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Abe pledged to buy U.S. ventilators in teleconference with President Trump in early May

Tuesday’s Asahi asserted that Prime Minister Abe agreed during a teleconference with President Trump on May 8 to purchase U.S. ventilators in response to an earlier proposal by the U.S. government. According to several GOJ sources, Washington asked Tokyo in early May whether it would be interested in buying “excess” ventilators produced by U.S. manufacturers. While the GOJ initially turned down the offer on the grounds that Japan has a sufficient supply of ventilators, the Kantei later reportedly decided to purchase them to prepare for a possible “second wave” of infections. Arrangements are reportedly underway to purchase some 1,000 American ventilators, with one GOJ source reportedly saying: “It’s better to have additional supplies…. They are much cheaper than Japanese ventilators.” President Trump was reportedly very pleased with the premier’s pledge.

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