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【Online Interview Series】No. 1: Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of The Detroit News (U.S.) 

post date : 2020.06.08

Online Interview Series

”How Has the World Been Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic?”


~No. 1: Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of The Detroit News (U.S.) ~








The COVID-19 pandemic has rampaged across the world. In response to this pandemic, different countries have been taking measures such as stay-at-home orders, working from home, and social distancing in order to prevent the spread of infection, leading to significant changes in our lifestyles. How have nations around the world viewed this crisis, and what measures are they taking to overcome it? The FPCJ has been holding online interviews with foreign journalists familiar with Japan about the pandemic in Japan and overseas, including what measures have been implemented in their countries and how their lifestyles have changed. 

The first interview in this series was held with Mr. Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of The Detroit News (U.S.). Mr. Finley came to Japan in March 2018, and primarily covered Japan-U.S. relations and the TPP. During his trip to Okinawa, which he had a personal interest in due to his father having participated in the Battle of Okinawa, he had a “wonderful encounter” with a local volunteer of the same age, and published an article about Okinawa. 

In this interview, Mr. Finley commented on the spread of infection in nursing homes in Michigan and how the local economy was affected.

*Please be aware the video suffers from some feedback issues. 


【Full Text of Interview】

 Q1. How do you view the Japanese response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I'm watching from a far, but it seems to me that the cooperation between the government and people was much greater and I think that allowed you all to move through this a little faster perhaps than other countries including our own. I do think there was a greater understanding, of the danger, and perhaps a greater trust in what the government was trying to do. I also think the customs of Japan work in your favor when dealing with a pandemic like this.


When I was there a while ago it was obvious people are comfortable wearing masks. The people are already wearing masks handshaking not as common in Japan as it is in other countries, particularly at US, we shake hands constantly and I think that contributed here to the spread of the disease.


You have a greater sense of hygiene perhaps than in other places. And I think all of these things worked in Japan's favor and stopping us from getting so much out of control in the beginning.



Q2. How has life in Detroit changed with the COVID-19 pandemic? 

We have been under the most restrictive shutdown orders in the nation. And while other states have largely reopened were very very slow and the reopening is causing a lot of friction between the people and the governor here, because other states are moving ahead. We mishandled badly the way we treated nursing home patients, our nursing homes were ordered to take in COVID-19 patients, which caused the virus to range through a very vulnerable population and many states did that, and we know a 30 to 40% of the deaths in this country came from nursing homes. So we didn't do as well protecting our most vulnerable population in Michigan.


I think we went a little too far and shutting everything, it’s been very damaging to our businesses, particularly, small businesses, our restaurants, retail shops, even our manufacturing plan, really done considerable damage I think we've got on the order of 40%, of the people in this state, not working now. And that is causing tremendous hardship.


It's causing hardship for the state and local community as well because their attachments, are well down and now we don't know if we're going to be able to fully fund schools. And when we opened in the fall, is really been damaging for us here in Michigan and Detroit.




The Detroit News

A daily paper founded in 1873. It is one of the two largest papers in Detroit, along with the Detroit Free Press. 

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