SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English

  • Antonin_Ferre “United States, Coronavirus and Protest against Racial Discrimination”

     Summer 2019, I finished my studies abroad for about seven years in Japan.  And I came to the United States which is the third country for my studying abroad.  The City Princeton, which is the base for my day-to-day life now, seems like another world to me. If I compare Princeton with Tokyo, Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world.  It is said a word “Campus”, which means “field” in Latin, has been used as “the premises in Princeton University”.  For the first time when we step in “the campus” of Princeton University, everybody will nod with their agreement. When I saw an old map of the latter part of the eighteen centuries, “the campus” students at that time have called “campus” jokingly, we can understand there had been nothing except some field surrounded by buildings. At present, though the number of university facilities has increased dramatically and the city itself has developed, also there is no change in its richness in nature. You can understand such richness from other living things that live symbiotically together with human beings. Starting from raccoons which are mascots of Atsumi International Foundation, squirrels, foxes, rabbits and deer, all the living things are enjoying their lives in “campus”.  The new type of coronavirus has spread in campus. During these few months, almost all the students had returned to their homes and other students who had no choice stayed back in campus inside their rooms. It added my feelings of isolation from the outer worlds and it caused me to add my sense of reality also.  During our school term when we had busy weekends, I didn’t realize much. But once I become free from restraining terms, it increased such feelings. When it’s clear during summer, many people go out for a walk.But the campus remains quiet as we can see only postgraduate students of scientific fields go to their laboratories, opened recently.    However, even in the small town in the State of New Jersey, violent social movements are occurring now. After George Floyd’s killing by the police on May 25, protest movement of discrimination against African-American started throughout the country. At present, the end of June, demonstration and riots are spreading. In the City of Princeton, except students of Princeton University, where majority of the population is white people, there was no such big demonstration as Minneapolis. It is said that, as a university, they are trying to raise consciousness of the community against racial discrimination which has been engraved in the structure and history of American society. It is said also that university, as an organization of higher education and research organization, is studying how to engage in such issues.  As one of the measurers, the name of Woodrow Wilson was deleted from the graduate student dormitory of the Faculty of Public Policy/Graduate School. President Woodrow Wilson, a graduate of Princeton University, was a great figure.  He became the President of the United States through his career of teaching and the President of Princeton University, Governor of the state of New Jersey and received Nobel Peace Prize. During his presidency services, he was evaluated for not only the establishment of the League of Nations but also contributed to the vigorous development of Princeton University.  However, he was a segregationist. When other Ivy League colleges admitted African-Americans, though the numbers were limited, Princeton University rejected their admission. When he served for the U.S. President, he introduced racial separation again in the civil service system which had been abolished before. It means he has kept his standpoint as a segregationist. According to the President of Princeton University who declared the measure, mentioned above, “Woodrow Wilson’s segregation was very important remarkably basing on the standard at that time”.  Against the deletion of such an influential name, not only in Princeton University but American history, from the name of faculty or graduate school, advocates of the conservative wing said “it is excessive political correctness” or “it is nothing but revisionism of history”. It may be a discretion of the University who shall be admired or who shall be a model of students. It is respectful that African-American students of the Faculty of Public Policy/Graduate School are reluctant to be assimilated to the person who did not admit their entrance. Anyway, deletion of the name “Woodrow Wilson” was welcomed in the community of the University and many people congratulated saying “Princeton School of Public and International Affairs”.  I never thought that American society would amid in flames of the COVID-19. I realized our campus, which seems to be sleeping, is maintaining its life and I am distracted from feelings of desolation.     SGRA Kawaraban 639 in Japanese (Original)  Antonin_Ferre / 2019 Raccoon, Princeton University (East Asia Research Center)  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Xie Zhihai “Global Environment and Plastic Shopping Bags”

     On July 1 2020, charging for plastic shopping bags started in Japan. Frankly speaking, I feel it “too late”. There are two reasons.(1) As for a law for charging, Japan falls behind not only advanced countries but other foreign countries also.(2) Amid worldwide corona-virus pandemics now, it became difficult for people to understand the concept of charging shopping bags.Originally, shopping bags shall be charged for the sake of the global environment. However, the COVID-19 is everything for the people now and subject, charging for plastic bags, was digressed from the theme. I personally think that we should think about the environment more seriously putting aside the COVID-19.  In 1993, Denmark levied a tax on plastic shopping bags for the first time in the world and the ratio of using shopping bags decreased by 60%. Ireland has followed the “shopping bags tax” in 2002 and it was the first time that consumers pay a tax on a shopping bag, though it is mainstream now. According to the specialized journal “流通ニュース”(Distribution News), a manager of Recycling Promotion Division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said as follows : By EU, in 2015, directed countries in EU to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags to less than forty bags per person by the end of the year 2025. Following this rule, EU countries made rules that plastic bags are prohibited or chargeable in supermarkets. In America, depending on counties or cities, many supermarkets charge for shopping bags (even paper shopping bags). In Canada, as in Japan, they charge on shopping bags independently at retail stores.      In Japan, people have been trying to decrease the number of shopping bags self-independently even before related laws were introduced. At super-markets and drug-stores, people who decline shopping bags were given such benefits as getting points or being discounted ¥2- /bag.  At convenient stores, however, they gave bags at free up to the last moment. On July 1, all the shopping bags became chargeable.  What people concern and pay attention now are: they do not like corona virus or other virus bacillus adhere to their “eco-bags” which they bring in and how long such bacillus will survive. I read web-site news by American Newspaper Company. According to the news, supermarkets in California have changed their rules saying “Do not bring in your eco-bags. We will give you bags (plastic or paper) free”. It is because they worry about adhesion of corona virus to eco-bags which customers bring. Actually, salespeople in supermarkets at Los Angeles and its southern county were infected by coronavirus. In California State, shopping bags have been chargeable since these several years and the culture in which people go shopping bringing their own eco-bags have been penetrated already. So, once the COVID-19 would be converged, people will bring in their eco-bags again.    According to a TV special program of “chargeable shopping bags” in Japan, coronavirus survives for four days on the surface of nylon bags which are glossy and can be wiped off. In case of cloth made, corona virus survives for one day. They did not tell about the influence of shopping bags on environment in this TV picture. They explained how managers and salespeople in supermarkets felt about their touching at eco-bags. In this program, customers, who brought in their own eco-bags and were asked whether they have washed bags, replied that they have never washed their eco-bags.  Plastic do not dissolve and never return to the nature. Once plastic flow into the sea and fish swallow them together with feed, plastic will be accumulated in fish bodies. When people know such tragic situations, we must stop using plastic bags regardless of coronavirus or others. There will be a way that they do not bring in coronavirus paying attention to sanitation. If people are afraid of the adherence of coronavirus on bags, it will be OK for them that they change bags every day. If they have only one bag, they can rotate plastic and paper bags alternately.    Only shopping bags are not everything for plastic wastes. According to the “Distribution News” mentioned above, as a reason why shopping bags became chargeable, eco bags, which are connected to the life of the people directly, can be used as an alternative for shopping bags. And in many countries in the world, they started working on shopping bags. Yes, only eco bags can be substituted for shopping bags at this moment and use of eco bags is the first and small step toward decreasing plastic wastes.  If chargeable shopping bags have started earlier than the COVID-19 in the world, peoples concern toward plastic waste would have been higher.  SGRA Kawaraban 638 in Japanese (Original)  Xie Zhihai / Associate Professor, Kyoai Gakuen University  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala     
