THANOS magazine

Japan | December 4, 2023

Saying goodbye,
embalming and repatriation
during the pandemic in Japan

By Robert Hoey, President of Funeral Support Services Co. Ltd., Japan

The COVID 19 pandemic in Japan basically started the same as it had all over the world.
The majority of countries treated their COVID 19 dead with direct cremation and no family involvement. Japan would not allow the families to attend the cremations which were time slotted at the end of the day when the general public were gone. The caskets were sealed with tape and the crematorium staff wore protective body suits when handling these caskets.

I became a funeral director/embalmer in Canada during the height of the AIDS crisis in the 1980`s.
As we began to learn more about AIDS at that time, we started to feel safe enough to provide embalming. COVID 19 brings back memories of those days back when I was starting my career.
The process of embalming disinfects, preserves and restores the body so it is safe for the family to view and even touch their loved one. Funeral Support Services Co. Ltd. was the first embalming company to provide embalming for those people who died from COVID 19 in Japan.

Read whole article in the winter issue of THANOS magazine
- you can read online at pages 36-37

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