PYEONGTAEK, SOUTH KOREA – Sports arenas are without fans. Restrictions on travel are in place throughout the world. People’s interest in toilet paper has irrationally skyrocketed. Who predicted that this decade would begin with what the World Health Organization has just declared a pandemic?
Welcome to the textbook definition of a strategic shock. Across the globe, countries’ best laid plans are giving way to response to something no one saw coming. The spread of COVID-19 has claimed thousands of lives, disrupted supply chains, delayed diplomatic engagements and impacted government priorities, among other things. While this has implications across the globe, it has some specific and important consequences for Japan.