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To understand how Japan has fared better than most of the world in containing the dire consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, consider Mika Yanagihara, who went shopping for flowers this past week in central Tokyo. Even when walking outside in temperatures in the mid-90s, she kept the lower half of her face fully covered.

“People will stare at you,” Yanagihara, 33, said, explaining why she did not dare take off her mask. “There is that pressure.”

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