Sunday, March 29, 2020

Shift of mood in the saga of Japan's coping with the coronavirus.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, countries all over the globe have taken stringent measures. Japan has been one of the rare exceptions, where even a partial lockdown has not been taken.

Things have started to change a bit in the run-up to this weekend. On Friday, Ms. Yuriko Koike, the governor of Tokyo spoke at a press conference and suggested that people refrain from going out unless necessary. The wordings and the regulations behind were not so draconian as in other parts of the world, but the Japanese people took the message. In a characteristically obedient response, there were very few people in the central districts of Tokyo on Saturday, with many shops and restaurant closed or operating under reduced staff and opening hours. 

The reaction to the coronavirus outbreak has been varied across countries, and it is interesting to observe how the dramatic development is being played out here in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan. I am of course very much concerned with health and safety. At the same time, I would be actively interested in how Japan copes with this difficulty in her own way, as somebody born and grown up in this country.

Related video:

Atmosphere in Tokyo under potentially imminent lockdown.