Local News

Results for Fukuoka Foreign Residents Survey on COVID-19

Between May 1 and May 5, Fukuoka Now ran an online survey to monitor the experiences and opinions of fellow non-Japanese residents of Fukuoka Prefecture. The survey had 16 questions, all multiple choice except for two type-in answers, and it was done anonymously. Over 400 participated. Below are the results of the multiple-choice questions. We will add comments to summarize the free answers at a later date. Please feel free to leave comments below, or contact us at editor@fukuoka-now.com.

In addition to the multiple choice questions we asked two write-in questions. We have included a few sample responses below.

A warm thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. We hope you find the results interesting, and please participate again.

Multiple-choice questions

Respondent’s Profile

Write-in questions

Below is a small selection of the hundreds of replies we received to two write-in questions. They are listed in no particular order and a few were edited for brevity, otherwise they are presented verbatim.

1. What silver linings have you found during this crisis?

• More time to exercise

• better relationship with kids but not wife

• I’ve been more productive in a creative-wise way.

• Push for schools to utilize technology

• More family time, more free time for hobbies by teleworking

• Quality time with loved ones. More home cooking.

• Don’t have to commute!

• appreciate what I have

• More time spent with my family, and more time to work on so old hobbies

• I have time to finish writing my thesis and learn new programming language

• None. I want to go home.

• Lots of sleep…

• I found that how much helpless we humans are against the nature. The damage we have done to this planet, it’s now healing by it’s own way. We must, have to be more caring for this earth after this pandemic is over.

• Husband is teleworking, more time to enjoy together.

• Less crowded trains, streets, reduction in smog.

• it was a bonding opportunity for my family and friends

• Getting into better shape by avoiding social eating and drinking. Gardening on my balcony. Enjoying the nature I can find in my neighborhood.

• Japan finally has figured out how to make doggy bags (take out) meals.

• Information from Fukuoka Now via Facebook

• I learn to use new tech like zoom meeting

• No silver lining especially considering how japan has handled this situation

• The yakiniku place in my neighborhood has made some excellent takeout bentos since they’ve closed the regular restaurant doors.

• We are all in this together.

• Healthy better than wealthy

• ¥100,000 subsidy

• Able to call my family back home more often.

2. Please leave a comment here. About your situation living in Fukuoka during the state of emergency, about this survey, about Fukuoka Now’s news service, anything!

• I’m a freelance English teacher and I haven’t been paid for 2 months– I feel like the Japanese government and the Fukuoka govt has done nothing at all for teachers like me

• Very concerned about being infected as there has been little to no change in the behaviour of the people in my town. Children out everyday. No social distancing. Scary.

• I’m really thankful to be living in a place in Japan with a sizable English-speaking community like Fukuoka. I’m studying Japanese, and of course there’s always Google Translate, but having resources like Fukuoka Now to keep me updated (especially in this pandemic) is really appreciated!

• I’m an ALT and we have been working from home since March. I’m just grateful we still get fully paid unlike the horror stories I heard from other teachers.

• I do not feel safe at all. I do not feel confident in Japans response. I find myself feeling very frustrated at the response of the average people.

• Thanks for being a very important, even vital service to the foreign community in Kyushu. Everything I see from FN is factual, balanced and helpful to the target audience. In this day and age, this is invaluable.

• I work in a kindergarten and I am still being made to go into work, despite students staying at home, in order to do live broadcasts on zoom. Something which is obviously doable at home. We at not allowed to wear masks during the broadcasts and including any contact I have on my commute to work I also have to come into contact with 15 plus co workers daily… I’m terrified of getting sick because of the horror stories I’ve heard of people getting refused treatment but I can’t lose this job and I have no choice.

• No comments but keep up the informative articles. Appreciate your lack of sensationalism.

• Japan doesn’t need to follow stupid Western lockdown protocols. The Sweden model is best.

• I hope Japan can run more testing for the COVID-19 so we can predict precisely how long the lockdown should be carry out . I am afraid getting a COVID-19 and face the post discrimination from the society. I am also afraid i cant finish my lab work for the doctoral degree if the campus is close for a long time.

• I will commend Fukuoka’s governor for his response to the situation. He has shown that he does intend to tackle this in a more serious manner than what we have seen from the central government.
I thank Fukuoka Now for giving us a chance to voice our concerns, and to express what we have experiencing, personally as a 35-year resident in Japan, mostly in Fukuoka city. As a foreign resident, unable to read Japanese, I will say that I have a hard time actually knowing what to do in the event a family member or I fall ill, knowing that hospitals can refuse people who have fever (whether it is from coronavirus or otherwise)

• I want to go home as soon as possible

• I’m struggling right now to pay rent and utilities. And thinking of loans it’s just impossible.

• The main thing I’m disappointed about it the elementary schools. They have done very little to stay in touch with kids or to provide any kind of useful learning.

• More of a rant I think but Japan is doing a very poor job in my opinion. Yesterday I went to my city ward office because they refused to send documents I need via post. Of course the place is overrun with people there for similar bureaucratic nonsense and no social distancing whatsoever. Everywhere it seems the same. Thanks.

• I am pregnant and i worry how hospitals handle cases and hope it won’t affect pregnanant women and babies

• Hurry up with the emergency funds, i have lost my job due to corona and my wife has gone down to 70% which isn’t enough for rent, gas, water and electricity. I am searching and applying for new jobs but due to corona it is ridiculously hard to get even an interview less alone a job. To have to pay tax and not getting any help in a state of emergency is disappointing beyond words. We have payed a lot of money in tax and we feel as the government’s way of handling this is incredibly poorly.

