Fascinating Japanese caller's take on facemasks turns James O'Brien's debate on its head

10 July 2020, 12:32

By Adrian Sherling

James O'Brien is asking why Britons are so against wearing facemasks. And this Japanese caller's comparison with the culture in her country shone a new light on the debate.

Kasumi spends half her year in Tokyo and the other half in London. And she revealed that facemask use is commonplace across Japan for the flu season every year - even before the coronavirus crisis.

And related to that, Japan have had fewer than 1,000 coronavirus deaths compared with almost 45,000 in the UK, despite having a population twice the size.

She told James O'Brien of the stark difference between the two countries.

She said: "In Japan, corona started in January. 95% of the population masked up as soon as the cases spread.

James O'Brien heard a fascinating take on facemasks from a Japanese caller
James O'Brien heard a fascinating take on facemasks from a Japanese caller. Picture: LBC / PA

"When I arrived in Heathrow airport, there were no temperature checks, nobody was wearing a mask.

"When I left my flat in Mile End, my husband and I were the only people wearing a mask and gloves. Everybody was shouting at me. One man shouted at me.

"At the supermarket, the basket was filthy, there was no hand sanitiser and I thought 'I have to get out of here because a tsunami of death is coming'."

Hear her full, fascinating call at the top of the page.