Japan pledges $130 mil. for fair int’l access to COVID-19 vaccines

Oct 09 , 2020. 11 hours ago – 22:44 KYODO NEWS

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (far R) pictured during an online ministerial meeting on the promotion of health services on Oct. 8, 2020. (Pool photo)(Kyodo)

TOKYO –  Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that Japan will contribute more than $130 million to an international framework to ensure that developing countries have fair access to coronavirus vaccines.

The disbursement to the COVAX Facility is part of roughly $300 million in financial support Japan offered in June to the global vaccine alliance Gavi, which co-leads the facility, for five years from 2021.

“Japan places importance…on strengthening capabilities in response to the novel coronavirus, especially the development of vaccines and realizing fair access to them,” Motegi told an online ministerial meeting on the promotion of health services.

Japan has already extended more than $1.54 billion worth of aid to fight the global pandemic over a few months since February, Motegi said.

He also said Japan will promote the supply of coronavirus treatment drugs through international agreements on patent licenses, expand coronavirus testing capacity in developing countries and support their efforts to strengthen healthcare and medical systems.

The online meeting was organized by an international platform to promote universal health coverage launched in 2018.

Japan assumed co-chair at the meeting along with Thailand and Georgia.

CR:KYODO NEWS