One of the key architects of Japan’s coronavirus strategy has hailed the country’s response to the pandemic, saying its approach was more effective than those implemented by Western nations.

"Data clearly indicates that the measures taken by Japan have been more effective than those taken in Western countries,” Hitoshi Oshitani, a professor of virology at Tohoku University and a member of the expert panel advising the government, said in an interview with Diplomacy, a journal published by the country’s Foreign Ministry.

Western countries became involved in a "war of attrition” of tracking down each individual case of the virus to thoroughly eliminate them, Oshitani said. Japan, on the other hand, allowed some degree of transmission of the virus and focused instead on identifying clusters of infection. This avoided exhausting the testing and medical system but was effective in eliminating large-scale transmission, he said in the interview, which was released in Japanese earlier this month.