While medical workers in the United States and Europe have often been heralded as heroes in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, many nurses and doctors in Japan have faced discrimination and ostracism despite heightened social media efforts to recognize their contribution.

In an April survey conducted by the Japan Federation of Medical Worker's Unions, 9.9 percent of its 152 offices across the country responded that medical workers in their jurisdictions had encountered discrimination or harassment due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cases included being told by family members not to come home, being shunned even by staff from other wards and being subjected to abuse when making house calls.