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Social Distancing Likely Key to Japan Virus Success, Panel Says

  • Japan’s virus expert panel updates written responses
  • Talking up-close in crowded, poorly ventilated rooms is risky
A shoper walks through an alley in the Kichijoji area of Tokyo on May 26.
A shoper walks through an alley in the Kichijoji area of Tokyo on May 26.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
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Mask-wearing and hand washing were factors in controlling the virus in Japan, government experts said, but later added that their effect may have been limited compared with messaging on avoiding high-risk environments.

The shifting emphasis in written answers to questions from Bloomberg comes amid speculation as to how Japan has fared so much better than most developed countries in limiting the spread of the new coronavirus.