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Health ministry team to compile report on response to chemical terrorism for Olympics

It was learned on April 23 that a research team of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) (chaired by Director Yuichi Koido of the Clinical Research Institute, Disaster Medical Center) is compiling a report on response to chemical terrorism during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The report will recommend countermeasures such as the stockpiling of antidotes and their rapid delivery. It will also deal with concrete scenarios such as the spraying of sarin at sporting events. The recommendations will be ready as soon as May, and the MHLW will study the specific preparations to be made based on them.

 

A large number of foreign visitors are expected to visit Japan during the Olympic Games. There is concern that terrorist attacks with chemicals may occur at “soft targets” such as sports arenas, subways, and tourist spots. Koido said: “It is necessary to review the government’s stockpiles of antidotes ahead of the Olympics based on the present stock levels.”

 

The research team will inspect stocks at 150 hub hospitals for disaster response and wholesalers of pharmaceuticals in Tokyo to determine the gaps between the required amounts and current stocks. Seven additional facilities, such as central hospitals for regional disaster response, in the 23 wards of Tokyo are being considered as stockpiling sites. (Abridged)

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