Controversy over Toshihiro Nikai’s “No Mask Speech,” despite the corona recuperation period. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Controversy over Toshihiro Nikai’s “No Mask Speech,” despite the corona recuperation period.

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On November 10, Councilor Nikai rushed to JR Wakayama Station in front of the station to support a candidate. He spoke to the audience from atop his campaign car wearing no mask.

On the morning of November 10, a large number of politicians and officials gathered in front of JR Wakayama Station to support the Wakayama prefectural gubernatorial election, which was announced on that day. Among them was Toshihiro Nikai, 83, a member of the House of Representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party, who has Wakayama as a stronghold.

Mr. Nikai and Mr. Hiroshige Seko, a member of the House of Councilors of the Liberal Democratic Party who also has Wakayama as a base, fought a dark battle behind the scenes and eventually settled on Shuhei Kishimoto, a former member of the House of Representatives, whom Mr. Nikai supported, for the election for governor of the prefecture. Mr. Nikai, who succeeded in showing the prefecture that he is still going strong, arrived at JR Wakayama Station less than 30 minutes before the scheduled time. In his speech of support, he said, “I am glad that we are all united in our efforts to promote Mr. Kishimoto. I would like to ask for your strength for the future of the prefectural government,'” said an official of the LDP Wakayama Prefectural Federation.

Mr. Nikai was enthusiastic as he went around smiling and greeting the assembled officials. However, Nikai’s activities are now causing controversy in his hometown.

On November 5, Nikai’s office announced that he had been suffering from symptoms of fever since November 3, and that he had checked himself at a medical institution on November 5 and tested positive. In other words, November 10 was still supposed to be the recuperation period for the coronas. And yet, Mr. Nikai was up in his campaign car, talking away with no mask on. Local supporters were saying, ‘Hey, hey, hey, are you all right?

The city of Wakayama, where Mr. Nikai gave his speech, stipulates that people infected with corona should stay at home for seven days, starting from the day of onset of the disease. If Mr. Nikai contracted the disease on November 3, as announced by his office, November 10 would definitely be his recuperation period. Nevertheless, Mr. Nikai went to the trouble of rushing all the way from Tokyo to Wakayama.

Why did he not observe the recuperation period? Was it necessary for him to break the rules and rush to support the election? In response to our inquiry, Nikai’s office responded in writing as follows.

Under the direction of a physician specializing in infectious diseases, he has been acting appropriately in accordance with the rules of the recuperation period and infection-prevention measures set by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. That is all.”

Incidentally, the website of the Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government also clearly states, “If 7 days have passed with the day of onset of illness as day 0 and 24 hours have passed since the symptoms abated, the medical treatment can be lifted from the 8th day. What does Mr. Nikai mean by “rules set by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government”? ……

On November 15, the number of infected people nationwide exceeded 100,000 for the first time in almost two months, and the threat of coronas is rising again. If Mr. Nikai, who is supposed to take the initiative in taking countermeasures, thinks he is the only one who is special and did not observe the medical treatment period, he will not escape criticism.

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