Telephone Bomb Threat at the Fukui Prefectural Office, Man Apprehended

Telephone Bomb Threat at the Fukui Prefectural Office, Man Apprehended

Charge of Forcibly Obstructing Business Operations, Part of Charge Denied

On May 2nd, the Fukui Prefectural Office received a telephone bomb threat. On the 3rd, under the charge of forcibly obstructing business, an unemployed male (aged 64) from Ono City (in Fukui Prefecture) was apprehended through the efforts of the Fukui Prefectural Police-Fukui Police Station, Ono Police Station, Prefectural Police Search Department, and the Police Search Squad. According to the Fukui Police Station, “The man admitted to making a phone call, but had no recollection of talking about a bomb,” denying part of the charge.

The criminal charge stated that on May 2nd, at around 1:10 p.m., the Fukui Prefectural Office received a call with a message, “A bomb has been planted”, under the suspicion of obstructing the regular duties of the Prefectural Office staff, by having them evacuate the building, and the police officers having to search for the explosive material.

According to Fukui Prefecture, upon receiving the telephone bomb threat, the approximately 190 Prefectural Office staff evacuated to the Fukui City Central Park, suspending operations for over 2 hours. Approximately 40 police officers searched within and around the Prefectural Office.


Fourth COVID-19 Death in Fukui Prefecture, of Sabae City Man in his 80s

Fourth COVID-19 Death in Fukui Prefecture, of Sabae City Man in his 80s

April 15th, Eight COVID-19 Infections in Fukui City, Sakai City, and Ono City

On April 15th, Fukui Prefecture reported the 4th death within the prefecture, connected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), of a Sabae City unemployed male in his 80s, who was the prefecture’s 69th confirmed COVID-19 patient. Furthermore, it was announced that the prefecture’s 93rd through to the 100th COVID-19 cases were of 5 people in Fukui City, 2 in Sakai City, and 1 in Ono City.

Brief details of the 8 new cases are as follows:

[93] Sakai City unemployed male, in his 70s

[94] Sakai City male company employee, in his 50s

[95] Fukui City female self-employed helper, in her 70s

[96] Fukui City unemployed female, in her 70s

[97] Fukui City male company employee, in his 30s

[98] Fukui City female doctor, in her 50s

[99] Ono City male company employee, in his 50s

[100] Fukui City unemployed female, in her 70s

The Fukui City female doctor [98] is employed at the Fukushima Urology Clinic (in Fukui City), where the clinical director and other patients have been confirmed with COVID-19.

In cases [93], [97], [99], and [100], each person has had some or close contact with someone who had been confirmed with COVID-19. Investigations are still ongoing for cases [94], [95], and [96].


Sixteen Cities and Towns In Fukui Prefecture, Resumption of Classes Postponed

Sixteen Cities and Towns In Fukui Prefecture, Resumption of Classes Postponed

For Echizen Town, Postponed Until April 20th

By April 6th, in response to the requests received by Tatsuji Sugimoto, governor of Fukui Prefecture, to continue the temporary school closures until after Golden Week, in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the board of education of 16 cities and towns (excluding Echizen Town) have decided to postpone the resumption of elementary and junior high school classes until at least May 7th. The Echizen Town Board of Education has plans to resume classes from April 20th. The school entrance ceremonies for 12 municipal districts have also been postponed until at least May 7th. In Echizen Town, Ikeda Town, Oi Town, and Takahama Town, the entrance ceremonies were carried out on April 6th. Tsuruga City is scheduled to hold its school entrance ceremonies on April 8th.

On April 6th, the board of education in Katsuyama City, Ono City, and Minamiechizen Town made the decision to postpone the resumption of classes until at least May 7th. The Echizen Town Board of Education expressed in a statement, “We wish to make a judgement closer to April 20th, whether or not to resume classes from that day or to further postpone it.”

On April 6th, the decision to postpone the entrance ceremonies was made by the board of education of Fukui City, Katsuyama City, Ono City, Obama City, Eiheiji Town, Minamiechizen Town, and Mihama Town; including 4 municipalities who have already made the decision, this brings a total of 12 towns and cities to postpone towards the same day.

With the entrance ceremonies being carried out on April 8th, the Tsuruga City Board of Education said in a statement, “The Municipal Tsuruga Hospital has verified that, with thorough implementation of infection prevention measures, such as wearing masks and room ventilation, holding the ceremony should post no problems.”

Regarding the postponement of entrance ceremonies in Fukui City, a mother (aged 44) of a new first-year elementary student expressed, “Because the reopening of schools has been postponed, it was good that the same has been done for the entrance ceremonies.” Another mother (aged 35) spoke with anxiety, “I had hoped that the entrance ceremony would be carried out, as a break from this situation. With an increasing gap between graduation from kindergarten and starting elementary school, it might take a long time (for children) to get used to school.”

