The economic and social disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic are less severe in Japan than in countries that have imposed almost total lockdowns. But the geostrategic fallout from the pandemic is likely to hold major implications for Japan, which is already saddled with a multibillion-dollar bill for the postponed Olympics.

The world, beset by a crisis akin to wartime, will not be the same after the pandemic. Studies later will likely find that the pandemic set in motion higher rates of birth, divorce, obesity, depression, bankruptcy, unemployment, suicide and alcoholism (or heightened withdrawal symptoms where lockdowns blocked liquor sales).

The pandemic’s geopolitical effects, like those from a major war, are expected to be enduring, including altering previously dependable supply chains and reshaping bilateral relationships. The incalculable human and economic toll exacted by the spread of the killer coronavirus from China promises to shake up global geopolitics, including that country’s position in the world.