Recently, friends and family have been asking a bunch of questions about the situation here in Japan. Specifically, a lot of Tokyo people I know are left confused and bewildered by the information we’re getting. I decided to hit YouTube with what information I knew, even going so far as to put up two videos two days in a row (which for me is pretty intense).
I ended up with my longest video to date, clocking in a about 42 minutes. It’s mostly a response video to a bunch of misinformation happening about COVID19 in Japan, as well as reacting to a recent press briefing given my Tokyo Governor Yumiko Koike.
I was harsh in this video on Koike because I felt like the advice to avoid nightclubs and bars to be really empty and useless. Also, I think everyone was frustrated that she didn’t do a lockdown, because at the time even though I knew it wouldn’t be a lockdown like other countries, she could still punish businesses for operating in a time of crisis.
Turns out I was wrong, as the next video-which is about half the time of the previous video, you’re welcome- I talk about how the powers of the governors is actually really limited in scope, to the point they kind of don’t really have any legal control to make people stop doing much without the national Diet making a call.
When it comes to a national emergency sort of lockdown, that’s when transportation can be shut down with amended laws. The Influenze and Infectious Disease Laws were both amended in March to allow for more stringent measures to be used. Now, if Shinzo Abe announces a complete lockdown on April 2nd, the rumored date for it, then he can grant powers to the governors and city halls to take out public transport. If people can’t get to work by train, bus, or car, odds are then businesses will have to be shut down.
In other news, I also talked about the JET Programme attendees are pissed at CLAIR and MEXT for not assisting them in this time of crisis, so much so that the US Embassy received complaints and put out a response.
The Tokyo Board of Education is keeping schools closed until after May 6th, as in after Golden Week. For ALTS and teachers, that means emailing and calling up people to see how your schedule will look in the coming month.
And finally, the Japan Post will stop sending mail to certain countries in the coming month due to airline restrictions.
Those are basically the main points. Hopefully soon we’ll get our lockdown, and if so, the increasing cases will slow down. However, I am worried that as this point the cases have increased to a point where mass spreading is bound to continue for the next couple of weeks, if not longer. Japan is starting off like New York, but hopefully it won’t have the same outcome. We’ve been lucky so far, I pray it holds, even though I know logically it’ll probably get worse before it gets better.
We’ll see how things go, I guess.