At the time of this writing, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is providing weekly updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in English via YouTube. If you live outside of Japan, this might not seem like a big deal. However, any foreigner living in Japan knows that frequent English communication coming directly from high-level public officials is rare.
Considering that Tokyo’s non-Japanese residents make up less than 4% of the prefecture’s population, it would have been understandable if the government only updated the public in Japanese, letting the media translate and disseminate these announcements to the English-speaking public.
Thankfully, the governor realized that in times of crisis, not all decisions should be made based on a cost-benefit analysis. These bilingual announcements promote an inclusive culture in Tokyo. A society where everyone feels included is a society where everyone, regardless of nationality, will work together and do what it takes to overcome crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic.