China Tells Japan Not To Get Involved

 



Another cluster of cases in Japan has occurred in Wakayama Prefecture, where a surgeon in a hospital, a colleague of his, the colleague’s wife and their child tested positive for the virus, as well as two patients who visited the hospital. One of them was a farmer in his 70s who went to the hospital after the first doctor had stopped working.

Such is Japan’s realisation of the error of its late accounting for demographic change that it is becoming something of a global missionary on the subject of ageing. Earlier this year, for example, Japan invested in supporting Viet Nam’s ageing-related preparations. In September, meanwhile, Japan held a side event at its Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) gathering to discuss ageing in African countries. While today just three African countries – Mauritius, Seychelles and Tunisia - are home to ageing populations (based on the population share older than 65), rising life expectancy may nonetheless mean Africa as a whole becomes home to far higher numbers of older persons over the coming decades.

Virologists see two likely explanations for the spread of clusters. In one, a “superspreader” — a person who has the propensity to spew more germs than others — transmits the virus to a large group of people. Some of these superspreaders have no symptoms and feel well enough to go out, or they encounter a group of people with low resistance.

China has taken great offense at comments by U.S. officials accusing it of being slow to react to the virus, which was first detected in Wuhan late last year, and of not being transparent enough.

Others, like a female employee of the taxi drivers association who did not attend the party, contracted the virus after having casual interactions with those who did. In yet another case, a doctor in his 60s tested positive after dining with a nurse — the wife of a taxi driver — who had been at the party. He, too, did not have symptoms.

During the outbreak of SARS in 2002-03, the biggest reported superspreader was a 26-year-old airport worker admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong. He infected 112 people, including every doctor and nurse who treated him.

“China has such an overwhelming number of patients that they are not able to do it meticulously,” said Dr. Heymann, a former chief of communicable diseases at the World Health Organization.

Similarly, China’s policymakers have been explicitly aware of shifting comparative advantage over time. In the 1980s and 1990s, when China’s wages were low and the labour supply abundant, policymakers offered incentives for foreign investment in labour-intensive manufacturing. As those advantages have faded, incentives have similarly shifted toward the services sector and higher-tech sectors, as well as towards research and development.

After health officials in Tokyo discovered that the infected taxi driver was the son-in-law of the woman who had died, they started tracing his contacts. They discovered that he had attended the boat party, and tested everyone who had been there. Seven others who were confirmed infected said they had no symptoms.

The Japanese Government made several decisions during these two years that exacerbated the situation. Unable or unwilling to control the military, Japan's political leaders sought greater security by establishing the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere" in August, 1940. In so doing they announced Japan's intention to drive the Western imperialist nations from Asia. However, this Japanese-led project aimed to enhance Japan's economic and material wealth so that it would not be dependent upon supplies from the West, and not to "liberate" the long-subject peoples of Asia. In fact, Japan would have to launch a campaign of military conquest and rule, and did not intend to pull out of China.

Takaji Wakita, the head of Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said that while it would be difficult to stop the transmission of the virus, the outbreak could be contained. He urged people during a news conference to consider telecommuting and to refrain from having meetings that are not urgent.

For example, pension promises have been kept very modest to ensure these do not become a burden on the national finances or the next generation of taxpayers. In addition, every effort has been made to ensure the next generation of workers are better educated than their parents were. It was understood early on that when China’s population began to age rapidly, this would also reduce the workforce population share. This in turn would mean that those future workers would need to be more productive and ready to enter more sophisticated economic sectors as wage levels rose - just to maintain productivity levels, let alone increase them in the interests of national development. Today, China’s educational attainment statistics indeed reflect that the younger population are, on average, much better educated than the older cohort – a gap that is much less evident in the case of Japan and other fast-ageing high-income countries.

Alternatively, people can independently catch a virus from contaminated surfaces. It is unclear how long the new coronavirus can survive on surfaces, but studies of other such viruses have found they can stay active for a week or more.

Wuhan registered the five new cases on Thursday, the National Health Commission said, down from eight cases Wednesday. The commission routinely reports new cases the day after the data is collected.

That research, thanks to the work led by demographer Cangping Wu, set out that China had no hope of getting ‘rich’ before it would get old. Fearing that first getting ‘old’ would itself derail national modernization, China’s policymakers have since tried to ensure that ‘premature ageing’ will not derail the country’s prospects of economic maturity.

When I saw her video interviews of the soldiers, it was not just their admission of war crimes which shocked me, it was their age. Already elderly by the time she interviewed them, many had been barely 20 at the time, and in a strange way, it humanised them.

He is widely known for pressuring politicians to remove the term "comfort women" from all the junior high school textbooks. His first textbook, which won government approval in 2001, made a brief reference to the death of Chinese soldiers and civilians in Nanjing, but he plans to tone it down further in his next book.

Land-locked Laos, which is boosting economic ties with China, will be hosting a security meeting later this month at which the South China Sea is expected to dominate. ASEAN has not issued a statement about the ruling and its members have not said why.

“Doctors at the medical institutes share the recognition that the numbers of infection cases will increase in the future and that it’s necessary to take firm measures,” he said at a news conference on Sunday. The government announced a $139 million package of urgent measures to contain the outbreak, including strengthening its testing and quarantining capacity.

“I suppose what one is concerned about is, are there other clusters going on that they haven’t recognized?” he said. “Identifying clusters is a sign of good laboratory investigation. But as for how good that is, time will tell.”

Between 1937 and 1941, escalating conflict between China and Japan influenced U.S. relations with both nations, and ultimately contributed to pushing the United States toward full-scale war with Japan and Germany.

Public health experts say most viral clusters are hard to investigate, and that is especially true with the current coronavirus outbreak, in which many infected people say they have no symptoms. If asymptomatic people can spread the virus, it will be much harder to slow its spread, as carriers transmit it unwittingly.“There are ongoing silent transmissions” because of the very nature of the virus, Shigeru Omi, regional director emeritus of the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific region, said in a news conference on Monday.David Heymann, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said there was no definitive evidence yet that people who are asymptomatic can pass on infections.

Recently published research by BNP Paribas, meanwhile, suggests that the ageing of the global population has shaved some 2.6% from the neutral rate of interest since 1990, with intensifying population ageing set to continue the trend.

Yoshinobu Nisaka, the prefecture’s governor, said he could not rule out the possibility that infections had occurred within the hospital. “We’re having trouble tracking down how these people were infected,” he said at a news conference on Saturday.In another cluster in Japan, four people from Aichi Prefecture were found to be infected: a couple who had traveled back from Hawaii and their friends.Takaji Wakita, the head of Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said that while it would be difficult to stop the transmission of the virus, the outbreak could be contained. He urged people during a news conference to consider telecommuting and to refrain from having meetings that are not urgent.Dominic Dwyer, a medical virologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, said it was reassuring that governments were identifying clusters, because that was a sign that their public health surveillance was working.“I suppose what one is concerned about is, are there other clusters going on that they haven’t recognized?” he said. “Identifying clusters is a sign of good laboratory investigation. But as for how good that is, time will tell.”

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