Voice from Japan



Yasuyo Inoue is a Library Science professor at Dokkyo University in Saitama, Japan and had spent from September 2019 to January 2020 at the Center for Global Studies as a visiting scholar.

Saitama, Japan

 Dokkyo University finally decided to delay the beginning of a new academic year from April 1st to May 11th. Other universities in big cities are also extending the beginning of a new academic year, and some like Kyoto University are preparing all classes to online basis.

 As far as I had better staying at home for at least 14 days (not mandatory) after coming back from Wellington, New Zealand, where I had spent almost two months at Victoria University at Wellington, School of Information Management as a visiting scholar after University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Even without dead coronavirus patients, NZ did a whole national lockdown. I was able to get on the final flight from NZ to Japan.

Now I'm at home, making hand-made facemasks to kill boring time. I am sewing several facemasks with a pocket which I can put a piece of bleach-washed gauze cloth or nonwoven fabric. Not for protection against coronavirus but to protect my brother against pollen-allergy. Here in Japan, no facemasks are sold at stores, no adequate cloth at handcraft shops, but I found some in Wellington and brought back to Japan. I hope they work!

 In Japan, there is no government lockdown, no order, but “asking” the public not to go outside on weekends in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka, even as the number of coronavirus patients is increasing day by day. All stores, restaurants, cafes, even pachinko-playing places are opening. It's kind of a scary situation, but still, the Japanese government hesitates to do something. I wonder if policy makers consider economics and business mainly, not about the health of the public.