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Amid an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide, some policymakers and public health experts have reignited a debate about the necessity of introducing draconian lockdown measures similar to those used in Europe and elsewhere to contain the virus.

In the current upsurge in cases, which is being driven by the more contagious delta variant, Japan has seen daily case numbers surpassing 10,000 nationwide day after day. The public is already showing signs of fatigue from repeated emergency declarations, and popular destinations have seen increased foot traffic despite Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urging people to refrain from nonessential outings.

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