Japan News: The Japanese government does little to contain Covid-19 so anti-foreign nuance

Japan News: The Japanese government does little to contain Covid-19 so anti-foreign nuance

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The growing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Japan is overwhelmingly internal. Despite this, an increasing anti-foreign nuance is happening among politicians and the media. Hence, it appears that by clamping down on foreign nationals, the government hopes to distract the real causes behind the growing coronavirus crisis.

Ironically, international tourist numbers are down dramatically since the coronavirus crisis began. According to Kyodo News, international tourist figures had declined by 98.9 percent in October. Therefore, the utilization of the “foreign scare angle” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Japan is closing the door again to the international community apart from business travel exclusions related to several Asian nations – and foreign nationals who have certain types of visas. However, with the international coronavirus dynamic being minimal in Japan, it appears like scapegoating.

NHK reports, “The Japanese government has decided to suspend new entries of all non-resident foreign nationals following the detection of variants of the coronavirus outside the country.”

The above measure commences between December 28 and until the end of January. However, with tourist figures being down by 98.9 percent in October – and the majority of foreign nationals coming from Asia based on reciprocal measures- then it is clear that the coronavirus crisis is overwhelmingly internal.

Of course, Japan isn’t alone in scapegoating the international community. For example, in Thailand, you have rhetoric aimed at citizens from Myanmar. Similarly, foreign Asian migrants in nations like Singapore have been shunted together and treated like second-class citizens. However, when four or five coronavirus cases in Japan are highlighted and acted upon out of 217,000 because of the foreign dimension, the anti-foreign nuance is starting to hit home.

The Digital Transformation Minister, Takuya Hirai, implied that he hopes to track the movement of foreign nationals entering Japan.

How about Japan track Japanese nationals using sex entertainment districts and individuals involved in group drinking sessions – including several elite politicians who have been caught out?

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201227_02/

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis

https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics

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