The COVID-19 pandemic that emerged out of China has challenged all countries and regions where it has spread, including Japan. The question for most as the sense of crisis builds is what is the correct approach to take to mitigate an outbreak that could force the collapse of health care systems, result in unprecedented peacetime loss of life and unleash an economic tsunami.

China used a hammer approach by locking down the entire city of Wuhan and Hubei province. The human and financial cost was staggering, but the first wave of COVID-19 seems to have been controlled. Going forward, it is unclear if China can repair the damage done to its own economy, especially as it now will be faced with a demand shock — a lack of consumers to buy the products that its manufactures are producing.

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