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Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshide at a news conference in Tokyo Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshide at a news conference in Tokyo, May 7, 2021 (AP photo by Hiro Komae).

An Olympic-Size Headache for Japan’s Suga

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Speaking at the opening of a new parliamentary session in mid-January, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide vowed that this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo would be “proof of humanity’s victory against the coronavirus.”

Nearly six months later, Suga’s promise has yet to materialize. Authorities this week extended states of emergency in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan’s two largest cities, in light of COVID-19 caseloads that, while down significantly from their May highs, remain elevated. The country’s health care system is under severe strain, and the government’s vaccine rollout is proceeding at a painfully slow pace. ...

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