In his June 2 opinion piece, Tomoya Saito paints a rosy picture of "The secret of Japan's success in combating COVID-19," but the contact tracing and public information campaigns that he touts as being exceptional are not: They are average at best when compared to those of peer industrialized nations.

Instead, it has been the combination of two factors that have thus far accounted for Japan's unlikely success: strategic impediments to widespread testing, and Japanese culture, particularly that of shame and perseverance.

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