  • CHEN_Lu “Coronavirus Influence on Educators”

     The year 2020 is a special year. The pandemic of coronavirus caused unprecedented damage and confusion and throw the world into terror. Every country in the world declared an emergency on COVID-19 one after another because it has a high infection and took human lives mercilessly. People have been forced to stay at home. This unexpected situation threatened people physically and mentally. The traditional educational system, based on face-to-face classes, became impossible and educators or students have been facing with a new trial. I, myself, am one of such educators.  Coronavirus has affected educational or studying fields very much even if it was temporary. Amid the COVID-19, the point is not how we overcome coronavirus. We, educators or students, must gaze ourselves newly how we understand our professions, how we cultivate our abilities, and how we adjust ourselves to the COVID-19.    When people formulate management strategy, they analyze circumstances, outside and inside, using “SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats) analysis”. I think it’s useful for us who are facing with new “online education” system. Through our realization of our strength and weakness, threatening against the COVID-19, and opportunity which we may get, we may be able to secure the way to go hereafter. I would like to write here my impression on my standpoint in educational circumstances.  After application of online classes, employment of new teachers was reduced in universities in many countries including America and elderly teachers retired by reason that they could not cope with online classes. There were many teachers who have worried about the situation that they cannot show their abilities and knowledge which have been cultivated through their long experiences. On the other hand, young teachers, who are superior in advanced technologies like information processing despite they may not equal in their knowledge and experiences to elderly teachers, should challenge for the development of new fields of research. I took charge of scientific technological English this year and could learn the expertise of natural science which I have never touched. I could get scientific “intellect” through online educations.    Due to online classes, teachers who could not stay on the site became possible to give lessons. In science lessons, they already gave online lessons. For example, it becomes possible to give lessons to classes in overseas universities from Japan. Fluidization of knowledge will develop not only internationalization of educators but produce a merit also that brings about close cooperation with foreign countries in educational fields. There may be a demerit, but it will be important to realize it first and try to overcome it.  Since online classes are the first experience of university educators, they may be confused much. In my case also, as there was nothing to be prepared, I bought a microphone and lighting fixtures first in my class. Reconsidering traditional way of face-to-face classes, I adopted various ideas which can give student’s feelings of presence and enjoyment using real-time-video or just video. At first, I felt burdened myself more than face-to-face lessons because it took time for preparation. As I am getting used to be, however, it became efficient gradually and I am keeping my efforts trusting myself that such skills will become my new strength and growth.  Though job markets in educational fields are reducing at this moment, I think it necessary for educators to have such actual business know-how besides their learning abilities. What I can keep overseas lessons from Japan means that overseas educators or students can keep lessons in Japan reversely. In other words, borderless fluidity and competitiveness would become more severe for educational sites hereafter. We must understand such times and consciousness first. I would like to overcome such trials hereafter through such “strength” of myself.  SGRA Kawaraban 637 in Japanese (Original)  CHEN-Lu / 2019 Raccoon, Lecturer of Waseda University, Sophia University, Meisei University      Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala  
  • John Chuan-Tiong LIM Revelation which Taiwan gets from “The National Security Laws” for Hong Kong

     National People's Congress in Beijing brought up The National Security Laws for Hong Kong urgently and suddenly amid the COVID-19 and arguments of “The Revision of Regulation of Fugitives from Justice”. Hong Kong has entered into serious stage all at once. Chinese Governmental policy and strategy of “中南海” (Central Headquarters for the Communist Party) towards Hong Kong and Taiwan has been interlocked, more or less,  in terms of their thinking and strategy “One Country, Two Systems”. The National Security Laws in Hong Kong made clear the relations between Beijing Central Government and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It gave Taiwan a big shock. We (Taiwanese) cannot ignore when we survey the future of the cross-strait relations.     〇Chinese views on National Security which do not discriminate Hong Kong/Macao from Taiwan “National Security Laws on Hong Kong” has two big meanings. There is no essential difference in Beijing’s common understanding of “One Country, Two Systems” in the governing Hong Kong/Macao district and Taiwan. What the “National Security Laws on Hong Kong” made clear is, there is no ambiguity or no room for negotiation in Beijing’s idea in the subject of national sovereignty and security. Definitions of “National Sovereignty” and “National Security” are based on “power for power’s sake” of “totalitarianism” and such definitions did not change at all during these seven decades.  All the countries in the world, -western countries like Europe and America, have any national security laws. In the democratic countries, if people would speak or publish about anti-ruling parties or anti-government or make requests for the independence of certain areas, it will not be illegal as far as they will not try to overthrow the government. They can enjoy individual freedom which is compensated by constitutions including civil rights like speech, the press, publication and associations.  As an example, I would like to explain about Okinawa Prefecture in Japan. There are protest gatherings against the Government in a big scale as usual and there are groups and parties which request independence of Okinawa. Some of such members run for the elections but they have never been deprived of their rights for candidature by reason of their political assertions. Furthermore, in bookstores or public libraries, we can see many publications which protest the central government including the American military base and books which insist independence or self-support of Okinawa. Against such insistences or activities, the Japanese Government never say guilty from the viewpoints of national security laws.  Since 1949, China took the Marxism-Leninism political system under one-party dictatorship of the Communist Party. The governing system which the Communist Party took is called “Totalitarianism” and is different from the “Authoritarianism” which Taiwan has taken in“両蒋時代”(two Chiang’s period -Chiang Kai-shek and Chang Chin-kuo). Though there is a big difference, the Nationalist party in Taiwan at that time did not have any ability which controlled the thoughts and actions of citizens and could not manage their economic and social systems. Political systems in new China after 1949 are endowed with such capacities.  