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After initial success, Japan is facing a reality check on the coronavirus. The country garnered global attention after containing the first wave of Covid-19 with what it referred to as the “Japan Model” — limited testing and no lockdown, nor any legal means to force businesses to close. The country’s finance minister even suggested a higher “cultural standard” helped contain the disease.
But now the island nation is facing a formidable resurgence, with Covid-19 cases hitting records nationwide day after day. Infections first concentrated in the capital have spread to other urban areas, while regions without cases for months have become new hotspots. And the patient demographic — originally younger people less likely to fall seriously ill — is expanding to the elderly, a concern given that Japan is home to the world’s oldest population.

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