Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien nav lang search
Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

COVID-19: Japan’s handling of a new challenge in international comparison

 September 2020 - ongoing

Viruses are smaller and less complex than bacteria, the tiny unicellular organisms. Nevertheless, they are capable of seriously threatening the largest and most complex "organism", our civilization. Historically, this has been dramatically proven several times and there have also been recent warnings before the current crisis. Nevertheless, even technically highly developed industrial nations with modern health care systems were, with few exceptions, poorly prepared for the outbreak of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 crisis has severely affected research in the social sciences and humanities, while at the same time offering them a "natural experiment". The global scale of the crisis allows for an international comparative analysis of the response to and handling of the pandemic on different levels, in different areas and along multiple dimensions. This includes questions like: Why were some countries better prepared for the crisis than others? How do governments solve the trade-off between health, private freedom, and economic stability? What role do experts play in deciding and communicating political measures? What impact does the crisis have on the digital transformation?

The simultaneity and global scale of the pandemic allow for country comparisons that contribute to a better understanding of cultural, social, economic and political interrelationships. They also facilitate investigations of their path and contextual dependency since system structures are most evident under crisis conditions.

In the context of our research program Risks and Opportunities in Japan, it is obvious that Japan's handling of the new challenge should be taken up and analyzed comparatively. We do this in cooperation with international experts and in various formats. This page provides an overview of our activities in this area.

A collection of links to articles and videos related to 'Methods in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic' can be found here.

Related Research Projects

COVID-19 and its effects on singles in Japan:
Personal relationships and practices of intimacy in the time of ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-discipline’

Health Diplomacy and Transnational Health Infrastructures in the Mekong-Region

Recent Publications

Heckel, Markus; Waldenberger, Franz
Japans Wirtschaft in der COVID-19-Krise
In: Chiavacci, David; Wieczorek, Iris (eds.) : Japan Jahrbuch 2020, S. 190-208.
Weber, Torsten
"We should build back better, even before crises occur" (Interview with Norio Okada)
In: Weltweit vor Ort, 2/2020
Weber, Torsten
Web-Forum zu COVID-19: Warum haben Japan und Deutschland unterschiedlich auf die COVID-19-Krise reagiert?
In: MWS-Blog (10. Juli 2020)
Weber, Torsten
How have Japan and Germany dealt with the pandemic?
In: DIJ Newsletter, No. 61 Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien.
Waldenberger, Franz
Japan and research at the DIJ in times of COVID-19
In: DIJ Newsletter, No. 61 Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien.
Waldenberger, Franz; Haas, Stefanie
Japans Erfolg in der Corona-Krise - System oder Zufall?
In: Kaihô. Zeitschrift der Deutsch-Japanischen Gesellschaft in Bayern (Sonderausgabe zur Corona-Pandemie in Japan) S. 38-43.
Grundy-Warr, Carl; Lin, Shaun
COVID-19 Geopolitics: Silence and Erasure in Cambodia and Myanmar in Times of Pandemic
In: Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 61 online first (18 pages).
Waldenberger, Franz; Holthus, Barbara; Gagné, Isaac; Manzenreiter, Wolfram
Postscript: the New Olympic Race agaist COVID-19
In: Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics, Routledge 2000 p. xvii.


March 14, 2022
Digital Technologies in the COVID-19 pandemic: A Transnational Dialogue between Germany and Japan (TechCo-Project), Ruhr Universität Bochum (cooperation partner Susanne Brucksch)

November 29, 2021
Japan und Deutschland in der Sars-CoV2-Pandemie (Universität Mainz): Familienleben in der Pandemie / Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy-Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Japan and Germany

December 3, 2020
DIJ Forum
From New Normal to New Work?
Insights from Japan and Germany

November 9, 2020
DIJ Forum
Quo Vadis, Central Banks? Monetary Policy in the COVID-19 Crisis and Beyond

October 20, 2020
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Agenda-Cutting in Media News Coverage of Covid-19:
A Case Study from Japan

September 9, 2020
DIJ Forum
Economic Policy Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis in the Euro Area and Japan

July 19, 2020
Roundtable on Economy, Society, Polity: Global and National Health(care) Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic, 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE)

June 18, 2020
DIJ Forum
How Real Are Numbers?
Making Sense of National COVID-19 Statistics

May 27, 2020
DIJ Forum
National Approaches to Systemic Risk
Germany and Japan under the COVID-19 Crisis