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Japan's virus response lacked boldness of Singapore and Taiwan

Governments strike different balances between human rights and prevention

A thermal screening booth at a Singapore mall: The city-state was quicker than many other countries to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As the new coronavirus spreads outside China, Japan faces criticism of being lax in responding to the threat, in contrast with the sometimes drastic action taken by other Asian governments to control the outbreak.

Leaders from Japan's ruling and opposition parties met Wednesday to discuss enhancing legal authority for dealing with the outbreak. Their proposal would include letting authorities require, rather than request, the cancellation of events.

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