Japan did not resort to unethical mandates, and their Covid death rate is lower than Australia’s

Mark McGowan, the state Premier of Western Australia, claims his vaccine mandates “saved lives.” 

“I know it seems to have caused some angst”, he patronises, “but I think in the overall scheme of things when you look at Australia versus other countries around the world, United States is basically at one million deaths and Britain’s at 150,000 to 200,000 or so,”

For argument’s sake let us put aside the collateral vaccine deaths, and the “did they die with or from Covid19” question.

McGowan compared Australia’s death rate with the two important Anglosphere countries. But, as aforementioned, there are many other countries he could have compared Australia with, countries that adopted Australia style lockdowns and vaccine mandates and have higher Covid19 death rates than the UK and even the USA. 

Within the USA itself, the highest death rates can be found in states that have vaccine passports everywhere, such as New York, where unvaccinated children are arrested for dining at restaurants and visiting museums.

McGowan omitted these inconvenient details. He also forgot to mention, (perhaps he doesn’t know) that there are also countries that adopted lighter, more humane responses to the pandemic than his, and have lower death rates than the countries which governed their citizens the hardest.

Were I a senior Australian politician or Public Health quack, I would hope that no one discovers a certain major country that achieved an even lower death rate than Australia’s (and Vietnam’s), without limitless state cruelty and with far fewer sacrifices made by its citizens: Japan.

The Zero Covid lobby says that lockdowns only “work” when done “properly”, citing New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and, of course, Australia. 

They might also cite Taiwan’s strict border closures and South Korea’s obsessive testing regime. They used to praise the Czech Republic as a zero Covid success story, but then it went a bit wrong for them.

But they never mention Japan, neither as a pandemic success nor as a pandemic failure, which suggests that they know “Covid success” is possible without Maoist repression, but don’t want the world to know. 

It’s the non-pharmaceutical intervention equivalent of withholding effective treatments in order to push new vaccines.

Japan was accused of reckless inaction for not locking down in March 2020, with experts warning they would suffer dire consequences. 

A panicky ‘Washington Post’ dispatch from Tokyo, dated 10th April 2020 described Japan’s coronavirus response as  “too little, too late”.


The author’s description of the pandemic era Japan rubbishes the commonly held belief that the Japanese public are distinctly better at “keeping their social distance” than us raucous Covidiot Brits. 

His words:

“Tokyo’s coronavirus “state of emergency” is as surreal as they come. Though the streets are noticeably quieter than normal, subways and buses are still jammed with commuters. Stock trading goes on as normal. 

Many bars, restaurants and cafes are abuzz. So are barbershops, beauty salons and home improvement centers. 

“In Shibuya and other meccas of youth culture, teenagers who should be hunkering down at home are out and about.”

I don’t remember anywhere in London being “abuzz” during those ethereal weeks prior to the first lockdown. I mainly recall watching six nations matches at spookily empty pubs in a normally lively part of town. People were, to paraphrase SAGE, “sufficiently personally threatened” already and were retreating to their homes before the government compelled them to.

The article continues with a chilling prediction from an expert, possibly Japan’s equivalent of Neil Ferguson:

Kentaro Iwata, an infection control specialist at Kobe University, told CNN that Tokyo could be “the next New York City.” (New York was struck relatively badly by Covid19 in Spring 2020)

“Yet the vast majority of Japanese are still going to the office and taking crowded rush-hour trains” the expert complains, before demanding: 

“Abe (Japan’s then Prime Minister) should dispense with the pandemic kabuki and call for a strict shelter-in-place policy.” 

Shinzo Abe, perhaps restricted by Japan’s constitution, refrained from locking his country down even after a report by his own health ministry warned that Japan could face 850,000 severe cases and 420,000 Covid19 deaths.

Instead, he ordered a ***non-enforceable*** – state of emergency on 7th April, ***asking***, not compelling, people to stay at home “if possible”.


It’s now February 2022, and Japan’s death toll stands at 20,202, out of 126 million people. So their experts were out by roughly 400,000. Quackery.

Tokyo, with a greater area more populated than the whole of Australia, did not become the next New York City. Japan, the oldest country in the world, with 126 million people packed into densely populated in heavily polluted, urbanised megacities, ended up being one of the very few countries in the world that had no excess mortality in 2020, needless to say with no vaccine available.

Today, Japan’s overall Covid mortality rate stands at 161 deaths per million people, lower than Australia’s 178. 

How did they manage that?

Mass testing? Nope. By July 2020, Japan had tested a mere 0.27% of their population. 

Border closures? Not quite. Japan kept their borders open throughout February and March when the virus was spreading across the world. 

Even the BBC noticed this: 

“Many paragons of Covid strategy, such as New Zealand and Vietnam, used tough measures including closing borders, tight lockdowns, large-scale testing and strict quarantines – but Japan did none of that.”

Claims that Japan’s low death rate is due to the common practice of mask-wearing are nonsense. If masks worked so well in Japan, why did they fail so badly in so much of Europe and the USA, where mask-wearing was stringently enforced under the threat of police brutality, harassment, shaming, and ruinous fines?

As the occasionally inadvertently useful ‘Fullfact‘ acknowledges, Japan’s Health Ministry also explicitly forbids vaccine mandates and vaccine-based discrimination.

“Please get vaccinated of your own decision, understanding both the effectiveness in preventing infectious diseases and the risk of side effects. No vaccination will be given without consent. Please do not force anyone in your workplace or those who around you to be vaccinated, and do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.”

Alas, Australia’s premiers think they are so righteous they can discards these ethical fundamentals.

“All we’re trying to do is save people’s lives. That’s all we’re trying to do – save older people, immunocompromised people, the broader community,” maintains Mark McGowan.

How unanswerably compassionate. Who doesn’t want to save lives? I suspect Mr McGowan is morally illiterate, if not a manipulative sadist. He did once risk his life to save an unconscious man from a burning car, which suggests he could be one of those bad guys who sincerely believes he is doing good.

But his ethics are all over the place. If I felt vulnerable to Covid, I would not want innocent people to be locked out of society to keep me safe. I would not want a single person to suffer an injury or death from a vaccine they took unwillingly or naively, to keep me safe. 

We would undoubtedly “save lives” if we forcibly extracted people’s organs and blood and transplanted them into other people who were in more immediate peril, but this would still be wrong, wouldn’t it? A computer would disagree, and this is the problem. We are governed by machine men with machine minds and machine hearts. They see our lives as numbers on excel spreadsheets. 

The government could “save” our lives from many dangers if they locked us down perpetually.

It is possible that the lockdowns saved my life from an out of control vehicle, or perhaps a random knife attack, that might have happened at a certain time and place, had I been freely living my normal life during those lost months of Spring 2020.

Who knows, but I would not expect the government to kill or subjugate innocent people to protect me from a possible but hypothetical scenario. Where I venture, and what risks that involves, is on me. In a sense, our lives are not theirs to “save”.

But I know that had lockdown happened a year earlier, it is certain that I would not have been able to enjoy my graduation ceremony on a particularly beautiful summer’s day on London’s South Bank, that I would not have had so much fun at a festival in Portugal, travelled across Spain (without mask mandates and gathering limits that suck the joy and adventure out of everything). Had there been a lockdown in 2019, I might never have met my now girlfriend at a bar in Putney. There are millions of young people who had those precious milestones and chance encounters robbed from them, through no fault of their own. They should be a great deal more angry than they are.

I also know that because lockdown happened when it did, my great aunt and thousands of others were left to deteriorate and die in a state of neglect and loneliness. 

The young lost the best years of their lives. Many of The old lost the last years of their lives.


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