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There are many now who think this relaxed approach applies indoors too.
 that mask-wearing is also optional in quiet and spacious indoor areas
I want this in writing with a government stamp on it so I can carry it with me.
Nearly 60% in Japan unaware of relaxed COVID-19 mask guidelines: survey
Japan just unaware that they follow other people unconsciously and thinking it’s social norm.
It’s way over 60%. Every Japanese national I speak with wears a mask every day and are surprised that the Japanese Government announced such a relaxation of COVID 19 rules and regulations. It’s more like 95.6%.
Wearing a mask for most Japanese is no longer about health. It is saying “look at me , I am a good person.”
To not wear one says “I am anti social.”
Masks are going to be here for ever.
In order for people here to stop wearing masks, one of the infamous celebs is going to have to come out and show themselves not wearing a mask entering a store or restaurant. TV and social media are very influential here.
Naisu Nihon! Keep those masks on, its the smart thing to do — the pandemic is nowhere near over yet!
More and more of my co workers are taking off their masks in the office. At least at their desks.
What is a good thing to see.
During the last 3 years, my company hired some new staff, whose faces I have never seen.
Now after 3 years, I can finally see some of the new faces.
Wearing a mask remains the norm in Japan, despite 72.7 percent saying they are in favor of dropping the practice
This is the most important sentence in the article. So many just lack the courage to make their own decisions or to seek out information.
More and more of my co workers are taking off their masks in the office. At least at their desks.
What is a good thing to see.
100% agree! My office recently made masks optional and many people instantly began walking around smiling. Amazing. Other companies are also beginning to do the same.
The survey conducted online from Oct. 12 through 17 garnered sample responses from 1,011 working adults, 
Too small and too narrow a sample to make sweeping statement about national attitudes.
So? Really now, Japanese have been wearing masks for generations, particularly in the cold, flu and allergy seasons, and they will continue to do so as part of the collective belief, right or wrong, that they are doing what is expected.
Personally speaking, masks screw up my beard, so I either dont wear one, or put one on and forget about it until lunch, and when I take it off, I look like something the cat dragged in from off the street!
Wearing a mask remains the norm in Japan, despite 72.7 percent saying they are in favor of dropping the practice.
72.7 percent in favor of dropping the practice and still most people wear them out of fear of being judged. ****
The survey conducted online from Oct. 12 through 17 garnered sample responses from 1,011 working adults, 
Too small and too narrow a sample to make sweeping statement about national attitudes.
Also Farmboy, this was taken before this new wave has really taken off. I bet if you ask people now they will say they want their masks. Look at how many Western countries are again implementing mask mandates to try and help curb the 8th wave.
The gov needs to communicate better. when over half of the people are not aware of the guidelines that is a problem
Why do so many posters here complain so much about the Japanese and their proclivity towards masks? The government here never had a policy of legally forcing people to, or fining people for not, wearing masks. They only encouraged it and it’s always been voluntary.
Don’t wear masks indoor or outdoor. Only in hospitals.
one mask takes 100-350 years to break down in the sea. Over a billion end up in the sea every week. They contain nano-plastics which are harmful to humans and sea life.
think about your actions.
Well, that explains a lot.
This needs to be fixed quickly. The TV and Radio and TRAINS should be filled with Public Service Advertising with silly little characters laughing at the one still wearing a mask. People need to take the masks off outside at a minimum.
Sure, if you really must, wear them in super crowded streets or gatherings, but it is time to move on with the rest of the world.
That said, this country is still terrified of Tuberculosis, which has 12 people per 100,000 infected per year (infected, not dead), so Covid 19 panic is likely to stay for a long time.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tuberculosis-tb-by-country-rates-per-100000-people/who-estimates-of-tuberculosis-incidence-by-country-and-territory-2020-accessible-text-version
I doubt they were unaware. More like they are aware but too scared to take it off. Person A is waiting for Person B to take off the mask but Person B is waiting for Person C to unmask and so and so forth. The Japanese adherence to conformity has resulted in masks being more for “i am following what everyone else is doing” instead of wearing it for health purposes. Sad. I wonder how the tourists feel when they visit Japan and see masked people everywhere. It probably seems like they’ve traveled back to 2020. Yikes.
Japan will never ditch the masks…
Japan’s conformist culture is powerful…maybe excessive? Even though fully aware of the rule update, you need some guts to take off your mask while people around still keep them. The first penguin is sought.
Nearly 60 percent in Japan are unaware.
Has nothing to do with covid.
I think people are wearing them because they offer protection from a lot of viruses. It makes so much sense to wear them when encountering other people. And some of them are very stylish these days.
