State of emergency lifted across the country
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an announcement on Monday evening, May 25 regarding the lifting-up of the state of emergency across the country.
In a press briefing, Mr. Abe first thanked medical staff for all their efforts and the people who stayed home during the state of emergency. Then, he mentioned as follows.
“Following the approval of the panel of experts, it was decided that the state of emergency would be lifted from the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and its neighboring prefectures, i.e. Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba, as well as the norther island of Hokkaido.” As for other areas, the state of emergency have been already lifted.
How it goes in Japan
Japan had initially declared the state of emergency on April 7, and extended it in early May to last until May 31, unless significant improvements could be seen by showing a couple of quantitative goals. The criteria for lifting the state of emergency were satisfied early the week of May 25, the emergency came to an end on May 25 throughout Japan before that deadline.
In a similar manner to the previous press conference, Mr. Abe called upon citizens to embrace the new stage with a renewed consciousness of dealing with the virus in everyday life.
Mr. Abe said, “From May 26 (Tue) on, our country, with businesses starting again and lots of economic activity, is entering a new stage. We have set up guidelines for businesses, expecting our business people to use it upon restarting, finding a new way of performing business.”
Mr. Abe also addressed the potential for a new wave of infection, and plans how the government will handle it. “Regarding the policy of antigen testing and medical supplies, we are working together with local governments to make sure we can meet a new wave of infections.”
|Country||Total Cases||Total Deaths||Tot Cases/1M pop||Deaths/1M pop|
(As of May 24)
People think this way
To our mind, approaches taken by the government were firstly slow, time-consuming and unclear, due to the fact that Japan does not have its emergency law under its Constitution. They did not start ban timely on entry from overseas, especially from China with many came from Wuhan being the epicenter of the corona virus.
The state of emergency should have come with insurance and compensation system, especially for those who run small business, retailer, freelance, etc., because the emergency statement could take opportunities from them. The government has taken lots of time to implement the system.
Culture cultivated in our long history
It follows that the ways people moved and/or stores were operated during the emergency basically determines the outcome. As far as office workers are concerned, they stayed home as much as they could by using online conference system.
Almost everybody maintained hygienic habits in every-day-life such as hand-washing, gargling and disinfection. Needless to say, we are not allowed to enter houses with our shoes on. This is the basics of our lives to maintain safety from external hazards. Besides, our life and/or business practices maintains social distance.
Another important thing is that our health-insurance system covers all of the citizens in Japan, which drives easy access to hospitals and greatly helps identify infected people from diseases. Some say, BCG vaccination with Japanese strain takes effect. That could be one of the reasons why the Japanese statistical data is better.
To date, it seems that Japanese way, in a sense, achieves a good result. There are many explanations but frankly we do not figure out why it comes about.
In addition, no one knows what happens next. We have to keep alert eyes on what is going on regarding corona virus cases.