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When it comes to dealing with the pandemic, South Korea and Taiwan have been heralded as models of effective governance. Decisive actions by Taiwan in particular to shut down borders, and the extensive use of data technology by both Taipei and Seoul have been seen as examples for others to emulate.

Japan’s approach, meanwhile, has been much more muted, even though it has been effective in keeping the pandemic from spreading, especially when compared to the United States or Europe. So even though COVID-19 has given renewed interest in and increased the influence of Asian powers beyond China, Tokyo’s frustration for not being recognized for its own achievements in fighting the new coronavirus spread is understandable.

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