At the beginning of the decade of 1980s, the U.K. and China have started their discussions on the transferring of the sovereignty of Hong Kong in future. Hong Kong society was thrown into a panic. Pessimistic people in Hong Kong thought it unavoidable to “大陸化” (apply the system of Mainland China) after 1997 (the year of restoration) . On the other hand, optimistic people thought the discussions would expedite “香港化”(apply the system of Hong Kong) of the Mainland. Behind such controversy, there was a background of the age when Deng Xiaoping has just started his promotion of “Chinese Economic Reform”. Even after the year 1989, Deng Xiaoping had referred that it would take another fifty years to elect leaders by the vote in China even after the “Second Tiananmen Square Incident”. It means the Chinese leaders at that time did not exclude ideas which leaders can be elected by popular elections. Such ideas gave positive ground for judgment by optimists.  Mainland China has experienced processes in Hong Kong for thirty years to some extent through penetration of the market economy and capitalistic factors. However, as a governance model in China, “totalitarianism” which Deng Xiaoping has held, Zhao Ziyang has groped for and Hong Kong people have expected, had never changed to democratic and constitutional politics. China requested Hong Kong to expedite the development of processes of the Mainland together with economic development and strengthening of national power.  In other words, the “National Security Law” this time shows Hong Kong’s milestone to apply Chinese systems and expansion of “totalitarianism”. Accordingly, it will not be difficult to understand that if China, under the Communist Party, would unify Taiwan; “National Security Law” on Taiwan will be applied naturally basing on Beijing’s views of “National Sovereignty” and “National Security”.  〇Beijing’s “total jurisdiction” which applies Taiwan’s “One Country, Two Systems”     What is the other important meaning which the “Hong Kong National Security Law” defined?In the “One Country, Two Systems”, Central Government secured their ability of “total jurisdiction”. And, it will be inevitable that, on the assumption that Central Government will not abandon the systems of “totalitarian” and “power for power’s sake”, Beijing started the mechanism and achieve “total jurisdictions” of the central government in any type of “One Country, Two Systems”, whichever Hong Kong/Macao this time or Taiwan will accept and follow in future.  We cannot find any wordings about concept of “central total jurisdiction” in the “Basic Law” of Hong Kong. But, in the white paper for “Practice of One Country, Two System in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region” which was promulgated by State Council in June 2014 when universal suffrage was discussed, we can find the mechanism for “the central total jurisdiction”. In the “Basic Law”, its interpretation rights belong to “Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress” (Chapter 8 Article 9).  The Central Government is authorized also to enforce nationwide laws in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The “National Security Laws on Hong Kong” this time is one of the nationwide laws and based on the Article 18 of “The Basic Law” and attached to its supplementary provision 3.    In principle, in the “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong can keep, in the stage of system planning, their rights to have their own laws, money and privilege of custom duties and can keep freedom, on certain extent, of speech and press. However, the Central Government of Beijing is also guaranteed to have maximum power.  Beijing, this time, has established “The National Security Law on Hong Kong” directly (not through Hong Kong legislative organ). Once Beijing opens the way like this, they can establish laws directly for Hong Kong and fulfill “Total Jurisdictions by the Central Government”.  Since General Secretary Xi Jinping announced his important talk toward Taiwan on January 2, 2019, the Department of Taiwan in Beijing expedited a draft of “One Country, Two Systems – Taiwan version”. Framework, especially how to stipulate the position of Taiwan after unity, is unknown yet. But once we learn a lesson of Hong Kong, it will be clear undoubtedly that Beijing like to secure “Total Jurisdictions by the Central Government” including a mechanism of “National Security Law on Taiwan” in “One Country, Two Systems – Taiwan version”. It is an important point to be cleared for Taiwan when we learn and interpret Beijing’s “One Country, Two Systems -Taiwan version”.  “One Country, Two Systems – Taiwan version” is Beijing’s “wishful thinking stage” yet. “National Security Law for Hong Kong”, which surprised Hong Kong and the world, will make Taiwan’s understanding of the core of “One Country, Two Systems” deepen. In this paper, I argued over the suggestive meaning of the essence of “One Country, Two Systems” including its “Taiwan version” regarding “National Security Law for Hong Kong”.  I would like to put off my argument as to the impact which Taiwan people have got from “National Security Law for Hong Kong” or analysis of influence to Taiwan government, including the Cross-Strait relations, by both Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese Nationalist Party.  SGRA Kawaraban 636 in Japanese (Original)  John_Chuan-Tiong_Lim / Researcher of General Research Center of Japan (in Taiwan)     This essay was written in the Chinese language.Chinese to Japanese translation by Arata Hirai Japanese to English translation by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • ChoiKyu-jin “Medical Blank and Human Rights” were made clear by COVID-19

     ◇At the beginning : No countries have excellent plans against COVID-19 at this moment. In Sweden, they did “cluster immunities”.  In Italy and U.K., there were a lot of dead because of the delay of measures at the beginning. We have a few effective measures through which we check suspected persons quickly and if they are proved to be infected, proper measures (grasping the numbers of patients and their isolations by administrations) would be taken and other people will keep “social distances”. It is an actuality now.  In such circumstances, we can say that the measures which Korea took are evaluated highly in the world. They are trying to follow the model of Korea, so-called “K-epidemic prevention”. For example, the world is taking notice of “drive through”, “walk through” and “diagnosis kits”. I am glad that Korea, which follows Japan as the member of the council of the WHO, can contribute to the world in the prevention of COVID-19.  It is true that “K-epidemic prevention” has succeeded. However, it is true also that there are opinions about problems behind Korean successes. I like to introduce such issues which exist in the back of Korean success. It is not my purpose to find fault with Korean way of preventions. I would be happy if you understand my real intention of bringing up the issues here the counter measures against the secondary wave of COVID-19 more perfectly than the first wave.  I would like to explain here about the most important issues like “medical blank” and “human rights” referring to two actual incidents. One is “the fatal accident of Mr. Chong Yuyob (17)” and “spread of COVID-19 at a night club at Itae-won in Seoul”.  ◇Medical Blank in the fatal accident of Mr. Chong Yuyob(17) Mr. Chong run high fever and went to a general hospital which is one in the area around seven o’clock in the evening. But he was refused any medical care before PCR checked and was asked to visit next day. He had to return home without any medical care as the PCR clinic had already closed at six o’clock.    He suffered from high fever all through the night. He visited the clinic to get PCR checked in the next morning and was X-rayed. However again, he had to return home because he had to wait for the result of PCR before hospitalization. In his home, he kept running high fever and had difficulties in breathing and his parent got touch with the Disease Headquarters (an organization under the Ministry of Health and Welfare) immediately.  The headquarters got touch with the health center in the area, but the center needed PCR report from general hospital for further action. Meanwhile, time passed in vain. It was only after 4:30 PM when Mr. Chong went to the general hospital. His parent heard the result of X-ray and his condition was not good and was told to go to the Yong Nam University Hospital. Mr. Chong could not get proper medical care and passed away after two days.  Many people say that the death of Mr. Chong was unavoidable in such circumstances of the pandemic of COVID-19.  If we get away with such case this time, it means we leave the similar cases which would have few hundred victims hereafter as “unavoidable accident”. Moreover, Mr. Chong had no basis diseases actually. During the time when we verify this accident seriously, we found many points which we cannot leave unavoidable.  