The Burdens of Self-Restraint: Social Measures and the Containment of Covid-19 in Japan

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Abstract

The essay explores Japan’s policies of containing infection without heavy reliance on legally imposed lockdowns or digital surveillance. It examines the ‘social measures’ that local governments and the Ministry of Health relied on, including consistent public health messaging, contact tracing, education, with a focus on behavior modification. The pandemic worldwide has highlighted the importance of society in addition to the state in controlling infection. This article highlights the benefits of this form of social control as well as its trade-offs, including stress concerning social expectations, informal forms of social control, and incidences of harassment and discrimination against the diseased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5759
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Volume20
Issue number19
StatePublished - Dec 12 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History
  • Cultural Studies

Keywords

  • Contact Tracing
  • Covid-19
  • Public Health Messaging
  • Self-restraint (jishuku)
  • Social Measures

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