COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

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COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
COVID-19 outbreak Japan per capita cases map.svg
Confirmed cases per million residents by prefecture[a]
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseKanagawa Prefecture
Arrival date16 January 2020
(3 years, 2 months, 1 week and 1 day)
Confirmed cases16,047[1]
Active cases6,767[1]

The COVID-19 pandemic was first confirmed to have spread to Japan in January 2020.[2] Cases have been recorded in each of the 47 prefectures except for Iwate. The country has seen over 10,000 confirmed cases.

The beginning[change | change source]

The Japanese government confirmed its first outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country on 16 January 2020 in a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture who had returned from Wuhan, China. A second outbreak was caused by travelers and returnees from Europe and the United States between 11 March and 23 March.

According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the majority of viruses spreading in Japan derive from the European type while those of the Wuhan type have been disappearing since March.[3][4]

Government response[change | change source]

The Japanese government has created many measures to stop and slow down the outbreak. On 30 January, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe created a national task force to take charge of the government's response to the pandemic.[5]

On 27 February, Abe closed down all Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools until early April.[6]

On 7 April, Abe announced a one-month state of emergency for Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka.[7] On 16 April, the declaration was extended to the rest of the country.[8]

2020 Olympics[change | change source]

As the pandemic became a concern for the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee worked together for its postponement until 2021.[9]

Criticism of the government response[change | change source]

Medical experts and the media have criticized the Japanese government for under-testing for COVID-19.[10] Medical experts said that the government have instead relied on the country's pneumonia surveillance to identify and treat severely-affected patients.[11]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The Kuril Islands are administered by Russia, six cases have been reported in the Sakhalin Oblast overall.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "国内 感染確認96人 100人下回るのは3月30日以来 新型コロナ". NHKニュース. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  2. "WHO | Novel Coronavirus – Japan (ex-China)". WHO. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  3. "国内のコロナ、武漢ではなく欧州から伝播? 感染研調べ:朝日新聞デジタル". 朝日新聞デジタル (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  4. National Institute of Infectious Diseases. "Haplotype networks of SARS-CoV-2 infections".
  5. Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet (30 January 2020). "Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters".
  6. "PM Abe asks all schools in Japan to temporarily close over coronavirus". Kyodo News.
  7. Reynolds, Isabel; Nobuhiro, Emi (7 April 2020). "Japan Declares Emergency For Tokyo, Osaka as Hospitals Fill Up". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  8. "Japan PM Abe declares nationwide state of emergency amid virus spread". Mainichi Shimbun. 16 April 2020. Archived from the original on 16 April 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  9. "Tokyo 2020 Olympics officially postponed until 2021". ESPN. 24 March 2020.
  10. Emiko Jozuka (24 April 2020). "Japanese mayor says men should grocery shop during pandemic as women 'take a longer time'". CNN. Retrieved 30 April 2020. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, politicians have come under immense fire for their handling of the crisis, with many health experts warning of Japan's low testing capabilities and slow government responses. By mid-April, Japan had only tested about 90,000 people, compared with more than 513,000 in South Korea, which has a population of 51 million, compared to Japan's 127 million.
  11. Muto, Kaori; Yamamoto, Isamu; Nagasu, Miwako; Tanaka, Mikihito; Wada, Koji (3 April 2020). "Japanese citizens' behavioral changes and preparedness against COVID-19". medRxiv. doi:10.1101/2020.03.31.20048876. S2CID 215782040.