Webinar on Japan’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic co-hosted by the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles

On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles co-hosted a special webinar discussion entitled “Japan’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, MUTO Akira spoke on Japan’s model to contain the infection while minimizing socio-economic impact through a no-lockdown strategy, and Ms. KAIFU Yuko, President of JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles served as a moderator.

Consul General Muto began the discussion by explaining that Japan attributes its lower COVID-19 case count and deaths compared to other countries to the success in contact tracing for countering clusters of COVID-19 outbreaks, the nation’s robust medical system and its accessibility as well as people’s voluntary cooperation in modifying their behaviors and movements. Consul General Muto noted key aspects adopted by Japan to combat COVID-19 as a “Japan model,” that may offer lessons to other countries. For instance, Japan is the only one country that has adopted the use of “retrospective contact tracing,” and has actively raised awareness about avoiding the Three Cs (closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings). In addition, Consul General Muto highlighted Japan’s efforts to take a leadership role in the global fight against the novel coronavirus, including a proposal to establish at this year’s Group of Seven meeting a patent pool that will enable developing countries to utilize pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines under transparent international framework. Japan also seeks to build global resilient supply chains in the post COVID world order.

Not only has Japan focused on efforts domestically but has also been helping to fight the disease overseas. Consul General Muto and Ms. Kaifu noted contributions made by Japanese and Japanese American organizations to help communities in need. They also covered questions posed by the audience, including those concerning the lifting of travel restrictions between Japan and other countries, the status of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in relation to COVID-19, and Japan’s relations with its surrounding nations during this time.

The webinar was open to the public and attended by 119 people.