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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 11 - 17  > Finance Minister Aso calls COVID-19 'Wuhan virus'
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2020 March 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Finance Minister Aso calls COVID-19 'Wuhan virus'

March 12, 2020
Finance Minister Aso Taro and several Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers proclaim that the new coronavirus should be called "Wuhan virus", fueling discrimination and vicious rumors.

On March 10 at an Upper House committee meeting, Aso said, "The virus outbreak began in Wuhan. So, 'Wuhan virus' should be the accurate name." He used the term "Wuhan virus" five times during the meeting.

Following this remark, several LDP Dietmembers applauded Aso's opinion on Twitter. Nagao Takashi (House of Representatives) tweeted, "Wonderful! Mr. Finance Minister. China is manipulating information to give the impression that the spread of the virus around the world has been caused by unsuccessful handling by Japan and South Korea. So, it's necessary to call it the Wuhan virus." Yamada Hiroshi (House of Councilors) also tweeted, "It's just like you said! Finance Minister Aso has made a clear argument that it should be called the 'Wuhan virus'."

The World Health Organization (WHO), in order to prevent specific regions or ethnic groups from being discriminated against or becoming economically affected, adopts a policy of not naming an infectious disease after the place of origin. The WHO already named the new coronavirus-induced pneumonia "COVID-19".
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