Country Reports

Geopolitics were not high on the media’s attention list in the first months of 2020; we need to look back a little to capture the state of the Japanese debate before it was put on hold. The pandemic saw people look inward, but China, its source, and the United States, soon to become its epicenter, always loomed in the background. Given the troubled state of Japan-ROK ties, the impact of closing borders to insulate countries on this relationship also drew some attention. By early April, the media had turned inward in the face of a surge in COVID-19 cases, while some were lashing out at China for trying to shift the blame, others had lost hope in Russia, and many were expressing doubt that the United States would continue to be a reliable ally for Japan.

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