A Rare Appearance by Corona Conspiracy Theorists in Japan

As I was entering the Toritsu Daigaku station this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice three people, one wielding a bullhorn and shouting that the corona virus is a hoax and that people should not be forced to be vaccinated. Most sane people will realize that corona is not a hoax, and if these people were just a bit more observant, they would have noticed that nobody in Japan has even hinted that getting vaccinated will be made mandatory. Still, they were out there, shouting their message at around 3pm and still going at it three hours later.

The signs variously read:

Corona is a lie, Corona is a farce, Refuse to be vaccinated (on placards hung over the railing and not visible in this photo, but visible to people leaving the station), and Remove your mask! (on the back of one of the signs you see in this photo.

I am happy to say that this is the first (and perhaps the last) time I will see this kind of nonsense in Japan. The average Japanese believes in science to a much greater degree than many Americans, especially Bible-thumping evangelicals and those who have turned flouting commonsense guidelines and recommendations into a show of patriotism and support for their savior. And I’m not talking about the one written about in the New Testament; he was a person of color who advocated many laudable behavior patterns that the unmasked conspiracy theorist cretins in the US find hard to follow in their daily lives.

Anyway, we don’t have this problem in Japan, and the scene on the street in front of our local station is clearly an aberration in a very sensible society.

Get Faxed

On February 15, the Tokyo announced that it had under-reported the number of new corona cases by over 800 in the period from November 18 last year until the end of January. The reason? They explained that the local health centers failed to report these cases, citing failure to fax the reports as one cause. Faxing, mind you, is still a communication method of choice for numerous government offices in Japan.

People familiar with the late (compared to anglophone countries) introduction of email in Japan and the difficulty of transcribing sending Japanese texts should understand why the use of faxing has persisted so long in Japan. I think that the time has come to lay that old technology to rest and replace it with more reliable means that a leave paper (or at least a digital) trail of what has and has not been communicated.


As of this writing, I have not been able to find an English report from NHK about this problem. Perhaps even NHK is embarrassed about the persistence of faxing in this day.