72.7 Overall Score (down 17.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 3.3 Public Health
  • 100 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 3.3 Public Health
  • 100 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Japan has a strong overall score, driven by its generous financial response and a reliance on facts, although its public health policy is very weak.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Despite being among the most heavily indebted countries in the Index, Japan’s healthcare system is very strong, contributing to its relatively strong score.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 237.1%
  • GDP/capita $46,827
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 32.9
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 2
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 89
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 97.1

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Japan had very weak public health policy, with strong scores on school closings countered by a relatively weak stay-at-home order and limited testing.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 1
  • School closings 1
  • Public event cancellations 1
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $136.78
  • Travel restrictions 4
  • Tests/1,000 people 66.8
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Japan has a very strong score on its financial response, with the highest stimulus and debt relief in the Index. Its income support has improved since January, but is still near the median.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 54.9%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Japan’s government is very strong in this category as it has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Japan has a very strong score in this category, an increase since January, led by extremely low case and death rates, but a rising positivity rate suggests it may be missing more infected people in testing than before.

  • Total deaths 1,146
  • Death rate per 100K 9.1
  • Total cases 448,000
  • Cases per 100K 46
  • Percent of positive tests 2.6
  • Change in positivity rates -8.1
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 25 State of emergency is lifted everywhere 0.17
2 Jun 19 Travel restrictions lifted 0.55
3 Jul 15 Rise in cases leads to requests to limit traveling outside Tokyo, and going to karaoke clubs or bars, until the end of August 5.81
4 Aug 03 Tokyo requests restaurants and bar shut down early 7.77
5 Sep 16 Lift measures that limited hours for karaoke bars and restaurants 4.36
6 Oct 30 Remove entry ban from Australia, Brunei, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam 6.14
7 Nov 19 Tokyo requests people stay inside and reimposes request on early closing for bars and restaurants 18.83
8 Dec 28 Suspended entry of nonresident foreign nationals through end of January 2021 over concerns of new virus strain 18.77
9 Jan 07 Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures declared state of emergency, asking restaurants to shut down by 8 p.m. and to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. Companies asked to reduce people in offices by 70%, events sizes limited to 5,000 people or 50% venue capacity, and people asked to stay home after 8 p.m., except for essential outings 59.80
10 Jan 14 Added seven more prefectures to the state of emergency, effective until February 7th 52.14
11 Feb 02 Added 10 more prefectures to the state of emergency, and extended it to March 7th 18.29
12 Feb 26 Lifted emergency for every location except greater Tokyo region, at the end of February 8.36

Differentiating Factors

Compared with Other Island Nations
  • 93.7
    Iceland 6,083
    Per 1M

    Iceland has a very strong score, owing heavily to its reliance on facts as well as generous debt and income support; its large improvement since January was keyed by significant improvements in public health policy and financial support.

  • 38.3
    Indonesia 1,425,044
    Per 1M

    Indonesia scores relatively weakly, a big drop in the past few months, keyed by substantial weakening of travel restrictions, testing policy, and debt relief.

  • 100
    New Zealand 2,432
    Per 1M

    New Zealand has had very strong policy, particularly with regard to its reliance on science and facts and its relatively strong financial response.

  • 73.3
    Taiwan 990
    Per 1M

    Taiwan has a relatively strong policy score, but its minimal stimulus and weak debt relief bring it down. However, the data does not accurately measure its advanced contact tracing, which may have diminished the need for more restrictions; this likely results in a score that underestimates Taiwan’s response.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

Be the source of actionable insight.

Select one of the subscription options below to read the full Covid-19 Global Response Index. Unlock even more global intelligence with a subscription to FP Insider.

Already an FP Insider?

Best Value

One-Year All Access
FP Insider


1-year of full access to FP Insider exclusive content and subscription benefits

See benefits  ▾

  • All FP Analytics Special Reports, including the COVID-19 Global Response Index
  • FP Analytics Power Maps
  • Editorial conference calls
  • Unlimited articles on ForeignPolicy.com
  • Digital and print editions of FP’s award-winning magazine
  • Print archive, containing 50 years of FP journalism
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Security and defense news alerts
  • Bonus episodes of FP podcasts
  • FP mobile app

❌ Hide benefits


COVID-19 Report Bundle


30-day Access to the COVID-19 Global Response Index and Global Race to Vaccinate report

Looking for group access? Contact us directly

New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million