Message from Japan – I don’t worry about Coronavirus, but annoyed by noisy media

Hi all.  I am 51-year-old businessman. I live in Tokyo, Japan.


My country Japan is East Asia’s popular tourist destination, blessed with Sushi and healthy gourmet, Mt. Fuji and natural beauty, high tech and infrastructure, anime & manga, Asia’s best ski resorts and unique cultural experiences. Nowadays Japan is like “Spain in Asia”.  Just like Europe has got regular flights from major German cities to Ibiza and Mallorca every 10 minutes, 10 million per year Chinese tourists flock into major Japanese airports like Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Okinawa etc.

In this winter, I enjoyed two ski trips domestically in Japan,  which is Lotte Arai resort in Niigata Prefecture, and Mount Racey resort in Yubari, Hokkaido.  In those hotels and ski areas, Chinese Mandarin was the major language spoken, if not Japanese.


Since the city of Wuhan was blocked in January 23rd due to the fear of Coronavirus (COVID19),  very few Chinese tourists visit in Japan.  Major cities in Japan is experiencing substantially less crowd than it was before this January.

Despite loads of scary news of Coronavirus fear, my daily life in Tokyo does not change.  I do not think this is major threat to my health and life. When I evaluate the risks via simple arithmetics, it is simply, too marginal.

R (Risk)  = P (Probability) x C (Consequence)

As an active businessman, I frequently travel between Japan’s two major cities – Tokyo and Osaka.  The distance is 500 km with variety of transportation choices.  Based on available data, I evaluated the risks where I die from traffic accidents.  Highway bus is of the highest risks.


My chance of death in Tokyo – Osaka transport

Highway bus :  1 out of 32,000  (or 0.003%)
Flight :  1 out of 800,000 (or 0.000125%)
Rail (Shinkansen) : 1 out of 3,200,000 (or 0.00003%)

It simply means, if I travel 16,000 times one-way (or 8,000 return) by highway buses,  then my chances of death becomes half (1/2).

Based on life table by Japan ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare,  average 50-year Japanese male have 33 years of remaining life. I am 51 years old so I can probably live for another 32 years.  In other words, my probability of death at the age of 83 is just half (1/2), by any reasons.

It is very unlikely that I do 8,000 round trips to Osaka by highway buses (The maximum I can do is less than 100).  So I do not mind the risks of fatal traffic accidents, because it is too marginal.


Similar thing applies to Coronavirus (COVID19). This is simply one type of influenza, that everyone in everywhere experiences in every winter season.  I am healthy and strong so I do not worry about virus. Even I got infected, my body will be able to recover in a week anyway.

Evaluating the risks where I die from Coronavirus infection, Let me take high side, if 10 times more Japanese is infected, P (Probability) is 0.0065% (8,300 out of 126,000,000.. total Japanese population). C (Consequence = chance of death by infection) is 0.48% (4 out of 830), then I calculate


My chance of death by Coronavirus Infection

1 out of 31,499,952 (or 0.000003%) 
It is ten times lower risk than single Shinkansen trip death from Tokyo to Osaka

This is simply,  something I can ignore.  I anyway take higher risks by driving and bike riding in Tokyo’s busy roads, so I do not understand why some people are scared.

Many of my local friends in Tokyo are just like me, they do not care such risks.  But we all are annoyed by sensational mass media and fake news in Internet. They are spreading information pollution that are more harmful than Coronavirus itself!


Nowadays, any events especially health related, becomes easy target of people who wants to take advantage by spreading information intentionally.

  • Mass media
    (who benefits from spreading negative news which makes people worry more)
  • Noisy minorities
    (who are simply too worried and spread their emotions through internet) 
  • Politicians
    (who want to take political advantages by accusing government etc.)


What they are doing is simply, information pollution.  They benefit nobody, and waste peoples time for unproductive way.  Many people in Japan and other countries, including myself, are annoyed by their way of doing things.

We are OK.  We are normal.  Please visit in Japan to enjoy “quieter” winter with full of charm.  Let us share great and prosperous year of 2020,  See you soon in the Tokyo Olympics.


Facebook にシェア