Weekly Fact-checks: An image with false caption of Japanese officials bowing goes viral

(ISSUED ON August 21, 2020)

Welcome to FIJ’s English FactChecks Report vol.14. This weekly report comes in two parts, consisting of Fact-checks at a glance and Announcements & News. 

Fact-checks at a glance

AFP Fact Check | Philippines (August 13, 2020)

False: During the novel coronavirus pandemic, Japanese officials bowed and paid their respects to frontline workers.

Explanation: A photo has been shared hundreds of times in multiple Facebook posts that claims to show Japanese officials paying tribute to frontline workers during the novel coronavirus pandemic. However this photo is actually of a line of workers at a bathroom products company on the first day of the new year in China in 2011, thus confirming this to be false.

Read the full article here(English).


②mygopen | Taiwan (August 12, 2020)

False: Video of the fireworks that were supposed to be set off at the Tokyo Olympics

Explanation: “This video was sent to me by a friend of mine in Japan. This particular firework was supposed to be set off at the Tokyo Olympics, but since there are no Olympics this year, they were shown for the people of Tokyo. It was really beautiful,” the content of the video has spread online along with the video of the fireworks. Fact Check Initiative (FIJ) checked it, and found that the fireworks in this video were not for Tokyo Olympics-related activities. The fireworks also resemble computer simulated fireworks produced by a company called FWsim and may not be real.

Read the full article here (Chinese).


③InFact | Japan (August 14, 2020)

Unfounded: The man who won the Nobel Prize for developing the PCR methods says, ‘It’s not fit to identify viruses.’

Explanation: “The Nobel Prize winner who developed the PCR methods says that it is not fit to identify the virus,” Kunihiko Takeda, a regular performer said on the widely watched internet TV “Toranomon News”. However these statements have not been confirmed and Takeda has not provided any evidence to support them either. 

Read the full article here (Japanese).

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

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・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 English team.