The first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: social and economic considerations
The first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: social and economic considerations
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Based on analysis of the official documents and relevant press reports, the authors consider the social and economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, and the features of its countermeasures strategy. It was found that during the first wave of the virus spread in February-July 2020, Japan’s response model was the most successful among the G-7 several other countries. Analyzing the global impact of the pandemic, and the priorities of the Shinzo Abe government’s anti-crisis economic policies the authors conclude that Japanese experience can have a broad international implications.


It is obvious that in the first wave of morbidity Japan has been able to buy time to deploy a health care system, minimize mortality and keep the economic damage within reasonable limits. This revealed important features of the Japanese society, which allowed to limit the spread of infection without the use of destructive state pressure.



The economic consequences of the first phase of the crisis were serious, but in a number of affected industries (car manufacturing, domestic tourism) there were already signs of recovery, the labour market had shown traditional resilience, and rapid measures had helped to maintain calm in the currency and financial markets. Perhaps the main difficulties are yet to come, but by the end of the first half of the year the country’s economy had preconditions for a rapid recovery. It seems that over the years Japan has managed to develop a combination of economic policies that not only led the country out of the «lost decades» period of the 20th and 21th centuries, but also proved effective in overcoming new shocks

About authors
Andrey V. Belov
Professor, Fukui Prefectural University, Japan; Chief Research Fellow, Saint-Petersburg State University, Russia
Irina Tikhotskaya
Lomonosov Moscow State University

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