According to the Prefectural University Private School Department, 9 private junior and senior high schools have suspended its entrance ceremonies, while others have postponed it until at least May 7th. All private schools will resume classes from the same day.

Concerning the entrance ceremonies of public kindergartens and nursery schools, the response has been divided between carrying out the ceremony as scheduled or postponing it.


Japan’s First Temporary Residence for COVID-19 Patients

Japan’s First Temporary Residence for COVID-19 Patients

Established in Fukui Prefecture, Admitting Patients who Tested Positive with Mild Symptoms

On April 6th, in an effort to secure hospital beds for patients infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Fukui Prefecture announced the establishment of the “Fukui City Shonen Shizen no Ie” (a youth outdoor learning centre) as a temporary residence; six patients, who have tested positive for the virus and experiencing mild symptoms, have already been admitted into the facility. Registered nurses have been stationed in the facility, and continuously monitoring the patients’ conditions, while maintaining contact with doctors. According to the prefecture, the temporary residence is the first of its kind in Japan. In addition, the prefecture had confirmed six new COVID-19 cases of men and women, including a health care worker, with ages ranging between the forties and fifties. It was the first occasion for Ono City to have a confirmed COVID-19 case, which brought the prefecture to a total of 59 cases.

The temporary residence was established from April 5th, and on the same day, had taken in four patients who had mild symptoms, from designated medical institutions, and two patients who had been self-isolating at home. The facility has 26 rooms, and will accommodate patients who are asymptomatic or are only experiencing mild symptoms. Registered nurses and OB nurses, who have experience dealing with infectious diseases, from the Fukui Nursing Association are stationed at the facility, operation on a 24-hour system. Doctors from the Fukui Medical Association are on stand-by, ready to be dispatched at any time.

Among the newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Echizen City female health care worker (in her 50s) is the wife the Echizen City male company employee, who was the prefecture’s 51st COVID-19 case; the woman had worked at a nursing home within the city. She was in charge of duties which included changing sheets and cleaning. From March 22nd, she had a persistent sore throat, and then on April 5th, tested positive for the virus. After the onset of symptoms, she had worked for approximately four hours at the nursing home on March 25th.

According to the prefecture, regarding the scale of interaction among those in the nursing home, it is still “under investigation”; just over ten people are currently monitoring their condition at home.

In Ono City, a male company executive (in his 50s), and two male company executives (in their 40s and 50s) who are brothers, have been confirmed with the virus. Including a female self-employed helper (in her 50s), all have either visited the same Fukui City restaurant, which had a number of patrons and customers confirmed with COVID-19, or had close contact with someone who did. In additions, the newly confirmed case of a Sabae City female company employee (in her 50s) is the wife of the patient in the prefecture’s 48th COVID-19 case. It appears that most cases within the prefecture are connected to form one large cluster. Investigations by Fukui Prefecture are still ongoing.

There are five patients in serious condition, of three people in their 50s, and two in their 70s.

Tallying the COVID-19 cases between the seven municipalities: Fukui City has 34 cases (1 recovered, 1 death), Echizen City has 13 cases (1 death), Sabae City has 5 cases, Ono City has 3 cases, Sakai City has 2 cases, Awara City has 1 case, and Minamiechizen Town has 1 case.


Chilled Flowers, Blooming Cherry Blossoms Shining with White Snow

Chilled Flowers, Blooming Cherry Blossoms Shining with White Snow

Snowfall in Fukui Prefecture, 11 Centimetres in Ono City

Within Fukui Prefecture on March 16th, the Reihoku region saw a mix of snow and sleet resulting from a winter pressure pattern, after having had clear weather until the late morning; in the Kuzuryu area of Ono City, 11 centimetres of snowfall was measured by 10:00 a.m. With strong winds, there was a complete reversal from the recent warm temperatures; it became a day were the flowers had frozen over.

At the Fukui Prefectural Green Center in Sakai City, the fully bloomed Oh-Kanzakura (an early-blooming species of cherry trees) had gathered a layer of snow, boldly standing out with its contrasting pink and white colours.

According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, the temperature lows for the morning of the 16th had dropped to a cold 1.4⁰C in Fukui City, and 0.0⁰C in Ono City. As for temperature highs throughout the days, becoming like Ono City’s early February average of 4.8⁰C, all ten observations sites had recorded single digit temperatures.

Until 7:00 p.m. of the same day, with the strong winds, the fastest instantaneous wind speed was recorded at 20.0 metres per second in Obama, and 19.7 metres per second in Tsuruga.

For the 17th, under a high-pressure system, it is expected to be sunny throughout the day.