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August 27, 2009: Countermeasures against Swine Flu

Since swine flu cases were detected in communities within commuting distance of central Tokyo in May 2009, Atsumi & Partners established a task force to prepare a flexible framework for dealing with any contingencies. Since the outbreak entered the “epidemic stage” in late August of this year, the alert level has been raised. Please review the A&P swine flu outbreak plan.

Swine Flu Outbreak Plan

Atsumi & Partners began taking internal preventative measures upon news of the outbreak of swine flu in order to protect employees and visitors to the firm against infection. Since August, when the outbreak was classified as an “epidemic”, Atsumi & Partners has further scaled up its preventative measures. While swine flu remains “highly infectious but low in toxicity,” the risk of serious illness is nevertheless higher than with seasonal flu, and the epidemic is expected to peak in October of 2009. Atsumi & Partners currently implements moderate, unobtrusive measures against the spread of this epidemic, such as allowing attorneys and staff who have been infected with swine flu or who may have been exposed to swine flu to perform work from home. As announced previously, a move to stronger measures may be required, including measures such as restriction of face-to-face meetings, if the toxicity of swine flu or its spread changes, or if so instructed or requested by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry or other public agencies. We may need to ask visitors to take preventative measures, such as requiring the wearing of masks and washing of hands with antiseptic. The firm has prepared security and other business systems in preparation for the eventuality of a worst case scenario, in which business within the office must be temporarily suspended, and all attorneys and staff must work from home. The swine flu plan will be posted on the A&P website from time to time as circumstances change. We appreciate your understanding.

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