Tokyo, along with six other prefectures, is now under a state of emergency due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases. A declaration that seemed an awfully long time coming, and its delay will likely cancel out Prime Minister Abe’s early, and it must be said proactive moves at the end of February to close schools, stop large gatherings, etc.
Unlike a lot of cities, however, Tokyo isn’t under a lockdown, as the Japanese constitution doesn’t legally allow for such restrictive measures. Instead, businesses and the general population have been strongly requested to cooperate by cutting down on anything deemed non-essential. And with the often referred to obedience and group mentality of the Japanese public, this was supposedly a given. Trouble is it’s not. Mixed messages from the government haven’t helped. The same goes for a lack of clarity in regards financial support for small shops and the like. But on solitary walks and cycles in my west Tokyo suburb, I’ve noticed that most places are still open, people are out in groups, and social distancing is, on the whole, a sadly all too distant concept.
Of course that’s not to say everybody is ignoring the requests. Train usage for example is down, and more central areas in particular are quieter, suggesting a lot of people are actually staying home. An element of restraint that some members of society are clearly struggling with already.
I sooo know that feeling! 😉 I pray I’m wrong on this but that was the approach in the States……….. Stay safe!
Yeah, it could well be too little too late…
Thanks a lot. You too. Take care of yourself!
Very frustrating times…but I’m glad Abe finally made the decision, even though it may have been late. Stay safe!:)
Yes, they really are. The decision was late, and the implementation is so vague and half-arsed that things really don’t feel that much different. Not in the suburbs anyway. Just have to hope that changes, and it’s not too late.
Thanks a lot. You too. Take care and stay safe!
A very appropriate photograph to accompany your update on the situation in Japan.
We’re in the third week of lockdown (UK) and whilst I don’t really notice it (home worker, job not so far affected, excellent location etc) it is pretty hard for a not-insignificant section of the population. It seems the quicker and harder the measures are taken the better for the spread management, but the worse for the economics. A difficult balance for any government.
It really is. When it’s finally all over, I suppose we’ll really be able to see which approaches worked, and which didn’t. Japan’s focus on clusters seems to have been a good idea, and it has worked well until recently, but at the moment it seems it’d have been better if combined with more restrictions. But we shall see. Fingers crossed I’m wrong, and Japan will get though this without the horribly large number of deaths suffered by so many other countries.
Be safe and well, Lee. Hong Kong responded very early to the Wuhan coronavirus threat and actually isn’t having as strict a lockdown as a good number of other territories that reacted much later to it. Even so, I am spending far more time in my home than I normally do — as well as washing my hands, wearing face masks when outdoors, etc.
Glad to hear it. Just goes to show what can be done if the response is early, and well organised. Japan did make some good, early moves, but it really does seem like they have been squandered with delays and dithering ever since.
Thanks a lot. You too. Take good care of yourself. I think you are definitely doing the right thing by being cautious.
Easter 2020 – a fully featured image.
Yes, a very different easter bunny…