It’s time to put 2020 to bed — not with supper or a bedtime story, but with a pillow pressed firmly against its face. But before you turn the page on the whole dreadful year, check out these bookmark features on the way things were:

  • “May you live in interesting times” goes the curse. By that standard, 2020 was captivating. One thing affected everyone worldwide: COVID-19. And in Japan, the international community was hit particularly hard by one policy regarding its containment, notes Debito Arudou in his roundup of human rights issues.
  • Japan has not escaped the COVID-19 catastrophe, yet 12 months after the coronavirus was identified in China, there is hope for a better year ahead amid rapid progress on vaccines and treatments. So, who was up and who was down in Asia in 2020? Curtis S. Chin and Jose B. Collazo offer their annual assessment.
Deep Dive podcast, Episode 76: So long, 2020 | THE JAPAN TIMES
Deep Dive podcast, Episode 76: So long, 2020 | THE JAPAN TIMES
  • The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II came amid a pandemic. Eric Margolis takes a moment to look back to remember two people in particular who died in that global crisis — two girls who came to symbolize the horrors of war, one German-Dutch, the other Japanese.
  • In May, footage of the murder of George Floyd was posted online and resulted in a month of protest in the U.S. and elsewhere, including in Japan. Nache Buie takes a look back at the Black Lives Matter movement here with some of the organizers, and speculates on how activism might develop here in the decade to come.
  • And finally, in the last edition of the Deep Dive podcast for 2020, hosts Oscar Boyd and Shaun McKenna hear from listeners — from as far away as India, Australia and Brazil, to name but a few — about what got them through the year.

Deep Dive will be back in 2021, as will T5. A Happy New Year to all our readers, and thank you for sticking with us through this tumultuous period in history. Feedback on what we are doing right and wrong is always welcome, via the email address below. See you on the other side.