Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso, a 79-year-old die-hard Nationalist, responds to the question of why Japan has to complain about, relatively few Covid-19-victims, in a nutshell with the word "mindo," what can be "higher cultural level" to translate. The TV station TBS said, in turn, the Japanese language contains less Plosivlaute and create, therefore, a smaller virus transmitted droplets amount. Many Japanese are convinced that their good nutrition protect you better against the Coronavirus.
However, all of these Japanese theories do not explain why the infection and death rates, not only in Japan but in the whole of Asia are relatively low. China reported three Covid-19-Deaths per Million inhabitants, Japan seven, Pakistan six, South Korea and Indonesia five. Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Mongolia remained without a registered victim. For comparison: Germany 500 recorded 100 corona dead per Million inhabitants, the USA is almost 300, and the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
Alone with the various test numbers and counting this great a distance cannot be sufficiently justified. For example, South Korea, tested in Parking lots for its citizens in mass, while Japan tested a long time patient with four days of fever as well as contacts of Infected. Also other customs in many Asian countries, when you Greet and say good-bye without shaking hands may not be a Virus that is transmitted through the air, actually, is the decisive factor. Therefore, the focus of science is now to other differences between the West and the East, to the Coronavirus in the global stem.Contagious by Mutation?
So researchers at the Japanese Institute for infectious diseases found that the Virus Sars-CoV-2, with its regional spread genetically. The first infections in Japan and on the cruise ship "Diamond Princess" in the port of Yokohama from came clear of the Coronavirus from Wuhan in China. But the second wave of Infection in Japan as of April, had a Virus, which came with immigrants from Europe into the country. Studies of the University of Cambridge confirmed this result. Perhaps the Virus in Europe and the Americas was infectious by a Mutation, and said a US team of researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Emeritus Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama, a physician of the leading University of Tokyo, pointed to studies of the immunology Institute, La Jolla the University of California. After that, many people in East Asia seem to have effective antibodies to the new Coronavirus. Many of the flu and corona viruses of the past had their origin in southern China and, in the case of the population in the neighbouring countries of virus-induced colds are caused. "Therefore, white blood cells, which can fend off related viruses such as Sars-CoV-2 to be found in your blood," said Kodama. The immune effect was not perfect, but with a certain amount of a similar type of Virus your body would clear.
Tasuku Honjo, Nobel prize winner for medicine, thinks in a similar direction. The people in Asia differ from the West are very strong in those genes that control the immune system's response to a Virus, said the Japanese immunologist. However, the people in East Asia, not be secure, warned the doctors Kodama. A mutated Virus might be for the population in the far East, as deadly as it is in Europe.doubts as to the factor of Obesity
However, convinced another in Japan, a popular explanation for the differences between the West and the East less. Supposedly, people in East Asia were protected due to the compulsory vaccination against tuberculosis, better, because of this strength the immune system against viruses in General, while the so-called BCG vaccination in Western countries is voluntary. However, the fact that the BCG vaccination coverage in France are just as high as in Japan, however, the French death rates for Covid-19 are much higher.
The assertion of Japan's nationalist Finance Minister Aso that Japan was the West, "culturally superior", is not likely to Bear only on the spread volunteers of the mouth and nose masks, but also to the generally higher people's health. Only four percent of the Japanese and five percent of South Koreans are obese, in Western Europe, this rate is according to WHO data, about 20 percent and in the U.S., about 36 percent. But for a direct connection between the death rate from Sars-CoV-2, and a high Overweight no scientific evidence so far.
Martin Fritz is DW correspondent and has lived for more than 20 years in Tokyo. His most recent book "Abc 4 Japan: A cultural guide" was published in 2020 in the Stämpfli Verlag.
author: Martin Fritz In the PCP In the
*The contribution "The Asian Corona-puzzles" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.Deutsche Welle Date Of Update: 11 June 2020, 16:26