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Contemporary Peace Research and Practice Policy Brief  No.81 - June, 2020

National Security System Recheck: Comparison of the response of Taiwan, South Korea and Japan to COVID-19

This policy brief is based on a security perspective and aims to evaluate the following aspects of COVID-19 responses: 1) institutional and legal preparation; 2) recognition of an ongoing crisis; 3) response networks including the use of information communication technologies (ICTs); 4) transparency and credibility; and 5) learning from past and ongoing experiences. The empirical study focuses on three countries, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, because they have relatively mild infection rates compared with those of some European countries and the United States. This article concludes that high-level awareness is necessary to manage a non-traditional security threat and that a response system endorsed by leadership to act based on a legal framework is essential. Mature civil society is essential for resilience, and ICT tools as part of smart city programmes are necessary to improve the efficiency of the response system.