by Philip Patrick
Wednesday, 26
January 2022
Dispatch
10:15

Japan’s new Covid crackdown is all about politics

The ‘quasi state of emergency’ sounds dramatic, but it's anything but
by Philip Patrick
Credit: Getty

Japan has placed 18 more of the country’s 47 prefectures into a ‘quasi-state of emergency’ in response to rising numbers of Omicron cases, bringing the total to 34. This comes after 62,000 cases were reported on Tuesday (an all-time high) with nearly 13,000 in Tokyo and 8,600 in Osaka (death rates, it should be said, remain very low).

The ‘quasi state of emergency’ sounds dramatic and ominous but on close examination is unlikely to be more onerous than any of the previous ‘quasi’ lockdowns in Japan’s Covid response, which have entailed relatively minor impositions on the public, usually framed as requests rather than regulations. The new rules aren’t much different; they merely empower regional governors to: ‘request dining establishments limit their opening hours’. However, in a nation where fear of being shamed by the curtain twitchers is at least as scary as official sanctions, most shops and bars will comply, revenues will plummet, and damage will be done to the hospitality industry.

And to what end? In the case of Okinawa, where the first cluster of cases were reported at US army bases, it was probably political in nature. The local governor Denny Tamaki, of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, faces reelection and is rumoured to be in some trouble. A nice bout of Yank-bashing goes down quite well in Okinawa, with its history of problems between the US forces and the locals.

And for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has Upper House elections on the horizon, there is a need to set a decisive tone and distinguish himself from his predecessor Yoshihide Suga, who was often accused of acting too slowly in response to Covid upticks. One of Kishida’s first actions as PM was to effectively return Japan to its isolationist ‘Sakoku’ past by closing the borders at the first utterance of the word Omicron. Well, almost — Japanese nationals could return, but nearly all foreigners, regardless of their circumstances, were temporarily excluded.

Suga was also notoriously reluctant to explain his rationale and Kishida seems keen to avoid that criticism too. He spent twenty minutes explaining his initial Omicron strategy in a press conference, about as long as Suga spent explaining anything in his entire tenure. The message was basically: ‘better safe than sorry, we don’t know what we’re dealing with’.

And yet, data from South Africa meant we did have a pretty good idea and it wasn’t particularly alarming; (90% of Okinawa’s Omicron cases were reported to be mild or to have no symptoms at all). Moreover, there is a serious question over whether stopping the spread of Omicron (‘nature’s vaccine’ according to some) is even desirable; and if it is, it’s not clear that these interventions will make any difference.

So, it appears that, in Japan as in so many other places, politics is triumphing over science — at least for now. The Japan Times reported that ‘not all’ of Kishida’s government are supportive, citing grumbles that the scientific case had not been made, and the economic damage too great.

The selective border closure has been controversial too. The head of the Japanese Business Federation called it pointless and self-defeating. And Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program questioned the efficacy and the ethics: “epidemiologically, I find it hard to understand. Does the virus read your passport? Does the virus know your nationality or where you are legally resident?” he asked.

Japan has thus far been through Covid with light restrictions and low political turmoil — it remains to be seen how long that lasts.

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Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
8 months ago

Nice to read something out of Japan – even though it is more of the same political posturing at the expense of real morality.

R Wright
R Wright
8 months ago

I agree that Japan is a blindspot for the commentariat, Unherd included. I’d be very interested in articles on anything from the hikikomori phenomenon, Nigerian bouncers in Tokyo or a look into the cement industry lobby and its destruction of the country’s waterways and beaches.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

The MSM and Social media, under orders of the Medical/Pharma owned Global Elites have very successfully banned Ivermectin discussion, but it still is out there…

“The head of the Tokyo Medical Association appeared on national television in September urging doctors to use Ivermectin and they listened. A little over a month later, COVID-19 is under control in Japan …”

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

above quote from here, FOX26 news

https://fox26newshenry.com/2022/01/26/the-scientific-misconduct-story-behind-ivermectin/

And here is a recent video which is great – an excellent Doctor fired for non-vax compliance by Houston Tx Methodist Hospital giving a news report, she used HCL and Ivermectin and a number of repurposed meds to save thousands of her private patients from the worst results. She was also a speaker at the Jan 23 Washing DC anti-mandate protest, and is great to watch, inspiring, and makes one feel good about the Medical People after the mass of Doctors shamed themselves and profession so terribly in the last 2 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm0QA5myK-Q

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Neither the Japanese government nor the Japanese Medical Association officially recommended the use of Ivermectin outside of clinical trials.
In early August 2021Japan was facing a big wave of infections and at that time the government extended its Covid 19 emergency curbs to 70% of the population.
At the same time (12th August) a local group of doctors – the Tokyo Medical Association gave a press conference and recommended that Ivermectin be considered as a drug treatment for Covid 19.
2 weeks later case numbers dropped and hospitalisation rates followed.
So, one press conference resulted in hundreds and thousnads of people rushing out to purchase and use Ivermectin ? Well, this is unknown because there is NO DATA showing what Ivermectin usage was before or after the TMA announcement.
In addition the same doctor from the same Tokyo Medical Association had said exactly the same things in a press conference on February 9th and guess what happened after that ?- Covid 19 cases increased for most of March and April (as in fact they did after the second press conference, but for a shorter time period.)
https://gidmk.medium.com/ivermectin-didnt-save-japan-from-covid-19-afd64641ee4d
https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-proposes-expanding-covid-19-emergency-curbs-cases-surge-says-minister-2021-08-05/

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago

Don’t ruin my story, I am a conspiracy loon and believe the entire ‘Plandemic’, the $$$ Trillions of debt, the education destroyed, the businesses lost (and their position now taken by the massive corporate Monopolies), the suppression of cheap and easy medicines for fantastically expensive ones, the illness spawned from lockdown, Lodkdown its self, Mandates, totalitarian usurping of rights and freedoms, Inflation and Zero interest, the looming global depression intentionally spawned by the covid response….. (P.S. the best uses of Ivermectin were in the developing world, and I have my tube of horse de-wormer I use)

All part of the Global Elites bring the Great Reset, and Neo-Feudalism.

Anyway – there is a Fantastic video out TODAY! Senator Ron Johnson had an inquiry at the Senate yesterday on the Plandemic like response to covid done by all of the Western World, and most of the rest of it. 4 Hours of endless experts talking – McCoullough, Malone, Korey, and a bunch of the other World’s top virus and medical experts (even Great Barrington ones) – It is a Must See, all the insane stuff is coming out, the Pharma/Medical Industrial Complex killed Millions with their very harmful vaccine and suppression of things which work – watch it, it really is great fun, I am just having a break at two hours – and am headed back to finish it now, join me —————->

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxkqEE-Qnw0

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
8 months ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

P.S. Elane your links prove nothing, I did read them, claims and skewed data…. BUT…

My link on the Senator Johnson youtube – almost 5 hours! Fascinating!

If you do not fallow all these guys you are missing the huge shift, the official story is melting away leaving a very frightening skeleton behind…

And if 5 hours is too much (cancel Netflix and Prime, they are shriveling your brain) than watch the last 45 minutes of so – the end where Nurses talk of the actual horrors they met with, the last 15 minutes the Nurse tells how the patients are not dieing of covid – but the hospital is killing them through bad policy, Pharma reps mandating the treatments, and doctors afraid to do anything but the official protocols (which kill the patients, but make huge $$$ for pharma and the hospital in the process…..

Watch it – last 15 minutes at least – then start from the beginning – it will likely be removed soon though….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxkqEE-Qnw0