It was the basic policy of general hospital, which is one in the area, that we cannot get any measures without results of PCR. It has revealed to be big faults of measures against COVID-19  If private hospitals had to follow Governmental regulations, they should have advised other facilities which can do PCR at earlier stage. There was a clinic within only five- minute walk actually which can check PCR that evening. In spite -of doctor’s view about Mr. Chong’s pneumonia next day, general hospital instructed him to wait at home before PCR. General hospital missed early chance of treatment and we can say it was the fault of hospital clearly. The Disease HQ and clinic both has just instructed parent to get touch with private hospitals. They did not mediate properly during the time when he waited for the result at home. It was a cause of accident this time that there was no control tower which know medical systems in the area accurately.   People can be hospitalized in Yong Nam University Hospital any time actually without the result of PCR. It means the accident could be prevented if either Disease Headquarter, health center or general hospital would have referred to Yong Nam Hospital. We cannot say Yong Nam Hospital had no fault. When they were informed from general hospital that the result of PCR is negative, they kept doubting of pneumonia by coronavirus and had checks thirteen times. Moreover, oxygen mask was off for thirty seconds. The reasons are under investigation now.  But it may of medical staffs for infection treatment.   Some people say that it is the specialty of North Gyeonsang Province where big epidemics. 0ccures. But I think it is same with any other provinces. Korean societies should reconsider many points:・We do not have any control tower which grasp the whole medical systems in the area.・Where we can get instant PCR report quickly in the pandemic of COVID-19?・Where do we get medical treatment in emergency before PCR check ? Many people agree that the Medical Control Head Quarter will be promoted to the Medical Control Agency. And, some people say that “Public Medical Agency” should be established in the circumstances which present Korean medical systems depend on private medical facilities.  Korea is the lowest among OECD Member Countries in terms of specific gravity of public health services. A specific gravity rate in terms of the number of sick beds is 10% and in terms of medical organizations is 5.7%. In North Gyeonsang Province where conservative political party is controlling, public medical service organizations were closed one after another and the gravity of public health services became lower than other provinces.  It is impossible to say that Mr. Chong’s death has no relations with unfortunate conjunction circumstances. We like bethink medical “blank” again.  ◇Human Rights which can be seen through ”Spread of COVID-19 from Itaewon” When the number of infected patients doubled digits gradually in early May, infection spread rapidly among visitors in Itaewon club. Dislike and discrimination against minority became serious after rapid spread of COVID-19. Human rights issue is big in Korea now.  The shadows of the issues on dislike and discrimination have been cast actually since the early stage of prevention of epidemics. Following to dislike and discrimination against Chinese, there was an attack on the specific religion “The New World” by the whole societies. The government has focused on measures for prevention of epidemics too much and has overlooked the issues. As a result, dislike and discrimination against minorities have occurred. As discrimination against specific groups is an obstacle for prevention of epidemics and connect to spread of coronavirus, everybody in the society have to work on and improve such phenomena.   According to report, many gay or (male) homosexual visited the club in Itaewon where there were clusters of infected people in early May. Media had attacked visitors in the club excessively as immodest sexual group and such dislike of feeling in the society was exaggerated. Moreover, the number of infected people has increased because some visitors to Itaewon did not get PCR. And dislike and discrimination against gay became more serious accordingly. In this case, complicated issue of discrimination is involved and we cannot debate simply saying they lack in ethical values. Some self-governing body check anonymously. But if people visit Itaewon, they are considered as gay and discriminated. This is question which will not be solved simply.  Once people get PCR check, they have to wait for result for one or two days at least even if they do not contact closely with infected person. They have to explain to their friends or workplaces for the reasons being stayed at home. In the atmosphere where media stirred up such dislike, it will be almost impossible for the people, who visited Itaewon, to inform work places about the report.  In the Korean society where there remains negative understanding against minority and such dislike and discrimination, it would affect the life. In case of a lecturer of “juku” (private-tutoring school) who goes to a university in Inchon area, he hid his actual occupation and what he hid his occupation caused to the situation that his colleagues and students were infected. Under such circumstances, Inchon city government filed criminal charge against him. He confessed afterward that he was afraid that his studies would affect and feared for further aspect of job. Would it be possible to say that he is responsible for spreading coronavirus? I think Korean society, media and politicians were responsible for the second and the third spread of infections. Korean society has discriminated minority. Media kept sending stereotyped messages that visitors to Itewon were minority and minority should be excluded from society. Politicians left also such messages unchecked and made ordinary people to be “liars”  Public health doctors (who work at health center not as military services) who worked at selected health centers and knew the importance of receiving checked quickly, had visited clubs at Itewon. But they hid such visits for four days and examined patients.  Even doctors who work at selected health center were afraid of discrimination rather than coronavirus.  As mentioned above, dislike and discrimination of the weak socially are big obstacles for prevention of epidemics. All world is prepared now for prolonged war against coronavirus. It will be simple to win the war. In case of suspicion of infections, it will be the only way for victory that we arrange everything in the circumstances to be able to get PCR check quickly. In order to improve present circumstances where we cannot receive PCR check voluntarily in discrimination, it is necessary to have positive intervention at national level.  ◇In conclusion: It is true that infectious diseases are misfortunes which threatens humans. But we cannot say necessarily that there are only negative side in infectious diseases. The diseases have made us notice social issues which we could not find. When we can solve the problems properly, we can step up to more matured society. There are some who understand in wrong way. However, a lot of enterprises and politicians are trying to introduce desperately paid holiday systems (they can take holidays without losing salaries), remote medical treatment and biotechnologies. (Be ashamed to say, Korea is the only country among OECD member nations that has neither paid holiday systems nor allowance for sick and wounded.)  The discussion mentioned above are based on evaluation on success of “K-epidemic preventions”. I can say it is better than other countries where they cannot practice any measures for prevention and cannot foresee how they should discuss.  Frankly speaking, I am worried about missing my both lesson which we learn from epidemics of coronavirus and chances which we can develop to better societies.  SGRA Kawaraban 635 in Japanese (Original)  Choi_Kyu-jin / Professor Inha Medical University (Medical History and Medical Ethics),    This essay was written in the Korean language.Korean to Japanese translation by Saori Hasegawa Japanese to English translation by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • John Chuan-Tion Lim “New Characteristics of Japan-China Relations in the Post-COVID-19 Age”

