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March 23, 2022

Researchers Point to First Pandemic-Related “Excess Deaths” in April 2021

Using vital statistical data issued by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Senior Fellow Shuhei Nomura, Senior Fellow Daisuke Yoneoka, and other researchers have ascertained estimates of the number of “excess deaths”—likely related to COVID-19—in Japan between January and June 2021.

In a paper published in February 2022 in Public Health, the researchers note that Japan has had a relatively few COVID-related deaths per population compared with other high-income countries, with several studies reporting no excess all-cause deaths during 2020. The first report of excess all-cause deaths was in the week of April 12–18 in 2021 during the fourth wave and continued through mid-June, with the highest excess percentage occurring in the week of May 31–June 6.

The higher figures for these periods, the authors conclude, may also reflect the deaths of non-infected people owing to the social and economic disruption induced by the pandemic.

“Excess deaths from COVID-19 in Japan and 47 prefectures from January through June 2021,” Public Health, Volume 203, February 2022
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033350621004546?via%3Dihub

Profile of Senior Fellow Shuhei Nomura
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=654

Profile of Senior Fellow Daisuke Yoneoka
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/en/experts/detail.php?id=675

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