Nearly 60 percent of people in Japan are unaware of
Unless Japanese people cannot understand Japanese, it’s a case of not taking notice of something that aligns with their beliefs.
So, unsurprisingly, there seems to be a lot of people who are unaware of what vaccines and masks do, despite appearing to be fluent in a given language.
*doesn’t align
Meanwhile there was just an article on this page the other day stating the next wave will be worse than the previous one. The previous one 2 million were infected. I’ll continue to wear my mask, thank you very much.
Not even prohibitory signs (as terrifying as they are) set up by the police or security cameras can stop people regularly riding their bicycles through a local shopping arcade. I don’t know what it would take to get people to stop religiously wearing their masks, despite many not even wearing them properly. I thought my local supermarket had relaxed its requirements and went in unmasked on a deserted Saturday night; was told to mask up pretty quickly despite having seen one of the staff in pleasant conversation with a happily mask-less old timer the previous day.
Don’t wear masks indoor or outdoor. Only in hospitals.
one mask takes 100-350 years to break down in the sea. Over a billion end up in the sea every week. They contain nano-plastics which are harmful to humans and sea life.
I don’t know how accurate this is. But I use washable masks – have been for years. More cost effective, and more comfortable.
Like Mat said above, a national cutie-pie campaign is needed. Just Kishida saying only once in passing that outdoor masking was unnecessary is not enough. Again, numbers of infections are irrelevant. Where is the information on how harmful the latest variants are? Flu-level? Would like to see that information, and everyone’s faces.
I wear mine indoors and, on the trains, however outside heck no will I cover my face up and not allow my nose to breath in beautiful fresh air.
I only wear a mask in my workplace due the mask mandate there. But when I’m out of view from senior or administrative staff I immediately remove it. I also don’t wear a mask on the crowded commuter trains in the mornings and evenings.
Among the reasons why people favored mask-wearing, some cited the ongoing pandemic and coronavirus-related deaths. Others said they wear a mask for protection against influenza in winter and hay fever in spring as well as COVID-19.
Just telling us that “some” people said this, or “others” said that, is insufficient and even lazy journalism.
What percentage of the respondents constitutes “some”?
What percentage of the respondents makes up the group of “others”?
It’s incredibly frustrating when the media uses such vague, nonspecific terms — which is often.
How many of the respondents said that they wear masks only because they fear others’ frowning on them, or for some other social reason?
The media won’t tell us — and I suspect a certain reason why.
Usual Japanese stance of pretending not to know something when it’s inconvenient!
From Japan Today of a few days ago: “Japan’s 8th COVID wave could surpass previous wave’s peak, say experts. Nov. 10  06:47 am JST.”
I’m not relaxing just yet.
People by themselves in a car wearing masks, going for a walk in the evening wearing masks.
Its insane.
I’ve been out of the country for nearly two weeks, having not worn a mask since getting off the plane. I don’t intend to wear a mask on returning unless asked to. I’ve had 4 jabs, it’s enough already.
Japanese are very subservient and follow orders quite well, until then and not before will they comply to common sense.
If you need to wear a mask because you are immune compromised or elderly, or for whatever medical reason then go ahead. But unless I visit you in hospital, you won’t see me wearing a mask. In public, your life is YOUR responsibility not mine. Don’t force your health/life conditions on others. Your so nervous about venturing outside? Stay inside!
After this survey, those 60% are now 100% aware.
My guess would be the same percentage didn’t know why they were wearing them in the first place.
They are very aware of the new guidance; they just won’t take them off until everyone else has.
There are many now who think this relaxed approach applies indoors too.
It does. The government came out about a month ago saying no need for them indoors if not much speaking going on and more than 1m away from others.
Which is why shops etc no longer ask me to wear one. Before I wasn’t even allowed to enter without a mask. People glare, but they glare at me because of my foreigness anyway so no big deal.
Still often asked to hand sanitise though! Mental stuff.
They are not unaware, they are just ignoring the guidelines. Since where were the government guidelines of any value anyway?
Just stop coughing and sneezing in peoples faces and do whatever you like with the mask. The Japanese are pulling down the mask each time they cough anyway, so what is the point?
Unaware of guidance
Unaware of guidance ?
How could that possibly be true ?
Japan is a highly evolved superior nation of Unaware people ?
This is what happens when the clowns are allowed to run the circus
Nearly 60% in Japan unaware
of their surroundings.
Not surprising as it boggles my mind how people are just oblivious to anything around them.
Typical conversations:
“What did you do today?”
“I watched the news.”
“Great! What’s happening in the World? In Japan? In your town?”
“…………………………..”
“What’s your hobby?”
“I like watching TV (listening to music.)”