• I am from Mongolia, but I am not able to return country due to border closed

• – newspapers and magazines like Fukuoka Now have helped me follow the measures taken and the evolution of the crisis thanks to their English version. Thank you.
– I feel like Fukuoka’s measures and informations were globally better and more appropriate than the one’s of the government itself.
– I feel like we don’t have all the info about the numbers (covid-related) in Japan and that worries me. I am more cautious and skeptic with the announcements of the government.
– sometimes I am afraid that I won’t be treated the same way as Japanese people if I catch the virus and if I am really sick. Indeed in the everyday life the reactions of people regarding foreigners are already sometimes really hurtful.

• I’m very thankful to Fukuoka now for always updating us on the news, because my Japanese level is not up to date to watch NHK, it’s a valuable asset to us that can’t communicate that well yet.

• We hear ambulances day and night in Kokura, our children’s schools have been closed for months, university classes have been canceled yet there are zero new cases everyday. No one in our supermarkets practice physical distancing and our neighborhood is as busy with people as ever. No one feels any state of urgency because of our low numbers. We cannot be adequately informed without proper testing. I’m at a loss as I do not have enough information about what is actually happening in our prefecture.

• I’m very lucky. Transitioning to online teaching has been stressful, but being able to keep doing my job in safety is a great privilege. I miss being with my students, but I’m glad they’re not being put at risk.

• Maintaining fitness goals has been challenging when working from home, with sports clubs closed.

• Really appreciate the news coverage and reporting on local events on Fukuoka Now. Keep up the good work!

• No schools means no work means no income for me. This is my biggest problem

• Situation: stay at home, but I’m afraid when going out for buying food at the supermarket, I’m not sure if they disinfect supermarket trolleys frequently. The supermarket is always crowded. I don’t like delivery food because it’s expensive and unsure the quality and there’s no homecountry food for delivery.

• I am so bored in this state emergency situation

• It seems well controlled at the moment. Fukuoka Mayor is providing fast response and information on different channels. It would be really good that you could assist the major on Facebook posts (English) because using the Facebook translation is so bad that it doesn’t make sense to me. Your news and details information has been great for new residents that our Japanese level is still basic, rapid fact and easy to understand.

• Thank you for constantly updating us about news on COVID-19. It’s pretty frustrating to not have news and updated available (hard to come by) in English. I hope through this survey the local and national government starts providing timely information in other languages not only in bigger cities but extend it to cover the entire country. I’m an ALT and take private tutoring to earn some extra money but due to the COVID-19 I’ve had to cancel all my private lessons. I’m primarily employed by a dispatch company and hence have been saved by the brunt that many have of not having/losing their livelihood. Although there is a need to isolate and observe social distancing, us teachers are asked to continue to go to schools raising the risk of contacting / spreading the virus. This in my opinion is counterproductive as there is no actual work being done at schools with no students whilst raising the risk of the spread of the disease. And I or other ALTs like me have no option but to obey the orders of the board of education in our city.

• i put “no opinion” on the policy questions because my opinion is that policy re: the virus should be based on international scientific expertise, rather than domestic politics/culture or average gaikokujin such as myself.

• My mom and my cousin are stranded here because of corona virus 🦠 for more than a month because theres no flight going to my country sad i can not give them a good memoris

• Fukuoka seems relatively safe as most people are keeping distance and wearing face coverings. Also, we have excellent access to hand-washing/sanitizing materials in many places such as grocery stores or take-out restaurants.

• Apart from working remotely, I do not feel like my life has changed that much because of the state of emergency. I just wish measures were taken earlier on, instead of pretending nothing was happening in order to protect the Olympic Games. Because of this, I am convinced that it is now very hard to track who really got infected or not and my only concern is that we go back to normal only to realize a second wave is coming, and the consequences could be even more dramatic this time.

• Fukuoka Now really help us understand the news about this issue especially we don’t understand Japanese language that much. Please help us too for the procedure we need to do when we are applying for the 100,000¥ subsidy. Thanks and stay safe.

• Job searching during this time for the summer/fall is INCREDIBLY challenging, stressful and disheartening. It’s been hard to understand why the board of education decided to keep all teachers in school every day (true up until partial work from home was granted on the 15th of April). It really felt as though they have no concern for the safety of the staff – only for the students – and even then, only somewhat. My commute to work involves taking the trains through both hakata and tenjin every day and I worry greatly about somehow picking it up and passing it along to my colleagues.

• Freelance educators are really struggling to make ends meet.

• feeling no safe.but as a care worker no matter what happened i have to work for the community..

• I’m really happy with how Fukuoka City has handled this situation. It seems to me a good balance of taking reasonable steps to reduce the spread of the virus without infringing on civil liberties. Since our local medical systems have been nowhere near overwhelmed, I think we’re ready to start reopening businesses and getting kids back in school with basic safety measures like social distancing, masks, and hand washing in place. If the curve starts steepening again, now we know what to do and can revert to this more strict quarantine mode quickly. Anything can happen moving forward, but for now Fukuoka feels like the safest place to be in the world.

Fukuoka Prefecture
Published: May 9, 2020 / Last Updated: May 9, 2020

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.