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At an Upper House finance committee meeting on June 4, Finance Minister Taro Aso claimed that Japan’s relatively low COVID-19 death rate is due to “the superiority of its people.” He argued that Japan has achieved a moderate mortality rate with the least legally binding restrictions on personal freedoms, which proves the excellence of the public.

“People in other countries can’t do that, even being forced,” he added. According to a Japanese media report, the argument continued: “What matters is fatalities; just like in war where victory or defeat is contingent on the number of casualties. France with 228 [deaths per million people], the U.S. with 824, the U.K. with 309, and we have 7.”

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