Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared Monday that he was ending the state of emergency related to the coronavirus.
“I have decided to end the state of emergency across the nation,” Abe said during a televised news conference. “In just over a month and a half, we almost brought (the infection) situation under control.”
Japan Has the Virus Under Control
However, Abe made it clear that he did not suggest that the virus was exterminated from Japan, just under control.
“Our battle against the virus will continue,” he continued. He relayed that social distancing guidelines are still being suggested.
Initially, when the coronavirus pandemic started, experts predicted Japan would be devastated, with some predicting having approximately 400,000 citizens dying.
Beating Virus Predictions Without Lockdowns
Well, that did not come close to happening.
The land of the rising sun went against mainstream lockdown methods. There were no widespread shutdowns and the country only tested about 0.2% of its population.
Unlike other Asian countries such as China and Singapore, Japan rejected surveillance technology.
Despite Japan having 26% of its population being over the age of 65, most of its older residents did not get sick. As of Thursday, reports show that out of the 16,600 cases, there were only 858 deaths countrywide.
The nation’s capital, Tokyo, has a massive population of 14 million people. While the city was hit with over 5,000 cases, as of Monday, only eight now infections were reported.
Japan’s Travel Advisories Show Good Results
A Japanese embassy worker stationed in Washington, D.C. confirmed that Japan is still monitoring the virus and will keep restrictions on international travel; for the time being, Newsweek reported.
“The spread of COVID-19 is changing from moment to moment and it is challenging to predict confidently. However, Japan is to carefully consider how to ease its restrictions on international travels partially and gradually while keeping to contain COVID-19,” the spokesperson said via email.
While many other countries, including the U.S., imparted strict lockdowns with wavering results, Japan took another route. It shut down the option for foreign travelers to come in if they were coming from a country. This could be a critical factor in their death rate being so low compared to the rest of the world.
The Japanese government heavily suggested that their citizens wear masks when in public and encouraged residents to work from home. Public health officials also urged the population to stick to only essential travel to other parts of the country.
Lockdown Criticism Failed
Abe faced harsh criticism from other governments rejecting the non-lockdown strategy. While the exact reason why Japan has a low infection rate is not entirely known, the data has now shown that the eastern nation did something right.
Did America Need Mass Lockdown?
Prime minister Shinzo Abe has declared victory for the “Japan model.”
Japan’s constitution prohibits a compulsory lockdown.
Japan not only avoided a compulsory lockdown nor has it carried out mass testing for Covid-19.https://t.co/KWSmLkkU38
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) May 25, 2020
“Just by looking at death numbers, you can say Japan was successful. But even experts don’t know the reason,” Mikihito Tanaka, a professor, told Bloomberg.
As for Japan’s future, their economic revitalization minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, said that the virus conditions would be reviewed every three weeks. Depending on the results, easing the guidance around social distancing is set to happen soon potentially.