We have ‘higher cultural standard’: Japanese FM on coronavirus outcome

Taro Aso

Japan’s success against the coronavirus without enforcing a strict lockdown is due to the citizens’ “cultural standard” that is different from other nations, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, drawing criticism from the public that the comments were inappropriate.

“Other countries have called me up and asked me if we’re the only ones with some drug against the virus or something,” Aso said on Thursday in response to a question from a lawmaker on Japan’s reputation of successfully containing the pandemic. “When I tell them ‘our country’s cultural standard levels are different to yours,’ they’re left speechless. That’s the simplest way to put an end to the questions.”

Despite the lack of harsh measures, Japan suffered far fewer coronavirus infections than any of its Group of Seven peers, with about 7 deaths per million, a track record that Aso noted in his comments. Japan isn’t an exception though in Asia, with Taiwan and South Korea reporting lower mortality rates. —Bloomberg

Read the full article here.