I ask myself is the proposed lockdown tomorrow? Is it a show of hands to avoid embarrassment?
Japanese are accustomed to using protocols and well defined processes, so whenever a new set of new circumstances arises, they struggle to find consensus just quickly enough.
It seems there first priority at the outset was to salvage the Olympics and the local politicians were worried if Japanese cancelled they would bear the brunt of the financial consequences.
They waited until other counties decided to pull out, it was only then the pressure came off, and perhaps there was too much attention on Abe economics and not enough on a future of a pandemic. If only we could turn the clocks back, and save people we all would.
I find myself trying to play out the “Japanese scenario” and there is no underestimating coronavirus, it is not going away so quickly. It is confusing to see a low number of fatalities in a city with such a vast population, so I ask myself why?
If you take Tokyo and the surrounds you have more than 30 million people it should be a disaster by now. There are no major cover ups in the pipeline, or it’s just that the spread has been slowed, not suppressed as we’ve seen in Italy and other places.
There was a point and time when you could identify positive cases and isolate them. But you cannot test the entire population at one time, and time delays means spread, and you reach a point and time where the spread is inevitable.
The last two months Japanese have been curbing the appetites of the public with the cancelling of the Olympics to shutting all sporting events, and no spectators at Sumo. It is true Japanese wear masks and wash and disinfect their hands frequently. The clear majority of Japanese are careful, but there are still many go to and from work by train.
In the past week since the famous comedian passed away Shimura san, Japan’s is coming under more scrutiny by critics looking to point fingers at the loop holes in an inevitable shutdown. But most westerners do not comprehend the idea of a shutdown, in Japan it means encouraging Japanese to stay away from hospitality hot zones and limiting unnecessary travel. With a lockdown, the government will empathize the importance of managing and suppressing the spread.