PM, you can learn from Japan

Prime Minister Dr Rowley - CHOLAI
Prime Minister Dr Rowley - CHOLAI

THE EDITOR: Historically, Japan has had one of the lowest rates of vaccine confidence in the world. Two months prior to hosting the 2021 Olympics, only 3.5 per cent of the Japanese population was fully vaccinated. Now Japan has the highest immunisation rate (79 per cent) among the G7 countries, accomplishing this without mandates of any kind.

While several countries have introduced sweeping vaccine mandates, Japan has been quietly making strides forward without any mandatory immunisation tactics. How?

Forged in the aftermath of World War II, Japan’s constitution enshrines civil liberties. In practice, this means that Japan has not deployed government lockdowns or compulsory mask rules as part of its pandemic approach. Japan has taken a similar approach to vaccination, with its Ministry of Health discouraging discrimination against the unvaccinated and vaccine requirements in the workplace.

Furthermore, and critically important, the Japanese government strives to keep a cohesive, unified society. A vaccine mandate would undoubtedly be polarising and divisive, which would effectively undermine its hopes of engendering nationwide harmony and oneness during this pandemic. It appears that Japan has set an example for the world, striking a balance between civil liberty and public health.

Japan’s history is entrenched in a culture of responsibility rather than a culture of heavy-handed government control. Perhaps our Prime Minister should carefully study Japan’s value system and public health approach before plunging our nation into a slew of oppressive vaccine mandates. Let the Government set a better example to the world.

JULIE PETERS

Toco

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"PM, you can learn from Japan"

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