Japan's Approach to the Corona Virus

A week has passed since the Japanese government declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the corona virus. Although Japanese citizens have been refraining from meeting friends and visiting city centers to avoid crowds since March 2nd when all schools nationwide were recommended to be temporarily closed, several aspects of people’s lives will change with the declaration.

The declaration of a state of emergency in Japan is not a lockdown in comparison with other countries. In Japan, the declaration imposes a voluntary ban on the activities of people. Failure to stay indoors will not incur fines, because it is not legally binding. Furthermore, Japan takes a stance of placing importance on human rights and privacy.

Although the rates of infections and fatalities in Japan are lower than those in the US, China, and parts of Europe, a growing number of infections in Tokyo and other cities are observed particularly among young people.

Under such circumstances, people are trying to make the most of their time at home. Interesting information is being exchanged via URLs, videos, and YouTube. Although these platforms are suitable instruments for learning and gaining knowledge, I find that they do not sufficiently satisfy the desire to learn. Human communication through meeting people, exchanging opinions, and holding conversations remains a necessity.

The following one month until May 6, 2020 will be a critical challenge, which will test the common sense, intelligence, technology, prudence, and sense of unity of the Japanese people. If the self-containment measures in Japan become fully effective, then common sense, prudence, and a high level of hygiene will have been demonstrated to the world. Thus, the result of this one month’s challenging task will determine the future of this country.posted on April 14, 2020