“Great! What’s (who’s) your favorite show? (singer)”
“…………..I can’t remember the name.”
“Did you see TARO at the party?”
“I don’t know, I don’t think he was there.”
“It was his party……….”
People by themselves in a car wearing masks, going for a walk in the evening wearing masks.
Its insane.
If you have allergies like hinoki & sugi pollen in spring, and ine and butakusa in autumn (not to mention PM 2.5 nearly all year round), you pretty much wear a mask as much as possible.
The insane thing is how people obsess over other person’s mask-wearing habits.
For a country so comfortable with masks having one guideline for indoors and one for outdoors will just make people wear it at all times. I don’t want to look for my mask every time I go inside, then I’d rather just have it on.
I’m not surprised people don’t know because the government hasn’t made an effort to tell them
Why do so many posters here complain so much about the Japanese and their proclivity towards masks?
Because masks are very bad for the environment. Especially marine and bird life and people care and thus, complain, as it’s their oceans and planet that is being polluted needlessly.
They are also bad for children s development. Especially regarding speech and learning important, emotional and visual cues from parents, teachers and their peers. People care about their own kids, so they complain as the continued mask usage here harms their kids.
People obviously love the anonymity and easy way that masks provide a shield against the complex social interactions that generate anxiety here. It’s the complete opposite of most Western cultures and therefore unfathomable to even those who believe they understand Japanese society. The government has created a monster and they have no way of ridding people of this absurd habit.
People obviously love the anonymity and easy way that masks provide a shield against the complex social interactions that generate anxiety here. It’s the complete opposite of most Western cultures and therefore unfathomable to even those who believe they understand Japanese society. The government has created a monster and they have no way of ridding people of this absurd habit.
Bingo. Japan is ruining itself. The psychological harm this is doing to the younger generation is immeasurable. I’m an elementary school teacher and a few weeks ago was out with my 6th graders who were doing some hurdles. It was a hot day and all kids were still wearing masks. I asked one of the homeroom teachers if it was really necessary for the kids to wear masks. He then told the kids they could remove their masks when they reached the start line. Insanity.
Anyhow, most wouldn’t remove their masks even then. I told one girl to take off her mask and she refused. So I asked her why. She said she was “hazugashi” (embarrassed) to show her face. Infuriating and very, very sad.
I have lived here for 25 years and know the culture well and have fully integrated. But I will not wear a mask outside of school. Before the summer I stopped wearing one in school but a teacher complained to the BOE and my boss told me I had to wear one. At least I tried.
I have never worn a mask outside school. To get to 100% mask compliance took until September 2020. But by then I realised the whole thing was a scam. I don’t get looked at funny in shops and have never had a comment.
I have lived here for 25 years and know the culture well and have fully integrated. But…
you don’t behave in a way accustom to Japan.
Just back from a one week overseas business trip, mask free. None of the Japanese coworkers wore a mask.
In Rome, do as the Roman do.
It is just a cultural issue here, except for many old who are scared of catching Covid
Sent out a memo to my junior karate kids class after watching the poor wee things struggling to breath during training, telling them that masks were not mandatory at all and to feel free to take them off. Actually wrote quite an in-depth appeal to them after being home in Australia for a few weeks seeing peoples faces again and realizing how much I’d missed it. Back in rural Japan seeing people wearing a mask while walking outside alone, riding a bike or driving a car solo is just off the scale crazy. The fact that it goes unnoticed is even more so. There must be something deeper at play of not wanting to show your face to the world.
Have broken school guidelines and don’t wear one for the kids classes, as it was near impossible to teach with it on ( you could pretend of course ) , have always hated the things anyway. Waiting to be called into someone’s office, but that of course doesn’t happen either. Meekness is the norm and you stay here long enough you end up not giving a damn about what some idiot may think. Happy to have the conversation but doubt anyone will ever want to nor really care enough to bother having it.
That was three weeks ago and sadly I have only one kid out of 16 who’s parents had the balls to let him take it off. Was great to see at least one kids smiling cheeky face again. He’s a little champ too.
Have been saying it for a while now, but our biological imperative to be able to co-regulate with other humans by reading peoples subtle facial cues and gestures is not something you want to throw away so easily. Three years now these kids have been subjected to weak-minded unscientific socially accepted norms. Long-term loss of social skills and disconnection apparently is fine. The fact that more talents, celebrities, politicians, leaders or anyone of stature hasn’t stepped forward to sound the alarm unfortunately speaks to me as a culture in decline. Hashimotosan from Osaka is the only outspoken guy I can think of. The ‘sho ga nai’ generation plods on!
In Rome, do as the Roman do.
