As with most if not all of the government's measures, the state of emergency plans issued April 6 are so full of holes and contradictions, people should be ready for the real emergency to begin soon, not from any virus, but from those wielding power for their own purposes.
After dithering on the obvious decision to postpone the Olympics until the very last moment, literally only days earlier, the state of emergency declaration sounds farcical — if the government was so adamant to hold the Olympics as scheduled up until just recently, then why are they now driving full throttle in reverse?
There are so many holes in their policy, to list them all would take until the dusk of mankind, but just to mention the some of the more glaring ones:
All the rules are stated as "requests" yet are obviously going to be forced.
All medical, food and other basic supplies can be grabbed by governments using any means they like so most ordinary people will be denied them.
Trillions of yen will be thrown at people and businesses in need (probably the same ones with direct political connections like the infamous faulty mask makers) without any clear idea of what criteria will be applied, so expect skyrocketing corruption as those in power design criteria only to suit themselves.
With the government's abysmal record of financial scandal and abuse, they are not competent to handle money and will likely stuff most of that cash in their own pockets and call it discretionary funding so they never have to justify or declare it.
So many government policies have been so badly handled for so long, will anyone except their relatives and lackeys know where the money is coming from (consumption tax?) or going to (cherry-blossom viewing or right-wingers?).
Even when the government has attempted to "do the right thing" (pension payments, nationalized industry dismantlement etc.) the incompetence and corruption of civil servants overseeing operations and channeling influence and lucre into their own pockets has denied the most needy in society a single yen.
The government's pride and deceit has meant they have fought tooth and nail to keep all their obvious mistakes in place for decades if not centuries — Minamata, death row , no habeas corpus.
Every Japanese citizen is fully aware of these problems and many more like them, but the government's Genghis Khan policy of not just beating rivals but obliterating them utterly from the face of the Earth so they can never be challenged has become their raison d'etre, why they have monopolized power and arrogance in their country, and never that of taxpayers who are the largest group of chained and gagged social stakeholders in the word.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.