     In the year 2020, COVID-19 shook the world and threw the world systems into confusion  We are facing with the issue “the Post-COVID19”. In the process of solving the issue, the most important point for the world block or countries is how to adjust the relations with China. In this paper, I would like to focus on the relations between Japan and China in the age of “post-corona”.  In America, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the President in 2017 and took the national strategy “China containment”. Through the trade war and technological race, America has been pressing China and their relations deteriorated gradually. On the contrary, Japan and China have stepped, strangely enough, to the opposite direction “all-out restoration”. However, such “quasi-honeymoon” for two years came to the end by structural shock of the coronavirus pandemic.  ◇From ”Honeymoon period” to “Quasi-honeymoon period” When we look back the relations between Japan and China for half-century since the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1972, “honeymoon period” was only in the decade of the 1980s. In the decade of the 1990s, the relations was “sometimes good and sometimes bad” due to “historical issues”. In the decade of the 2010s, especially in 2012, Japan has nationalized “Senkaku Islands” (Diaoyutai Islands in Chinese) and the relations fell into inescapable and hair-trigger situations.   In November, 2014, Japan-China relations came to the turning point “A Thaw” narrowly. Two countries got the “essential common understanding on four points” and reopened their exchanges partly. However, China did not start the mechanism of mutual visits of their heads. In the year 2018, Japan conceded to soften their attitude toward Chinese policy “One Belt, One Road”. Afterward, China got the policy “getting back the Japan-China relations to the original orbit”.  The visit of the Premier Li Keqian in May 2018 shows that both countries have started their relations toward total recovery. Afterward, Prime Minister Abe visited China in October. However, Prime Minister Abe understood at that time that we can say “complete recovery of the relations between both countries” only when the heads of two countries visit each other after the President of the People’s Republic of China (CRC) Xi Jinping visits Japan as a national guest. In CRC, they regarded President Xi’s visit to Japan in April 2020 as important and expected to declare the coming of “new era of Japan-China relations” jointly. At the same time, China side have expected to announce “the 5th political document” which symbolize the new era of both countries at summit talks. The “Quasi-honeymoon period” which China took initiative reached to the climax.  ◇The latent vulnerability in the friendly relationship between Japan and China Improvement of the relations depend on the interests and strategic thinking of both countries. The reason why they could keep “quasi-honeymoon period” for these two years is the Chinese new strategy mainly. Actually, Japan did not cancel nationalization of the Senkaku islands and kept their defense capacity strengthening, including setting up of the National Self-Defense Force, in the area of “Nansei Shoto (the south-west islands)”  Amid such situation which Japan did not compromise in important issues, China like to restore the relations with Japan. As background of such Chinese attitude, there is no other reasons than a shock of the “New Cold-War between China and America”. By dividing the power of Japan and America which aim at shutting up China, China wanted to cut down American controlling power toward China.  In short, during these two years which we can call the “quasi-honeymoon period” after the decade of 1980s, both countries established their basic standpoints, “positive policy” in China and “wait-and-see policy” in Japan. However, there was a latent vulnerability in the “friendship between Japan and China” which came from the characteristics of “one-sided (not each other) direction”.  We can find such vulnerability in the public opinion polls on the relations of both countries. Japanese NPO “Japanese Public Opinions“ and Chinese International Publication carried out together public opinion poll on the relations between Japan and China jointly in 2005. The poll of last October (before coronavirus epidemics) shows that 45.9% of Chinese have good impressions on Japan. This figure was the highest since 2005 when they started the poll. However, Japanese impression on China was “just returned to normal orbit” and we cannot say we reached “improvement”. The ratio which Japanese have “no-good” impression toward China was 84.7% and it was considerably high.  Actually, atmosphere of welcoming President Xi’s visit to Japan is not warmed up yet in Japan despite President Abe urged Xi’s visit as a national guest eagerly. It is important that unexpected pandemic of COVID-19 this year made China confused completely about their strategy toward Japan. At the same time, the base of “friendship between Japan and China”, which was vulnerable from the beginning, was shook in Japan.    ◇Unrest of the base of “Friendship between Japan and China” due to the pandemic of COVID-19 First of all, Prime Minister Abe proposed “friendship between Japan and China” together with China in spite of America’s urging to promote the “suppressing China strategy” which was severe and speedy. Prime Minister Abe considered first friendly relations in economy between Japan and China beside his historical evaluation as a prime minister.  However, the Abe Government reconsidered economic relations with China because the pandemic of COVID-19 has started from China. On April 7, the Abe Government announced “Declaration of Emergency” and passed the budget for “Emergency economic measures”. And they appealed reorganization of supply chains which is on the verge of emergency due to COVID-19. They allocated 240 billion Yen, at the first clause of the budget, for shifting production lines from China to Japan or diversification of production basis to South-East Asia. Such movements are based on decentralization of risks.  Public opinions in Japan foresee Chinese economy after COVID-19 pessimistically and it will be impossible to have “V-shaped recovery” in China. In this point, it is different from Chinese public opinions which foresee the Chinese economy optimistically. Japanese economic circles, including “keidanren” (the Federation of Economic Organization) foresee the Chinese economy cautiously and Japanese public opinions are “adverse wind” apparently to Japanese economic circles which like to maintain close connections with China in foreign trades.     As to Chinese measures toward epidemics, Japanese views have been getting worse because of questions about “concealment of infectious diseases” and their “omissions” at initial stage or punishment of Dr. Li Weiliang. China invoked “big propaganda” to the world since March. However, such propaganda was interpreted by the mass media in Japan as recoveries of initial fiasco in epidemics. Japanese antipathy toward China has increased.  Furthermore, COVID-19 spread in Europe and the United States after March and the pandemic shock hit the United States.  The government in Washington is trying to establish new policy “China bashing” which accuse China of responsibility of “concealment of infection diseases” and claimed compensation. It is not difficult to imagine the relations between America and China in the “post-corona period” would become slyer. Under such circumstances which “anti-China” steps by America are being accelerated, it will be inevitable that America would pressure Japanese “pro-China” policy and Washington may trigger toward Japan.  ◇Japan-China relations in the Post-COVID-19 – “cool-Japan and hot-China”??? Under such new changes of the world in pandemic, Prime Minister Abe realized that it would be difficult to keep good friendships with China which he has tried to maintain keeping pace with China and has stopped to control carefully his ideological position and did not try to maintain Japan-China relations which have been vulnerable from the beginning. Being a contrast with expansion of antipathy to China, prevention of epidemics in Taiwan were highly evaluated in Japanese society. PM Abe, who has been the most “pro-Taiwan” since the decade of 1960, did not hide his dissatisfaction toward China. And he expressed his support to Taiwan which like to take part in the general meeting of the WHO as an observer.  Chinese Government began to take strong measures against Japan without any hesitation perceiving Japanese changes in its determinations which have been heading for improvement of Japan-China relations. On May 8, four vessels of China Coastal Guard Corps invaded Japanese sea area and pursued two Japanese fishing boats and Japan protested. Japanese Government announced that Chinese public vessels appeared around the Senkaku islands 41days continuously after May 24.     Summing up the above, “quasi-honeymoon period” which has been vulnerable from the beginning will end soon by pandemic of COVID-19. I personally think that President Xi’s visit to Japan during this autumn will not be possible in friendly circumstances after coronavirus.  However, if the relations between America and China would become severe, Chinese side may not abandon soon the strategy that they check the United States by winning over Japan. Therefore, even if Japanese feeling of friendship toward China would fall by COVID-19, Chinese side will not withdraw their Japanese policy, in a short period, which they regard it is getting back to normal orbit. Accordingly, Japan-China relations in the “post-corona period” which have a characteristic of “cool-Japan and hot-China” will continue in considerable long period.  SGRA Kawaraban 633 in Japanese (Original)  John_Chuan-Tiong_Kim / Researcher of Japan General Research Center in Taiwan, Head of Japan Research Center in Wuhan University  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala  
