'Japan Model' Has Beaten Coronavirus, Shinzo Abe Declares


Prime minister Shinzo Abe has declared victory for the "Japan model" of fighting coronavirus as he lifted a nationwide state of emergency after seven weeks [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: Speaking at a press conference on Monday evening in Tokyo, Mr Abe said that Japan had avoided an explosive increase in cases without the compulsory lockdowns used in Europe or the US. The ending of the state of emergency in the last five prefectures it covered -- Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Hokkaido -- will mean that the worldâ(TM)s fourth-largest economy can start to reopen for business. "In a characteristically Japanese way, we have all but brought this epidemic under control in the last month and a half," said Mr Abe. "Surely, it shows the power of the Japan model." Japan's constitution prohibits a compulsory lockdown but, under the state of emergency that began on April 7, the government requested voluntary social distancing and business closures. Under that regime, the number of new Covid-19 cases fell from 600-700 a day in mid-April to about 20-30 a day last week. The country has diagnosed 16,581 cases of coronavirus with 830 deaths -- many fewer than similar-sized populations in Europe or the US.