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In Session: The Covid -19 Pandemic in Asia-Part 1
3: Masks, Science, and Foreigner-Baiting: Japan’s During COVID’s First Wave
Friday, March 26, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
University of Connecticut, United States
While Japanese people’s general willingness to wear masks and Japanese society’s general trust in science have played an enormous role in maintaining a relatively manageable situation during COVID-19’s first wave, notions that an authentic Japanese-ness has stemmed the spread have relied instead on customary patters of “us versus them.” During the first six months of the pandemic, therefore, the administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has been able to abjure its responsibility for containing the virus while simultaneously placing the burden onto Japanese citizens themselves. In the coming months as greater economic ramifications are felt, these fissures will likely only heighten.