Spring is here, parks are busy with people enjoying the warmer weather and the country has (slowly) begun its much-anticipated vaccination program. It seems like things might just start getting back to normal — or some semblance of it, anyway.

But these glimmers of hope don’t mean that the situation in Japan is suddenly coming up roses. Dissatisfaction over the nation’s slow vaccine rollout, the ongoing discussion of whether to cancel the long-postponed Tokyo Olympics, and a fresh state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures highlight that Japan is very much not out of hot water.

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