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East Asian countries have largely managed to keep their numbers of COVID-19 fatalities remarkably low compared with Europe and the United States through strict border and movement control measures. Today, these countries are seeing a surge in infections due to highly contagious variants transcending borders — challenges Japan has been struggling with.

Adding to those challenges is the fact that as East Asian countries had succeeded in containing infections, they became, paradoxically, less aware of the threat of the virus compared to Europe and the U.S. and as a result have been slow to provide vaccines.

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