Two months ago The Economist castigated Japan for its obduracy—one dictionary definition, “stubborn persistence in wrongdoing”—for deciding to press ahead with hosting the Olympic Games.

Many other analysts and experts, including diverse academics in Australia and elsewhere, published similarly scornful comments. Japan, it was ponderously and gloomily asserted as the Games’ opening came ever closer, was being irresponsible since it was in the middle of a Covid outbreak that could envelope all involved like a tsunami of infection if the event went ahead.

This week, Japan is 138th on the list of countries with the most Covid-related deaths per million despite its high proportion of elderly citizens, while Australia—doing even better—is 167th.

Japan’s government decided against enforcing strict lockdowns or shutting its borders as the pandemic surged last year. Instead, it leaned heavily on the country’s strong tradition of compliance. For many years most people, for instance, have worn masks in public as soon as they catch a sniffle.

Please click here to read the full “It’s gold, gold, gold for Japan and its uplifting Games” article published at The Weekend Australian, written by Griffith Asia Institute Industry Fellow, Rowan Callick.