The Tokyo cherry blossoms bloomed in late March. The public couldn’t resist. Case numbers of COVID-19 surged, leading many Western pundits to predict that Tokyo would become the next New York.

It has not occurred. Daily tallies for Tokyo have fallen as low as single digits. Active case numbers are in decline. Japan’s cumulative total of deaths from the new coronavirus is less than the average daily number of fatalities from the pandemic in the United States. Lockdown has proven unnecessary here. The medical system is holding the line.

Cities and states in the U.S. and elsewhere are attempting to restart their economies in abridged form. Japanese economic activity has never fallen beneath the level to which they aspire. Life has gone on, if not as normal, at least in the form that the new normal will comprise.