Nikkei Business questions Covid restrictions and vaccines
Most of you probably know the Nikkei as the Japanese stock market index, but it gets its name from the financial newspaper that calculates it: The Nikkei. Its owner, Nikkei Inc., also owns the The Nikkei’s British equivalent, The Financial Times, making it one of the world’s major financial media companies. So it was nicely surprising to read a long article in the magazine Nikkei Business presenting facts and opinions on Covid restrictions and vaccines that would have a hard time getting past the editors of mainstream English-language publications like, er, The Financial Times. The article was written by Nikkei Business deputy editor Yoshifumi Uesaka. I’ll run you through the highlights.
In response to Uesaka’s question about the effectiveness of Japan’s Covid restrictions, economist Taro Saito points out cases peaked and fell at the same time in prefectures that restricted the hours and services of bars and restaurants during the states of emergency (SoE) or quasi-emergency measures (QEM) in 2021 and those that didn’t.
Saito’s bluntly says, “Economic activity was restricted, but cases went up and down anyway. Suppressing mobility only hurt the economy and can’t be thought to have had an effect (on infections).” Supporting his point, the below graph shows the number of internet searches for restaurant information compared with the pre-pandemic baseline in regions with longer economic restrictions (e.g., Greater Tokyo, Greater Osaka) and shorter ones. Unsurprisingly, shorter restaurant operating hours combined with hysterical media fearmongering does little for consumer sentiment.
After Uesaka provides the usual throat clearing about how the jabs lower the risk of severe Covid, he interviews immunologist Prof Sho Matsushita (pictured below) about the danger of the boosters causing Original Antigenic Sin: “If you repeatedly vaccinate over a short period, the initial antibodies you produce will disrupt the production of later antibodies. So even if you vaccinate with a variant-specific vaccine, you won’t develop immunity.” As an example, Prof Matsushita points to Israel, which led the world in rolling out the 4th dose and where 44% of the population tested positive for Covid.
And now the juiciest part. Uesaka mentions that up to 20th March 2022, Japan had reported 1635 post-vaccine deaths and 6933 severe adverse events like Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Pharmacologist Prof Tsugumichi Sato from Tokyo University of Science (pictured below) explains that, “In total, about 10% of post-vaccination adverse events are reported. The actual number of post-Covid vaccine deaths is 10 times higher (than reported).” He then points out that whereas 1 death is reported per 10 million doses of influenza vaccinations, 66 deaths are reported per 10 million doses of Covid ones. And by the way, Prof Sato is a member of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare’s (MHLW) Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Monitoring Committee.
As for how the mRNA vaccines cause the various reported instances of thrombosis and heart inflammation, Niigata University’s Prof Masahiko Okada (pictured below) says “It’s possible that the vaccine’s spike protein causes anomalies in immune system functioning, leading to auto-immune disorders in which one’s immune system attacks one’s own cells.”
Of course, the MHLW still insists “causality is unclear”, but Kyoto University’s Prof Masanori Fukushima (pictured below) says “The MHLW can only be called negligent.”
As evidence, Prof Fukushima points to the MHLW’s own data. His graph below shows the number of post-vaccine deaths reported (vertical axis) and the number of days since vaccination (horizontal axis, with 1 being the day of vaccination) up to 21st July 2021. The colours represent the dates the MHLW published the data.
Deaths are most common the day after vaccination. Prof Fukushima says, “This is the level at which you consider causality. If this isn’t looked into, there’s a possibility of a major drug safety problem.”
After mentioning Elon Musk’s provocative tweet about Japan’s future (or lack of it)…
…Uesaka mentions that fewer contacts between people have led to fewer marriages and thus births. Also, suicides among people aged 10-19 were the highest and second highest on record in 2020 and 2021, respectively, evidence that Japan is withering away its national power and happiness.
Finally, Uesaka interviews economist Fumio Otake (pictured below), apparently the only non-Covidian member of the government’s Coronavirus Response Experts Committee.
He says, “After over two years of Covid, we’ve not only lost out economically but also lost our sense of things we can’t put a price on. We’ve lost opportunities for culture, leisure, sports, and our daily enjoyments and interactions have decreased.” And after the standard waffle about the jabs reducing severity, he ends by saying “If the risk of severe disease goes down, we should quit imposing restrictions.”
Well, it’s nice to see my views finally reflected in a mainstream publication. It’s only taken two years.