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Health minister indicates support for Taiwan’s participation in WHO

Yomiuri and Sankei wrote that Health Minister Kato delivered a speech via video at the World Health Assembly on Tuesday and made clear Japan’s support for Taiwan’s participation in the confab as an observer by saying: “We need to learn from the accomplishments of such regions as Taiwan on the public health front.” He also called for a “fair, independent, and comprehensive evaluation” of the global health watchdog’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the origin of the virus, and the routes of infection.

 

Yomiuri wrote that while Japan took a concerted line with the U.S. in demanding a probe into the WHO’s handling of the pandemic, Minister Kato carefully avoided criticizing China in the speech because the Abe administration is hoping to arrange a trip to Japan by Chinese leader Xi later this year. An unnamed senior MOFA official reportedly said: “It will be difficult to conduct an effective examination if we upset the Chinese.” The daily added that the Chinese government filed a protest over Foreign Minister Motegi’s comment at the Diet last week in reference to Taiwan’s possible participation in the World Health Assembly. Motegi had said: “Frankly speaking, China poses a problem.”

 

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