To deal with the risk of emerging diseases with many unknowns, close and timely collaboration and communication between science experts and policymakers are crucial to developing and implementing an eff ective science-based intervention strategy. The Expert Meeting, an ad hoc medical advisory body, was established in February 2020 to advise Japan's COVID-19 Response Headquarters. The group played an important role in the policymaking process, promoting timely situation awareness and developing sciencebased proposals on interventions that were promptly refl ected in government actions. However, this expert group may have been overly proactive in taking on the government's role in crisis management. For the next stage of managing the coronavirus disease pandemic and future pandemics, the respective roles of the government and its advisory bodies need to be clearly defi ned. Leadership and strategic risk communication by the government are key.
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