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Japan's efforts to battle the coronavirus have shown how young women are among those particularly vulnerable to social pressures deeply rooted in the country's emphasis on conformity.   © Nikkei montage
Asia Insight

Japan's virus vigilantes underscore 'suffocating' society

Rising suicides show dark side of peer pressure behind COVID containment success

RURIKA IMAHASHI and NANA SHIBATA, Nikkei staff writers | Japan

TOKYO -- Bar owner Hiroaki Murata's spring pandemic nightmare is back to haunt him just as a coronavirus third wave descends on Japan with the approach of winter.

Murata, who runs an establishment named Ichiyon in Tokyo's Koenji area, remembers how he and his frightened wife felt when they found an ominous message taped to their store sign in late April when Japan was in the midst of government-imposed measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

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