  • Ferdinand C. Maquito “Manila Report – Spring 2020”

    The President of the Philippines put the Manila metropolitan area in lockdown on March 12, 2020. It has been the first time in my life that all the schools are closed and teachers and staff members had to stay at homes. This “Lockdown Order” was the worst situation that I have been worrying about since January 30, when the WHO (World Health Organization) announced PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern).  During the grace period until enforcement of the order, I had a choice to return to Manila from Los Baños. But I decided to stay in Los Baños together with my nephew for the sake of scattering of family.  Luckily enough, we could keep using internet and hear public opinions through SNS.  I made up my mind starting from “Sustainable Shared Growth Policy Brief” which is a part of my research theme “Sustainable Shared Growth”.    I would like to introduce my first report hereunder.  To begin with, infectious diseases come from the natural environments. Some people say that it is a conspiracy of biological weapons because of the conflict between America and China. But, research papers, which coronavirus grew naturally, are leading. In the theory of disasters, concept of vulnerability and resiliency is important. If we talk about such theory in the concept of time, vulnerability is for “before diseases” and the point is whether it is damageable or not.  Resiliency is a theory for “after diseases”. There are many reports in which vulnerability and resiliency depends on the factors in distribution of income and development of economy. Distribution of income would become worse and development of economy would become lower, vulnerability becomes higher and resiliency becomes lower. In developing countries like the Philippines which distribution of income and wealth are not good, had serious problems after the pandemic this time.  To absorb the shock of pandemic, the government, various public organizations and societies, the citizens of the Philippines had applied every possible countermeasure up to now. Stepping from such serious struggles, I like to evaluate this pandemic from viewpoints of “sustainable shared growth”, namely from circumstances, fairness and efficiency. For further explanations for sustainable shared growth, I like to proceed on three dimensions, time, space and universe.  ◆Sustainability and Time In environmental economics, it is an important policy on how natural resources shall be distributed between present and future generations. We can find such views in the definition of “Sustainable Development” saying “development which satisfies both the present and future generations”. Such views have been focused also in the report by the World Committee of Environment and Development, which has been announced on April, 1987. Distribution of natural resources among various generations is decided depending on the period of planning (either short time or middle/long time) by policy planners.  The environment which has clean air and water and no diseases are considered as natural resources. In order to distribute such environment to each generations, certain amount of funds are necessary. When certain policy proposals for the pandemics would be made, middle or long-term finance shall be necessary. It is a kind of insurance and can be used in the Philippines too. As an example of market-oriented fund, there was a “catastrophe bond” of the World Bank. Though people have criticized that the bonding conditions were too severe, the World Bank has gathered 320 million dollars from investors and such a way of thinking was proved to be effective measures. Such kind of fund is market oriented and we can say it is useful to promote investment for the sake of evaluation, dispersion and reduction of risks against pandemics.  ◆Shared Growth and Time In development economics, there is a theory of “Inverted U-shaped Curves” by Simon S. Kuznets. He separated the economic development process into two phases. In the first phase, the gap becomes bigger when the economy develops and at the second phase, the gaps become smaller. Some researchers say that it can be applied to the Philippines.   As mentioned above, distribution of income or wealth depend on the phases in vulnerability and resiliency against disasters and it is indispensable to flatten the “Kuznets curve”. In other words, when shared growth in developing countries will be materialized smoothly, they can lower vulnerability and can raise resiliency.  ◆Sustainability and Space There is no border in environmental issue. It is applied to pandemics too. When we elaborate measures for pandemics, we have to cooperate across borders.  In such cases, a multinational organization like the WHO is necessary. Though there is criticism against the WHO in the Philippines, there is no change in the opinions that any international organizations shall be necessary to cope with pandemics. The reasons why the WHO fall into such situations, came from decrease of contributions from member nations and an increase in voluntary donations. They have lost their composures to carry out their missions. It is necessary to change their structures. I think they should start from the revival of contributions by member nations. Since the West Pacific Headquarter of the WHO is in Manila, the Philippines are in a good position for lobbying activities to participate positively.  ◆Shared Growth and Space One of the basic patterns of the shared growth is decentralization. Through decentralization, growth will spread from traditional growth hub and be shared as a result. The growth hub was attacked first by the pandemic this time to disable it. I can say it is natural results of globalization. We have to develop growth hubs in each country to connect together. Infectious diseases spread very fast and attacked growth hubs one after another.  In order to strengthen such growth hubs, I think it is necessary to disperse or decentralize our growth.  ◆Sustainable Shared Growth and Alternate Universe As mentioned above, if sustainable shared growth (harmonize with environment, fairness and efficiency) in our societies would get into gear, difficulties by COVID-19 might be reduced. I have kept appealing that we should have such development in the Philippines more than these 20 years. I emphasized such opinions at the 5th Asia Conference which was held in Manila and Los Baños in January this year.  Pandemics this time made clear that such sustainable shared growth is necessary in the world.  Lockdown was relaxed partly both in Manila and Los Baños in June.  But it will be necessary for us to be prepared for severe lives which come from pandemics.  In order to overcome such difficulties, it is important to (1) be intent on something and (2) keep good relations among family and friends.  SGRA Kawaraban 634 in Japanese (Original)  Ferdinand C. Maquito /Researcher of SGRA Shared Growth Seminar, Associated Professor at Los Baños School, the Philippines University Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Xie Zhihai “COVID-19 and World Economy”

