Road to Recovery: Following the "Osaka model" (Series 5)
OPINION PIECE BY MIKI TAKASHIMA (Osaka, JAPAN)
May 16th, 2020
With early summer weather in full swing, Tokyo should have expected a surge in tourists from all over the world, given the 2020 Summer Olympics if it happened as planned. However, Japan has not yet lifted the State of Emergency status in 8 prefectures for larger scale urban centers including the capital and Osaka, in carefully watching for further Covid-19 outbreaks.
For more details from a local news source in English, go here to read Asahi Shinbun's article published May 15th: Osaka to ease business limits despite state of emergency
One question I have as a curious researcher and insight analyst is how we, as human beings, actually live our daily lives with billions of bacteria and viruses, yet the global scene for a pandemic seems to barely been set. In other words, for example, how did the Hong Kong SAR get through the SARS outbreak in the early 2000's, and the region grew to accept exponential travelers from Mainland China and beyond post-outbreak? By the way, I made it a point to live and study in Hong Kong, where I was pleasantly surprised to see that sanitation in public spaces including hotel lobbies, airports, and restaurants were seriously dealt with on a very frequent basis. In fact, I personally thought it was cleaner than Japan - which is hard to achieve :)
You could say that I should identify more with Tokyo, as I spent most of my youth there. However, Osaka is the place for business, and we say "moukarimakka?"- a daily greeting in place of "how are you?","how's business?" or the literal meaning of "is it good for making money?" because Osakans historically care about the health of the economy. Oh, and it's right next to Kyoto, where the capital of Japan was for centuries before it changed to Tokyo.
Latest statistics on Osaka's status re: Covid-19 can be found here: Osaka Prefectural Government