Japan’s capital ranked fifth in the overall index and at the very top of the health security index, which measures factors like universal healthcare, pandemic preparedness, life expectancy, mental health and Covid-19 mortality. Though cases surged during the Olympics, rates have fallen dramatically as vaccinations have reached nearly 60% of the population. In light of the positive news, Japan announced the end of the federal state of emergency and the gradual lifting of restrictions as of the end of September 2021. In their place, the country plans to encourage the use of its vaccine passport for admittance to medical facilities and large events, and even encourage businesses to offer discounts or coupons to passport holders.
Tokyo also scored in the top five for its infrastructure security, which includes transport safety, pedestrian friendliness and transportation networks. As a walkable city connected by rail, Tokyo was built to encourage walking and community engagement – which has, in turn, led to a stronger citizen participation in security in the forms of neighbourhood crime prevention and watches, and a shared sense of responsibility for crime prevention.
“From the various lost-and-found centres at train stations to the almost unnecessary bike locks, there’s an immense amount of respect towards the wellbeing of others,” said Sena Chang, Tokyo resident and founder of The Global Youth Review magazine.
She recalls a time she lost her shopping bag in the heart of the city, only to find it in the same place she had left it, along with a kind note. “A centuries-long culture of collectivism and a great amount of respect for each other makes Tokyo the safest city I’ve lived in,” she said.
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