TOPICS December 2021
Private PCR Test Center Opens
A private PCR test center for Covid-19, where people can get the result on the day of the test, opened on November 12 in Miyata-chou, Matsuyama City. The Setolabo Laboratory (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture), which operates the facility, says: “We would like to contribute to reducing the burden on medical institutions and preventing the spread of infection.”
Setolabo operates nine PCR centers nationwide, with the Ehime PCR center being the ninth. The time for the PCR procedure is about five minutes. The saliva specimens are tested at a facility registered by the prefecture. People can check the results online from 3 to 5 pm on the day if the test is conducted by 10 am and on the following day if the test is conducted after 10 am. If the result is positive, the person will be notified by e-mail, and the result will also be reported to the relevant health center.
(November 11, Ehime Shimbun Online)
Additional Information (Price):
It costs ¥5,500 to take the test if paying by PayPal and ¥6,000 if you pay in cash at the site. A certificate showing a negative result for travel abroad will cost ¥13,200. A certificate for use in Japan is ¥3,300.
Website (available in English):
Ehime PCR Center: https://setolabo.jp/en/ehime-2/
Ambassador of the Slovak Republic Visits Ehime
His Excellency Mr. Marián TOMÁŠIK,Ambassador of the Slovakia, and his wife visited the Prefectural Office and met Governor Nakamura.
They gave a presentation at Matsuyama-Higashi high school under the “EU Comes to Your School” program. Governor Nakamura expressed his appreciation and said that although opportunities to interact with foreigners were limited here since Japan was geographically surrounded by ocean, relationships with foreign countries were very important as trading partners, and the stories about the EU and Slovakia must have been very stimulating to the high school students.
H.E. Mr. TOMÁŠIK was happy and said that the students were encouraged and many of them spoke to him in English and
asked him about his country.
He and his wife also visited Matsuyama Castle, and said that Ehime was a beautiful prefecture in harmony with mountains and the sea. His wife said that she liked citrus beer and sashimi.
(November 10, Ehime Shimbun Online)
New Project on Disaster Preparedness Begins at Ehime University
The “Matsuyama Nige-Okure Zero Project” (No One Too Late to Run Away) for disaster preparedness, in which individuals and groups plan actions to take in the event of a disaster and use a disaster preparedness manual and rules named My Timeline for evacuation, was announced at Ehime University on November 9. Matsuyama City and the Matsuyama Disaster Prevention Leaders Training Center of the university played a central role in the creation of My Timeline, which especially focuses on preventing delays in evacuating schools and welfare facilities when natural disasters occur such as heavy rains and typhoons.
As an immediate initiative, events are being planned to provide disaster preparedness education for all first-year junior high school students in the city and to help welfare-related facilities to create My Timeline. In addition, the city will distribute My Timeline sheets to all households in the city next March along with a new disaster preparedness map.
Approximately 100 people participated at the venue and online. Ryuichi Yatabe of the Center for Disaster Management Informatics Research (CDMIR) at Ehime University, said, “Even if a river breaks its bank, people tend to not leave the area. To help people decide to evacuate in the event of a disaster, we are launching this project using My Timeline.”
(November 9, Ehime Shimbun Online)
Paralympics Impact on Diversity and Harmony
A questionnaire about the Tokyo Paralympics was conducted targeting people with disabilities nationwide through the Japan Disability Forum, and responses came from 763 people. About 70% of the responders said, “The Games helped people understand their disabilities.” This was a more positive response than expected because in the survey conducted last summer, only 62% of people with disabilities answered “I think it will lead to an understanding of disabilities.” The most common reason was “The success of athletes attracted attention to people with disabilities,” followed by “people had more opportunities to see people with disabilities through the media.” On the other hand, over 30% of the responders said, “I was recently discriminated against.” This percentage was the same before and after the Games. In order to achieve a symbiotic society, many of them cited “promotion of barrier-free facilities” and “creating opportunities for people with and without disabilities to interact.” When asked in Matsuyama, some people with disabilities said they were glad that sports for people with disabilities were noticed. Meanwhile, some expressed their hope that it would lead to daily changes rather than just transient changes. Professor Yasui from Ehime University pointed out that Japan’s decision-making has excluded the persons concerned regardless with or without disabilities so far and said that more discussions could lead to a society where “no one is left behind”, one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
(November 8,9, Ehime Shimbun)
A New “Baseball-Dance”
A video, Baseball Dance, was shot to promote Yakyu-Ken-Odori (Baseball-Dance), an original dance in Matsuyama, with new choreography. About 50 performers and citizen extras danced together with scenes of Matsuyama as a backdrop.
The video “Baseball-Dance” was produced in cooperation with the secretariat of Matsuyama Festival and Avex Entertainment Inc. Mr. Daimao Kosaka, known as “Pikotaro,” served as a supervisor and arranged the music in a rock-style based on the original. It aims to attract dancers and visitors to the Matsuyama Festival from inside and outside the country, even though performance of “Baseball-Dance” has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
(November 6, Ehime Shimbun Online)
Biotope Survives at Emiful
These days almost all riverbanks have been covered in concrete and indigenous creatures have disappeared. However, there has been a biotope for 11 years on the property of the commercial facility, Emiful MASAKI, in Masaki-town next to Matsuyama-city. (“Biotope” is a localized habitat associated with a particular ecological community.) About 200 types of endangered aquatic animals and plants, such as killifish, loach, crucian carp, and a clover-like plant called Marsilea quadrifolia, grow in an area of 1800 square meters. The Fuji Company, running Emiful, provided a part of the site to the town free of charge, and the town entrusted its maintenance to a local organization in June 2010. The organization dissolved some years later, but a former member, Mr. Hirai now aged 84, has continued on his own. Relying on his memory, he has restored the riverside to what it used to be about half a century ago. Professor Emeritus Matsui from Matsuyama Shinonome Junior College says this is the biggest biotope in Ehime that is well maintained. They agree that it will not survive in two years if no one maintains it. Mr. Hirai says he will continue while he is healthy because it is exciting to see what kind of creatures are growing. He mows the grass and records the number of the animals and plants almost every day. The town also thinks that it is a valuable place for learning about nature and is looking for people who will take over the maintenance. (November 5, Ehime Shimbun)