party at a ritzy Ginza steakhouse with his LDP cronies.

I'm honestly not sure how any of this makes sense, and it again just strikes me as wanting to put on a show of taking action by scapegoating an easy target. Of course, I hope it has some effect just so we can get back to some semblance of a normal life sometime soon, but I'm not holding my breath.

...

Whoops, I guess I had more to say than I initially thought. ;)

Anyhow, I'll try to be around a bit more going forward, and hopefully will be able to discuss some more pleasant topics as well.

Perhaps I'll even start a thread called "Good Things That Happened in 2020" and use it as an excuse to bombard you guys with unsolicited 親バカ baby pictures. ;)
 
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thomas

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@bentenmusume, not sure whether to Like, Agree with or Love your post!

I want to thank you for dropping by and wish you and your family all the best! Sorry for the "summon". :)
 

Toritoribe

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Yes, I was just extremely busy in the last month. o_O Finally it's over, and now we are indoors due to heavy snow (well, it's far better than Fukui or Toyama, though). I have to remove the snow from now as same as in the last few days.

娘さんの御誕生おめでとうございます!bentenmusume-san!!:love:
 
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