Karaoke shops in Osaka are reporting that their shops are packed with students who are off school (and supposed to be at home studying) for the H1N1 influenza outbreak here.
Some of the karaoke shop owners are troubled, saying they are concerned about the flu being passed on at these large gatherings, while other owners are offering half-price karaoke during this time.
If you read Japanese news with the preconception that people here follow rules you may be surprised to hear that the students are ignoring the schools’ orders to stay home. You may be even more surprised that while the world watches a mini-pandemic unfold here, shop owners are offering half-price discounts in order to encourage people to gather in large groups, but this is the way it goes here.
It should come as no surprise at all that H1N1 has found such an accommodating home in Japan.