It is just a cultural issue here, except for many old who are scared of catching Covid
The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating for Japanese who go overseas and get a taste for normality, only to return to the special brand of insanity that has enveloped this archipelago.
The whole “when in Rome…” thing can be taken to ridiculous lengths, but is frequently cited by some (not you, from what I gather from your other posts) to promote compliance with local customs no matter how dumb they are.
I went to a baby class with my wife and little one this morning, and all the other parents were all masked up, which the staff enforced. They were still limiting numbers in the room. I wore mine half-a$$edly under my nose but nobody said a thing. In a group it’s frustratingly hard to tell who’s talking, and the babies are missing out on the facial cues crucial for their development.
I think Japan is going to face a huge problem in the coming years as young people’s social development is stunted due to this ludicrous mask wearing. It’s already being noted overseas, but thanks to Japan’s lagging mental health care, very little will be done to even publicly acknowledge that there’s a problem, let alone do anything about it, otherwise someone would have to take responsibility. We all know nobody wants that.
YubaruToday  07:42 am JST
Personally speaking, masks screw up my beard, so I either dont wear one, or put one on and forget about it until lunch, and when I take it off, I look like something the cat dragged in from off the street!
Oh I hear you so well- I actually grew myself a ZZ Top just to get my beard outside and under my mask, and manageable!
Don’t know which draws more attention: My homemade paisley/ flower power pattern masks (when I can be bothered to wear one) or my beard and long hippie hair.
I haven’t worn one – at the gym, on a train, indoors, at the doctor’s office, picking my kid up from hoikuen, etc,, since the beginning of the year.
At first some annoying staff members at the gym would ask me to wear one, but in the last few months nobody is even bothering to ask anyone.
All too predictable.
The Japanese media is addicted to posting daily new cases and deaths, while intentionally downplaying any announcement made about mask usage. It’s sad that many people in this country are incapable of thinking for themselves and questioning.
the babies are missing out on the facial cues crucial for their development
I blame the parents.
Elvis is hereToday  07:28 pm JST
the babies are missing out on the facial cues crucial for their development
I blame the parents.
I agree. They should ditch the masks and put their kids’ development first.
It’s not the news they’re reading on their phones, so what else can you expect?
Watching an apparently healthy child playing by themselves at an empty park with mask on is one of the worst sites I’ve seen throughout all of this. Get them off the kids please.
Didn’t wear nor really felt the need to at the dentist’s office today, the bread shop after neither.
Don’t wear one on the streets.
My favorite restaurants and bars all get the no mask treatment.
Some relatives came to visit Japan. By the time they returned, they tested positive.
0rei0Nov. 12  05:56 pm JST
YubaruToday  07:42 am JST
“Personally speaking, masks screw up my beard, so I either dont wear one, or put one on and forget about it until lunch, and when I take it off, I look like something the cat dragged in from off the street!”
Oh I hear you so well- I actually grew myself a ZZ Top just to get my beard outside and under my mask, and manageable!
Don’t know which draws more attention: My homemade paisley/ flower power pattern masks (when I can be bothered to wear one) or my beard and long hippie hair.
“-1( +0 / -1 )”
Wow, there really are some people with too much time on their hands…
Take off your mask and be free, my friend. The anonymous internet would appear to be enough of a mask.
Looks like communication issues. Maybe big signs are needed such as “Masks off, move on Japan!” placed at train station, shops etcetera.
Masks are working so well that Japan (arguably the world’s leading mask-wearing country) is in its eighth COVID wave.
Masks are working so well that during the seventh COVID wave, Japan (again, arguably the world leader in mask-wearing) led the world in COVID cases for several weeks in a row.
Most countries in the world have ditched the masks.
When is Japan going to get it through its head that the masks aren’t working?
How many more waves, how many more huge rises in COVID cases, is it going to take before the stubborn mask-clinging stops?
We’re now in our eighth such wave. Whatever the magic number is (10? 15? 20?), somebody please let me know.
Looks like communication issues. Maybe big signs are needed such as “Masks off, move on Japan!” placed at train station, shops etcetera.
True. I’m starting to wonder if a lot of Japanese politicians own lots of stock in mask-producing companies, and hence the downplaying of the “masks aren’t needed” message.
Not accusing. Just wondering.
HakmanToday  02:17 pm JST
True. I’m starting to wonder if a lot of Japanese politicians own lots of stock in mask-producing companies, and hence the downplaying of the “masks aren’t needed” message.
Not accusing. Just wondering.
Well we all know Abe had very strong, indisputable connections with mask production.
I think Japan is going to face a huge problem in the coming years as young people’s social development is stunted
It’s Japan, the younger generations have been socially stunted for at least 10 years now, maybe more.
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