    COVID-19 is steadily going to spread in worldwide scale and we cannot see any prospect of convergence. According to the totaling by John Hopkins University, on May 4, 2020, the number of infected people shows over 3.48million and the number of deaths became 240 thousand. The world economy has been affected seriously by COVID-19. It is now clear that an impact by COVID-19 exceeds the “Oil Shock” or so-called the “Lehman Shock” (2006 financial crisis) and we call it the “Corona Shock”.  International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on April 4 that the world economic growth rate of the year 2020 is (-) 3.0% compared with the previous year. JP Morgan Chase & Co. predicted also that world economy will suffer loss of five trillion dollars in the next two years. This figure is equal to the Japanese GDP. According to other data, many countries in the world show a serious fall in GDP in the first quarter of 2020.  For example, (-) 6.85% in China and (-) 4.8%, (-) 3.8%, (-) 3.4% in America, the Euro zone and Japan accordingly.    Medical experts point out that it will take at least one year to converge COVID-19. It means it will take one year or more to recover economies.  Then, how does each country overcome the economic crisis caused by the corona shock?Almost all the major countries in the world are taking financial relief measures on a big scale. But there are questions whether such relief measures are effective or not. Relief measures tend to focus on the prevention of cooling down of consumptions at this moment, but recoveries in the production fields may be more important.  At the time of the Lehman shock, financial fields have been damaged at first and then the real economy was affected. In case of corona shock, the first damage was the real economy.  It may be more difficult to recover from corona shock than that from the Lehman shock.  We are now in the back current of the globalization and protectionism in the world which came from threats of corona shock. And those phenomena may continue for the time being. We cannot expect a V-shaped recovery in economy even if COVID-19 converge.  In fact, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) warned that it would take a few years for the world economy to recover from the pandemic of the new coronavirus.  Then, how about the Japanese economy? On April 27, the Bank of Japan announced that the growth rate of Japanese economy of the fiscal year 2020 would be minus 3~5%. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been expected as a catalyst for the Japanese economy, but they have been postponed due to the new coronavirus. According to the estimate by the specialist, this postponement will result in an economic loss of about 640 billion yen. Even if the Olympic game would be held in summer 2021, the numbers of foreign visitors to Japan would be lower than originally expected. Whether or not the inbound at that time can save the Japanese economy is still uncertain.      However, we cannot say that everything by corona shock has negative for the world economy. There are at least four positive aspects points. 1)We can see illogical phenomena in the field of supply chains of the shortage of relief supplies such as masks. In global economies, it is now urgent to rebuild supply chains. As Japan has relied on China too much in the field of supply of daily necessities or goods, it becomes difficult to get when it comes to the crunch. This is what we learned this time. For example, Japan has imported 80% of masks from China. Japan, as a big country of “hay fevers”, had a big demand for masks and should have produced in Japan more. 2)Corona shock made us revolutionize our working styles in world wide. When many people worked from homes, they realized that there was a lot of useless meetings. Such works shall be selected hereafter. After convergence of COVID-19, works from homes or shorten the time of works should be left partly. For example, it will be unnecessary to keep the shops open. Convenience stores or family restaurants, which open 24hours should be reviewed. When many people work from homes and shorten their working time, congestions at public transportations would be eased. 3)Corona shock will accelerate new technical innovations. In fact, the advancement of IT will continue in various fields, such as the arrival of 5G will move ahead of schedule due to the influence of corona. For example, “On-line classes” or “video conferences” became common, and IT enterprises in America, such as “Zoom”, have made rapid progress. There were reports in America that robots are doing very good jobs in delivering foods and goods. 4)Finally, I think corona shock made us consider how globalization should be. When we compared the epidemics of infectious diseases in the past, COVID-19 this time has spread very fast due to globalization. On the other hand, because of globalization, countries can quickly share information, technology, experience and supplies, which is useful for corona countermeasures. Globalization will not be withdrawn due to corona shock, but rather, globalization will be further promoted through the improvement of various systems and strengthening of cooperation.  SGRA Kawaraban 632 in Japanese (Original)  Xie Zhihai / Associated Professor of Kyoai Gakuen University  Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • Nahed ALMEREE “COVID-19 and Human Societies”

     The crisis of virus diseases, which is known as “COVID-19” instantly, gave us new social rules like “isolation policy” or “social distances” for the sake of prevention of infection or to prevent possible spread of infections. Above all, traditional social communication style for expressing our acceptance or supporting others, such as physical touching like patting shoulders, shaking hands, hugging each other and kissing, gave us big changes. Forms of greetings, which were built for centuries to show habits or traditions of intimacies, are different depend of countries. In the Arabian worlds, shaking hands and kissing is the most important style of greetings. Particularly, in the way of greetings, the significance of kissing depends according to the district of on the Arabian countries. For example, in the countries bordering of Syria and Egypt, people kiss on foreheads,cheeks, shoulders and the back of hands. Adding to those styles, they touch on noses also at the countries in the Arabian Peninsula. In the Moroccan area countries, they kiss both the palm and the back of hands. There are variety of meanings of all these forms of greetings. In some Arabian countries, when relatives visit their homes and if they do not kiss on cheeks by hugging each other, they are thought to be impolite. There are quite a few people who kiss on cheeks twice or thrice.   People who live around the Mediterranean Seas understands such cultural varieties among each other. It is no wonder that people, who live alongside the Atlantic Ocean, would be confused how to greet when they conclude their negotiations, agreements or treaties. However, they agree to conclude through handshaking. Everybody understand that they have obligations to respect cultural peculiarities which are different depending on areas. When people go to foreign countries for the first time, they can check the habits or traditions of visiting countries to avoid misunderstandings or embarrassments. When I was in Syria, some Japanese, who has felt sick first for kissing, became accustomed to kiss intimate friends.  However, COVID-19 is insensitive in respect of cultures under superiority of public securities. Under prevention of spread of infection, the point is group-oriented responsibilities. It is not social common-sense nor individual rights or duties.          Until the time when such new social styles become new common sense, it might be neglected. But, such styles would become normal social style which produce next generations and be called as customs or traditions.  Deliberate establishment of new social styles should be based on relative and scientific values. Such values should be based on social consent and support which is measurable and interpretable. In case of virus, however, which cannot be seen by human eyes and attack human beings indiscriminately, decisive judgement should be made by medical specialists, not by influential leaders nor politicians.  In the “after-corona world”, expression of our feelings physically or physical communications between human beings or human-to-any objects may not be acceptable.  It may be necessary for ourselves to keep certain safe distance between human beings and any objects. Corona forced us to keep “social distance”. Social distance does not mean discontinuation of social or individual communications by human beings. Rather, I think corona has strengthened our social communications and made us reconsider style of communication and recognize its importance. And, corona has made us to strengthen our interests in helping others to prevent infections and spread its knowledge. It made us reevaluate the importance of thoughtfulness for others. We came to know limitation of ourselves by corona and realized that we are just social living things which ask for existence, good health, safe and rich life. In order to establish “after-Corona world”, we have to study starting from “social distance” and review our relations between foods and good health, reconsideration of priorities of expenditures on the individual, government or national levels.         SGRA Kawaraban 631in Japanese (Original)  Nahed ALMEREE / 2019 Raccoon (Syria) Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
  • John Chuan-Tion Lim “Why did Taiwan succeed in prevention of epidemics, in comparison with Hong Kong?”

