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Iwate governor explains why his prefecture has had zero COVID-19 cases

  • June 30, 2020
  • , TBS
  • JMH Summary

TBS’s morning news program “Asa chan!” carried an interview with Takuya Tasso, the governor of Iwate–the only prefecture in Japan that has managed to have zero COVID-19 cases. The former diplomat explained that there is a prevailing view among the people of Iwate that they should not go to dangerous places and should only take action after considering various risks. In addition, he said the people of Iwate, who are sincere and careful by nature, were “trained” by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and became more careful as a result. Another point he raised is the fact that the prefecture’s Infection Control Assistance Team (ICAT), which was formed at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in shelters, has played a major role. He also said that the measure he imposed one week before the nationwide state of emergency was declared to not only restrict travel between Iwate and other prefectures but also to restrict the movement of visitors within Iwate proved to be effective. The governor also said when he was working at MOFA, he was given the opportunity to study for two years at Johns Hopkins University, where he learned about the crisis management tactics of the White House with a professor who was a former National Security Advisor to President Carter. He said he learned to “listen to the voices of the people and look at the situation with your own eyes before putting together policies.” Finally, on the increasing number of cases in Tokyo, Tasso pointed out that there is no need to become overly cautious because the Tokyo government is aware of where cases are increasing.

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