A comparative study of COVID-19 responses in South Korea and Japan: political nexus triad and policy responses
This study aims to examine how South Korea (hereafter, Korea) and Japan, two neighboring countries in Northeast Asia, have been responding to and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
- Kohei Suzuki, M. Jae Moon, Tae In Park & Kentaro Sakuwa
- 18 March 2021
- A comparative study of COVID-19 responses in South Korea and Japan: political nexus triad and policy responses
Korea and Japan, neighboring democratic countries in Northeast Asia, announced their first COVID-19 cases in January 2020. The two countries have taken different approaches to fight the disease. The Korean government has taken an agile and proactive approach, while Japanese government policy is characterized by a cautious and restraint-based approach. Compared to many other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, however, both countries seem to have relatively low numbers of confirmed cases and deaths per million.
Applying the political nexus triad model, this study analyzes and compares institutional contexts and governance structures of Korea and Japan, then examines the differences in policy responses of the two Asian countries. This study first reviews the state of COVID-19 and examines changes in the conventional president-led political nexus triad in Korea and the bureaucracy-led political nexus triad in Japan. This study also examines how the differences in institutional contexts and governance structures shaped policy responses and policy outcomes of the two countries in managing the COVID-19 crisis and then offers conclusions and policy implications.
This article is published as one of the special issue articles in International Review of Administrative Sciences. Read the special issue here
Read the whole article here