Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2022 12:00 PM


  • Rochelle Kopp, (Japan Intercultural Consulting)


State-level response to the Covid pandemic have varied significantly, ranging from differences in assessment (testing, diagnostic evaluation), quarantine protocols, vaccination rates, off-label treatment, and public compliance with government directives (mask-wearing, social distancing, isolation). Japan, like many Asian countries, has imposed strict policies with corresponding relatively low infection rates and less mortality than in many other countries. And yet despite general public acceptance of government recommendations, Japan was the slowest among the G-7 countries to implement vaccines, has never done comprehensive testing and is reluctant to fully open immigration to allow for general tourism, continuing to impose strict border control that is out of synch with international trends.

Walking the line between "the Hammer and the Dance" (as Tomas Pueyo has characterized it), how has Japan finessed its Covid response without imposing draconian measures that impinge on individual rights while adhering to a stubborn border policy that excludes immigration, even to its social and economic detriment? What does culture have to do with all of this and how can we understand Japan's Covid response without reverting to cultural explanations that elide political analysis and deny the importance of international norms?

In this Webinar, culture consultant Rochelle Kopp joins Kyle Cleveland to discuss how Japan's cultural characteristics - its values, tradition, peer-group norms and institutional practices - have influenced Japan's Covid response.

Webinar Access

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Date & Time:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 12:00


Kyle Cleveland, ICAS Co-Director

This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.

Rochelle Kopp


Rochelle Kopp


Rochelle Kopp is a management consultant specializing in cross-cultural communication, human resources, leadership and organization development. She works with Japanese companies doing business globally and global companies doing business in Japan or working closely with Japanese companies.

Rochelle helps Japanese companies be more successful in their global operations, supporting effective management practices, employee engagement, and cultural training and teambuilding.

Rochelle is author of The Rice-Paper Ceiling: Breaking Through Japanese Corporate Culture, Business Etiquette Japan, the upcoming Creating Engaged Employees in Japan, and over 35 books in Japanese. Rochelle writes frequently for publications in Japan and the U.S., including ongoing columns in the Asahi Shimbun, Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun, the Newsweek Japan website, and The Japan Times.

Prior to establishing Japan Intercultural Consulting, Rochelle worked at two U.S.-based international consulting firms, specializing in Japan-U.S. and other global projects. She holds a B.A. in History from Yale University, where her senior thesis was awarded the Williams Prize in East Asian Studies, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.

Rochelle has studied Japanese calligraphy (earning an assistant teacher’s certificate), Ohara and Sogetsu ikebana, taiko drumming, and Shinkendo swordfighting.