The Japanese government continues to flail as it battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Its efforts are inconsistent, illogical and undermined by the actions of top officials. The government’s policies neither inspire confidence nor do they signal to the public the need to take this crisis seriously.

Japan is currently experiencing its third wave of coronavirus infections. The daily number of new infections in Japan exceeded 3,000 for the first time last Saturday, with around 188,000 people as of Wednesday being diagnosed with the disease, more than 25,000 hospitalized and the death toll exceeding 2,700 lives.

Major metropolitan areas are being hit hard, with Tokyo recording 822 cases Thursday, its highest daily total to date, and numbers in Osaka and Hokkaido continue to climb, with hospitals in both areas having reached capacity. Local governments across the country have called on businesses, especially those in the dining and entertainment sectors, to limit their hours. In Tokyo, municipal authorities have offered smaller businesses payments of ¥400,000 if they agree to do so.