Databases for Japan and Covid-19
SNA (Tokyo) — In this space the SNA will provide links to various English-language online resources that have emerged tracking the Covid-19 crisis in Japan. We will also give our brief review of the strengths and weaknesses of each of these sources. Finally, we intend to add to this list as we become aware of new databases, and we welcome suggestions from our readers.
This is probably the best database available to track the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, deaths, and recovered patients worldwide. Since they are tracking the entire world and probably don’t use Japanese-language sources, their Japan data is not always the most up-to-date, being some hours behind the latest headlines. Also, they unfortunately went along with the Abe government’s desire and listed the Diamond Princess cases separately from the Japan cases, something they have done for no other cruise ships and for no other nation eager to make its numbers look smaller.
This private database built and maintained by Shane Reustle does a very good job keeping up with the latest information on Japan. It seems to be updated frequently and has a very useful breakdown prefecture-by-prefecture. It includes a prefectural map of Japan and several useful charts demonstrating the domestic trajectory of the pandemic. It’s a fine resource.
This useful resource is aimed at supporting foreign residents in the capital region and is operated by students and graduates of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. It has a broad range of information for those who are navigating the pandemic in Japan and, best of all, is available in thirteen different languages.
While this is not the most up-to-date information in most cases, this resource does make an attempt to track crucial issues of the healthcare infrastructure, including hospital bed occupancy and available respirators in each prefecture. It should probably be consulted with a grain of salt because the updates are not frequent enough, but it is certainly a noble concept.
With the resources of the national government, one would hope that serious English-language information could be made available directly by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, but the fact is that updates are infrequent and the user interface much clunkier than some of the private sector efforts. It’s a shame but hardly a surprise, as the Abe government routinely regards the welfare of foreign residents as something of an afterthought. But do note their subsection on Mapping the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Pretty horrific user interface also characterizes the English-language effort of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Naturally, this resource gives data on the situation in Tokyo specifically and is not meant as a Japan-wide resource.
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