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Swine Flu Closes a Record Number of Schools in Japan

October 28, 2009

The Japanese have done a lot to combat the Swine Flu. When it first arrived in Narita they quarantined the whole plane, and did a thorough inspection of each passenger. Afterwards when it started to spread they split Japan into three different zones to better manage potential outbreaks and allocate resources. And finally everyone wears masks, although it’s arguable that the Japanese themselves probably bought the masks without much government encouragement.

Despite these measures Japan this month has had record school closings due to the Swine Flu outbreak. Each newspaper had a slightly different take on the phenomenon.

Asahi Flu Closings Grew By 1.6 % Compared with Last Week” The Asahi reported that there were about 13,000 schools that had closed last week due to the flu. The majority of them were due to the Swine Flu. Kanagawa-ken had the most, followed by Aichi. They claimed that 21,000 cases were brought to the hospital.

Comparing with past estimates, the Asahi claims that these numbers are the worst they’ve been in 10 years.

YomiuriClosed Schools due to the Flu Rapidly Increase, Close to 14,000” The Yomiuri exaggerated the numbers and the drama of the Swine Flu a little more than the Asahi. They claimed that closing schools was a way to combat the spread of the flu, and they also turned 13,000 into 14,000.

The Asahi mentioned that this is the worst case in ten years, where as the Yomiuri claimed that the numbers reported last week were the worst since the survey started being given. The survey started in 1973, so the Yomiuri claims the numbers are the worst in 36 years!

NikkeiWinter Bonuses Drop 15%, the Worst Drop on Record” The Nikkei actually didn’t mention the spread of the Swine Flu, and instead focused on the historical drop in winter bonuses. The 15% drop in pay for bonuses for this winter is the lowest drop on record, according to the Nikkei.

Out of 14 industries surveyed, 13 industries dropped their bonus payments. The Nikkei pointed to the financial crisis eating at company profits and making it harder to do business as a cause for such low bonus payments.

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