The Japanese government, like much of Japanese culture, is change and risk averse. My Japanese friends told me the following;
The Japanese government is;
Scared to implement change, in case the change fails.
Run by old men and respect is gained through age. No-one really wants to ‘stand out’ from the other old men.
Also, Japanese people don’t like to rock the boat, so accept the status quo. The saying is Shougani” – “What can you do?“
If you have ever lived in Japan you may have seen that the media is very very different to more western countries, it tends to not criticise the government so they get a bit of a free pass.
If you put these together you can see how difficult it is to honestly control a pandemic.
NB: I appreciate that these are generalities and do not translate to all Japanese people.