Tokyo, May 19 (Jiji Press)–Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Tuesday proposed deeper talks among the Group of Seven major powers to make COVID-19 drugs and vaccines available in developing countries quickly.
After a regular teleconference among the G-7 finance ministers, Aso told reporters that his counterparts sounded “more positive than expected” about a proposal for a better use of an international patent framework to tackle the issue.
How to support developing countries with fragile medical and fiscal systems is a key international problem that must be resolved amid the unabated coronavirus pandemic.
In the teleconference, Aso proposed making coronavirus drugs and vaccines available at affordable prices speedily in developing countries by providing a one-stop place for patent negotiations, instead of having developing countries negotiate individually with patent holders.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Treasury Department, the G-7 ministers discussed “domestic and international economic responses underway and strategies to accelerate economic activity” as their countries’ economies began reopening.
“We’ll respond in cooperation with our G-7 partners, aiming to realize powerful recovery in the Japanese and world economies,” Aso said.
The G-7 finance ministers hold a teleconference on the fight against the coronavirus every two to three weeks. The previous session took place April 30.