FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Government Officials Bowing To COVID-19 Front-Line Workers In Japan?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows government officials in Japan bowing to COVID-19 front-line workers.

Verdict: False

The photo, taken in China, predates the coronavirus pandemic by about nine years.

Fact Check:

The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center shows that Japan has over 53,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of press time. More than 1,000 people have died from the disease in Japan, according to the data.

The image being shared shows people in blue uniforms while others in formal attire bow to them as they walk past. The caption reads, “Government dignitaries paying their respects to people working behind the scenes to keep Japan safe from Covid19.” (RELATED: Does The Swab For A COVID-19 Test Take A Sample From The Blood-Brain Barrier?)

However, the photo was actually taken years before the coronavirus pandemic started. A reverse image search revealed that the picture appeared in a Jan. 5, 2011 report by the Chinese news website Nanhai Net. The caption, roughly translated, indicates it was taken in China that year.

“On January 3, 2011, the first working day of the new year, the chairman of a company in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, together with the company’s middle and high-level leaders, greeted employees to work at the gate,” reads the roughly translated caption.

The Chinese website News.163.com also published the photo in January 2011 with a similar caption. AFP Fact Check reported the people pictured work at a Chinese company that manufactures bathroom products such as toilets and shower enclosures.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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