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Foreign media critical of Japan’s handling of coronavirus outbreak

Asahi ran a prominent inside-page article on growing criticism among foreign media outlets of Japan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on their distrust of Japan’s apparent failure to widely conduct PCR diagnostic tests. The article also highlighted a U.S. Embassy health alert for American citizens issued on April 3 that said: “The Japanese Government’s decision to not test broadly makes it difficult to accurately assess the COVID-19 prevalence rate.” The daily said MOFA earmarked 2.4 billion yen ($20 million) in the FY2020 supplementary budget on the novel coronavirus to analyze foreign media coverage and social media messages on the Japanese situation, adding that it is using video and other content in multiple languages to address what it sees as misleading narratives on Japan’s handling of the virus outbreak.

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