Mayor Attending Meeting of Heads of State and Government “Corona Positive” and Concerns about Infection in Ibaraki Prefecture | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Mayor Attending Meeting of Heads of State and Government “Corona Positive” and Concerns about Infection in Ibaraki Prefecture

Cheers!" with the prefectural governor After the

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On April 23, it was announced that the mayor of Kasama City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Nobuki Yamaguchi, has tested positive for a new type of coronavirus. Mayor Yamaguchi is the president of the Ibaraki Prefecture Mayors’ Association and a veteran leader serving his fifth term, and we wish him a speedy recovery.

There is one major concern. Just prior to the incident, Mayor Yamaguchi was attending an important “meeting” at the prefectural government.

On April 22, a large meeting was held at the prefectural office in Mito, Ibaraki. About 100 people attended. At the “exchange of opinions” with the governor after the meeting, there was no masks and no eating or drinking, and the prefectural government was in an uproar over the “mayor’s corona infection.

Mayor Yamaguchi was diagnosed with coronary syndromes in April. On April 22nd On April 22, he attended a meeting held in the auditorium on the 9th floor of the prefectural government building and then participated in an “opinion exchange meeting” held at the “Hibari” cafeteria in the prefectural government building,” said an Ibaraki Prefecture official.

Alcohol was also served.

The “meeting held in the auditorium” was a regular meeting for the new fiscal year attended by the mayors of the 44 cities, towns, and villages in Ibaraki Prefecture and the chairpersons of their respective assemblies. Led by Governor Kazuhiko Oigawa, who strongly leads the prefectural government, a total of over 100 people attended the meeting, including 88 mayors and chairpersons (some attended by proxy) from all local governments in the prefecture, and 20 prefectural government officials.

The participants spoke about how the “exchange of opinions” went.

After the meeting in the auditorium, we rented out the prefectural government cafeteria and held the meeting. Hors d’oeuvres and alcohol were served. It was a meeting that involved drinking. As far as I could see, most of the attendees wore no masks.

The Municipal Section of the prefectural government office, which was in charge of organizing the 2022 Municipal Mayors-Municipal Council Chairpersons Meeting, explained, “The meeting was held at the same time as the 2022 Municipal Mayors-Municipal Council Chairpersons Meeting.

The meeting was held in the main hall of the second-floor cafeteria after the meeting.At the meeting, the prefectural government only explained the budget and the details of the project, so it was difficult for the participants to have a chance to talk with each other. We take measures to mask, disinfect, and test temperatures. There is no seating because it is a standing buffet, and we do not take attendance, so I cannot give you an estimate of the number of people who attended. Some people just showed up the first time and left.

According to a participant, more than a few people toasted with beer, took off their masks, and engaged in a lively “exchange of opinions.

And that night. The mayor of Yamaguchi City, who was present at the “exchange of opinions,” was found to be “Corona positive. An Ibaraki Prefecture official anonymously revealed his true feelings, saying, “Mayor Yamaguchi was very upset that day.

The mayor of Yamaguchi City apparently attended the meeting that day despite being in poor health. He then attended a reception accompanied by drinking. Even though this is not an emergency situation, there is no excuse for the spread of infection at a meeting of those in charge of infection control for the citizens of the prefecture. It’s no wonder people think we’re loose ends…”

Over the weekend, the mayors ran tests.

Indeed, it is not surprising that the infection could have spread to those around them. In fact, some of the mayors of cities, towns, and villages who were present rushed to PCR and antigen testing, wondering if they, too, were infected. On the 25th, it was announced that Shuya Suzuki, mayor of the city of Kataoka, was infected (his symptoms were mild). This was reportedly met with a “I knew it” outcry.

Governor Oigawa is in his second term. On Twitter, he is constantly calling for “corona countermeasures… Photo: YUTAKA/Afro Sports

Was there anyone in the prefectural government who objected to holding this meeting?

Governor Oigawa, who is said to be a one-man operation, and his staff were not in favor of the meeting, even if some of the staff members had said something. Even if the staff had said something, I don’t think they would have listened. The mayor in question, Mr. Yamaguchi, is a close friend of the governor and an important figure in Oigawa’s campaign, so they were always together. There is concern that if the outbreak were to occur within the prefectural government, it could hinder the administration of the prefecture. If the infection spreads to other municipalities in the future, the administration of the entire prefecture could be delayed.

When asked at Kasama City Hall, the mayor said that during this meeting, he “left the meeting halfway through because he developed a mild cough. Later, he underwent an antigen test at the hospital and was confirmed “positive.

He is currently staying at an accommodation facility. I am feeling quite calm and am receiving work instructions by phone and e-mail. There is no impact on his official duties.

The same information is also uploaded on the Kasama City website, only stating that he was on “official business” on the 22nd, and not mentioning the banquet at the prefectural office that included eating and drinking. It also says that secretaries, drivers of official vehicles, and family members “do not count as persons in close contact. The definition of a “person in close contact” is “a person who has been in contact with a patient for more than 15 minutes without taking the necessary precautions against infection. It is not allowed to have contact without a mask, but I wonder if he really wore a mask the whole time….

The government continues to call for thorough implementation of basic infection control measures such as hand washing, gargling, and masks. A social gathering with a large number of people and alcohol consumption is not a good idea. We cannot prohibit it, but we ask that you consider the situation. Prime Minister Kishida has said at every occasion that he wants to hold the number of new positive applicants in Tokyo to double digits per day by the time of the Upper House election. If by any chance the situation develops into a cluster of sheikhs, he will be furious.

Prime Minister Kishida’s main concern at the moment is not the economic stimulus or the Corona measures, but “winning the Upper House election. To achieve this goal, he is trying to

“He doesn’t want to be criticized for his anti-Corona measures, because the number of positive voters in recent days has been much higher than that of the Kan administration.

No Tension in the Conservative Kingdom

A self-employed man in Kasama City puts it this way.

“It was explained to me that in Ibaraki Prefecture, it is only in the southern part of the prefecture that there are many positives because people who commute to the city center for work are on Corona. It’s shocking that the mayor of the city was infected after attending a drinking party. He’s running unopposed this month for a fifth term. He has been doing this for so long that he is licking the citizens. I think he’s loosening the leash.”

Even though we are not in a state of emergency, we are still expected to take action nowadays, just in case. Perhaps because Ibaraki Prefecture, the conservative kingdom, is said to be “safe” in this summer’s Upper House election, the chiefs do not feel the tension that preceded the election. Some point out that the “slackness” of the Kishida administration is having an impact on local communities.

First of all, we hope that the “chiefs’ infection” in Ibaraki can be minimized, and at the same time, we pray for the recovery of the infected mayors. Please take care.

  • Interview and text by Shutaro Iwashiro Photo: Kyodo Photo (Prefectural Office) Kyodo Photo (Prefectural Government)YUTAKA/Afro Sports (Governor Oigawa)

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