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With the infection rate inching up and the government not imposing a complete social lockdown seen in many other parts of the world, Japan’s strategy to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak has had mixed responses internationally. But wounded national pride aside, it’s the results that matter, rather than the process.

Japan’s way of declaring a national emergency at a time of a pandemic may not be one that other governments would find effective. What ultimately matters isn’t how Japan’s approach is regarded by the global community. Instead, it is whether Japan’s strategy will lead to the results that all governments want, namely to prevent infections from spreading further and to get the country back on a path to economic recovery.

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