Japan Fact-checks: Beware of Jumping to Conclusions

(Issued on June 19, 2020)

Welcome to FIJ’s English FactChecks Report. This is a weekly report that comes in three parts consisting of Notable Case, Fact-checks at a glance, and Announcements & News. 

Notable Case

False: A nurse who tested positive for the new coronavirus is at the source of a massive hospital-associated infection (HAI) outbreak (fact-checked by INFACT on June 17, 2020)

According to Chinese mini-blog Weibo, which quoted a report by Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi around the end of April, 120 people were infected in two days in a large-scale hospital-associated infection (HAI) outbreak in Osaka due to a nurse who tested positive for covid-19 and who was forced to continue to work at her hospital. The Chinese mini-blog Weibo quoted a report by TV Asahi, a Japanese broadcast media. However, the Chinese mini-blog misquoted TV Asahi. 

TV Asahi reported that there had indeed been 122 hospital-associated infections at this hospital and that a nurse had continued to work there even after her PCR tests proved positive. However, it did not report that this nurse was the cause of the infections.

According to data from the Osaka government, it is true that a large-scale hospital-associated infection occurred and a total of 120 people had been infected in this hospital until April 22, but it is not true that 120 people were found to have been infected in two days. It is also unclear whether the nurse who tested positive was the source of the infection. Therefore, the information on Weibo is considered to be false.

The original fact-checking report in Japanese is here.

(Ya Jung Chih)

Fact-checks at a glance

We picked up the following fact-checks relating to Japan from overseas media.

  1. Fact-checked by: RMIT ABC Fact Check | Australia (June 13, 2020)

Misleading: “Japan could pay for part of your post-coronavirus holiday”

Explanation:Japan’s half-price travel promotion does not apply to Australians travelling to Japan. In fact, the subsidised travel plan being considered by Japan would only apply to Japanese residents travelling within the country, not to foreign visitors. “Please note that the Go to Travel Campaign under consideration by the Japanese government is to stimulate domestic travel demand within Japan and only covers a portion of domestic travel expenses,” the Japan Tourism Agency said on Twitter. Read the full article here (English)

Check out the IFCN’s #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance database of 5,000+ fact-checks from more than 70 countries on the novel coronavirus. Other themes of factcheck can be found on each organization’s website.

Announcements & News

・We continues to welcome offers of factcheck collaboration.

・Please follow our English twitter account for the latest information! 

・For useful Japan-related information resources in English, check us out here.

Hope you stay well,

FIJ researchers team.