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Japanese officials want wave instead of handshakes due to swine

By Andrew Moran     Aug 23, 2009 in World
Japan's election is in one week and now it is crucial for political candidates to shake hands with the crowd but the H1N1 Swine Flu has changed many things.
August 30 is Japan's election and polls show their Democratic Party will be the likely winner but candidate Denny Tamaki still wants to play it safe, according to Reuters.
Many Japanese political candidates just want to wave at their supporters instead of shaking their hands because of this century's first pandemic; Swine Flu. Currently, Japan has suffered three deaths from the flu and, according to the country's health minister, there is a rise in H1N1.
Tamaki told the Yomiuri Shimbun, "It would be bad if I get infected myself and then pass it on to older people with weaker immune systems."
Fellow Democratic Party candidate Katsuhito Yokokume took a break from campaigning but when he resumed he made a new pledge to citizens of Japan, "We'll make sure not to give speeches so close that the audience might get hit with spittle."
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura has pleaded with the people to consistently wash their hands and to be hygienic in anyway possible.
The World Health Organization has further warned that the pandemic could get worse when autumn begins and that it could infect upwards of two billion people.
The only thing people can do in Japan, like most others around the world, is to be like Makiko Fujino, who is the ruling party candidate who brings disinfectant to her rallies, "I watched the news and thought some people might be worried, so I quickly brought some along."
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