Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Tokyo governor's coronavirus plea inspires social distancing game

CoronavirusApr 20, 2020 12:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Japan

By Tim Kelly

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's entreaty to residents to keep away from each other to halt the spread of the coronavirus has inspired a computer game of her navigating through crowds while uttering her daily "mitsudesu" call for social distancing.

Many major cities, including New York and London have locked down their residents and forced bars and restaurants to close with threats of fines.

But the Japanese government's state of emergency is more permissive, a the governor of the world's biggest metropolis, with 36 million people, can only request residents to stay home and ask businesses shutter temporarily.

While many have done so, some bars, some restaurants and cafes remain open, with many of the city's streets far from empty.

A former TV announcer and government minister, who studied Arabic in Egypt, Koike has clashed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government over the scope of measures needed to keep residents at home.

At daily briefings, she wears a face mask while urging people to keep a distance from others, avoid crowds and enclosed spaces. There are more than more than 11,000 cases in Japan of which more than a quarter are in Tokyo.

The game published by twitter user, Gunjo Chikin, includes a character resembling Abe who provides two face masks to Koike as her social distancing circle expands as she moves to harder levels. Critics have accused Abe of reacting to slowly to the pandemic, and some have ridiculed his plan to send two cloth face masks to every household in Japan.

Gunjo Chikin, who in a tweet on Sunday said Twitter had blocked access to the game site, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A tweeted Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) analytics page showed there had been more than a million views of the page in the past seven days.

An electro-pop song chanting Koike's "mitsudesu" message has also been posted on Twitter, and has garnered 300,000 views.

Tokyo governor's coronavirus plea inspires social distancing game

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email