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Asia offers lessons on preventing second wave of coronavirus

Despite low death toll, Japan learns from neighbors on testing and timeliness

TOKYO -- Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stirred controversy this month when he credited Japan's lower coronavirus death toll compared with the U.S. and Europe to the fact that "our cultures are at different levels."

The Japanese word he used, mindo, encompasses aspects such as education and norms of behavior. Aso's comment drew a backlash, with some online commentators quipping that Japan faring poorly compared with some Asian neighbors also must owe to different levels of culture.

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