When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other localities on April 7, some argued it was too late. Countries that had gotten their COVID-19 infection numbers under control had done so by calling for urgent measures, including lockdowns, before those numbers started rising dramatically. Some media outlets were suggesting that Japan, like the United States and the United Kingdom, had waited too long, and would now have to face a potential medical disaster it was not prepared for.

The reason for the government’s relative lax approach was a fear that the economy would be irreparably damaged if businesses were forced to suspend operations, but many claim that is the price you have to pay to save lives. Perhaps predictably, the financial press has expressed misgivings about strong measures to stem the tide of the epidemic and, in discussing the matter, hit on a subject that other media wouldn’t touch: suicide.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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