    Amid spreading of COVID-19 in the world, Taiwan is being highly appreciated for crisis management and preventive measures of infections not only in the East Asia but also the world. In this article, I focus on the cases of Taiwan and Hong Kong and analyze how Taiwan succeeded in achieving these results and how Hong Kong can be compared with Taiwan.  Taiwan’s advantage: Expertise and quickness. According to the data of Johns Hopkins University dated April 2, the number of infected persons of COVID-19 in the East Asia region is 82,381 in China (main land), 765 in Hong Kong, and 329 in Taiwan. The number 329 of Taiwan is the smallest among “Asian 4 dragons” (9,976 in Korea and 1,000 in Singapore). Even in Japan, where the Taiwanese people often learn from, the number of infected people has already exceeded 2,384, and this time Japan is behind Taiwan.  Why is Taiwan able to achieve outstanding results in this “quarantine competition” of the world this time? I dare to say that Taiwan won the race over other countries by “quickness” not by “luck”. This keyword is due not only to the lessons learned from SARS in 2003, but also to the accumulation of expertise and the public opinion.  The economy in Taiwan has been poor for many years, and the GDP per capita and the salary level of experts have been far below those of other members of “Asia 4 Dragons,” South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, the experts in Taiwan have a high level of knowledge on average, and the overall evaluation of public services is as good as that of Japan. And the level of expertise for medical and public health are also evaluated highly in the field of international societies. “The Health Care Index of 2020” which was announced on February 9, 2020 shows Taiwan continues to maintain the top spot in the world ranking with 86.71 points followed by Korea in the second place and Japan in the third place. Incidentally, Hong Kong rank in 14th position and China (main land) rank in the 16th position. I think such high level of expertise in Taiwan’s medical and epidemics field also plays an important role in accurately responding to the current epidemic of COVID-19.  The "quickness" of the Taiwanese government's reaction can be seen in the process of handling the first fatal case in Taiwan on February 16th of this year. A taxi driver was initially diagnosed with severe flu, but a sensitive physician sent him to an isolation ward based on his professional judgement. The patient was subsequently confirmed to have been confirmed with COVID-19 infection because the Taiwan Department of Hospital had been retroactively examining cases reported as severe influenza cases.  Due to the painful lessons of SARS (2003) in Taiwan, they have been practicing seminars periodically every year at each hospitals for the past few years. In this pandemic circumstance, discussions on various treatment measures including adjustment and effective management of mask production quantity, planned maintenance of supply network, distribution of manpower of frontline medical personnel, etc. has been advanced in a timely manner. After the first death, the Taiwan Central Epidemic Control Center (Taiwan Central Infectious Diseases Control Center) immediately announced the response principle of the city surveillance report and expanded the front line of the epidemic prevention system to the end of societies.  In addition, Taiwan's “quickness” of reaction may be related to Taiwan's keen and swift response to the will and its changes as the most complete democratic Chinese region. It can also be said that this is in sharp contrasts to the Hong Kong Government which has been criticized for their delays in the current epidemic.  “Slowness” of Hong Kong: Masks and “Restriction of the Border Entry” We observed the “Confusion over masks” everywhere in the world after the epidemics. Taiwan and Hong Kong are also not an exception. For example, From the end of January, there were long queues of people looking for masks everywhere in Hong Kong. There were even elderly people lined up until midnight, but the Hong Kong Special Zone government finally admitted that it had been stockpiling 10 million masks all the time and decided to put it on demand in the medical field. It was not possible to respond promptly and temporarily release the inventory of masks.  Instead, in Taiwan, people can get minimum quantities of masks if they go to pharmacies  with health insurance cards. It is not necessary to line up in a long queue. Along with the development of IT in Taiwan, Minister Andrey Tang, Taiwan Executive Yuan (行政院)  designed “Mask supply information” application which enables Taiwanese People to search and check the stock status of masks at any pharmacy online. Eventually, it became possible to reduce the probability of not being able to buy a mask. This has received a great deal of praise from Japanese public opinion and IT fields.  In Taiwan, there is a public monitoring where the government must work by “120% power” and no oversight is allowed. On January 22, one day before declaration of lockout by the Wuhan Government in China, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen had already launched its quarantine system and was ready to put in under high alert. Minister Chen Shih-chung was appointed to the Commander of the Taiwan Center for Diseases Control (CDC) and he directed for day and night at the front line. During the operation, he not only summoned scholars and experts immediately, but also carried out the quarantine operation by successfully coordinating the coordination of the various departments of the government and taking the lead of himself continuously every day. Premier Su Tseng-chen declared strictly that “if we need human resources, we will supply human resources, and if we need funds, we will provide funds. If there is a break in the quarantine network, we will strictly deal with it”. In addition to the strict declaration, he immediately created an emergency special budget of 60 billion New Taiwanese Yuan and proposed measures to support industries such as transportations, domestic demands, agricultural and fisheries that will be suffered from the corona infections.  Since the government seriously tackled the fake “quick” production without tampering with it, the epidemic of COVID-19 in Taiwan was successfully controlled to a certain degree in the early stage, Taiwan was able to cope with the changing situation with the spare power without falling into the situation where manpower and resources had to be fully devoted to emergency treatment (for critically ill patients). This is how Taiwan has been relatively successful in this epidemic, and its excellent performance is reflected in its high public support.    How should Hong Kong learn from Taiwan? According to a public opinion poll released by TVBS (Taiwan Radio Satellite Television) on February 13, in response to the Taiwanese government's prevention of epidemics, the satisfaction rate of President Cai Ing-wen has risen to 54%, which is the highest level since her inauguration. Satisfaction degree for Premier Su Tseng-chen was 52%. For Minister Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Sanitation and Welfare, who directed day and night at front line, marked 82%. In addition, 71% also for the total performance by the government against corona epidemics and the figure 83%, which people trusted for measures and ability of the government, showed the satisfaction of the people. There is a considerable difference in public opinions of Taiwan and HK. According to public opinion poll by HK Public Opinion Research Institute on February 14, dissatisfaction shown by HK people showed 84%. They showed dissatisfaction to the measure against corona epidemics by Chief Executive, Carrie Law Chen Yuet-ngor.  Besides their dissatisfaction with Carrie Law management, mentioned above, HK people were dissatisfied with “blockade” of the border. After Wuhan was locked down on January 23, in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, each country continued to move out of its own country, restrict entry, and stop air traffic to and from China. As Hong Kong is adjacent to the Main Land China. So, everybody in Hong Kong, either HK Democrats or pro-establishment camp, requested “blockade”. It is because epidemic in Hong Kong cannot be controlled by incoming of people from main land. However, Chief Executive did not accept it expressing that “blockade” means “discrimination” using “Guideline” of WHO (World Hospital Authority).  According to the survey data released by the Hong Kong Institute of Civil Affairs on January 31, more than 80% of Hong Kong people say that the government should "completely prohibit entry".  Under these circumstances, the Hong Kong Medical Office labor union "Members and Workers' Line" had a dialogue with the government complaining of "total entry prohibition", but after this dialogue failed, a strike was launched on February 3rd. In contrast, Chief Executive, Carrie Law finally accepted her defeat. As a result, the airports and all ports were closed on 8th February. The passengers entering Hong Kong from the mainland shall be quarantined. Finally, the medical workers finally ended the strike by calling for a new policy of isolation in their home or other facilities.  Taiwan made a brilliant success in prevention of epidemics because they could regulate production and supply of masks, improve medical system and prevent split of prevention of epidemics. This would also be proof that Taiwan's democratic system is gradually maturing. I think Hong Kong needs to openly learn about Taiwan's crisis management capabilities and professional response capabilities in the prevention of epidemics. How can we learn a democratic mechanism that is backed by such specialized knowledge and can react sharply to the situation? Hong Kong have to carry out the “Double Election” (election for Chief Executive and Legislative Council) basing on Hong Kong Basic Law. There would be “no choice”.      SGRA Kawaraban 626 in Japanese (Original)  John_Chuan-Tiong_Lim / Researcher of Japan Research Center (Taiwan), Head of Japan Research Center (Wuhan)      Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala