TOKYO – Japan will become the world’s third-largest provider of COVID-19 vaccine doses, with donations to 20 countries and regions set to reach 30 million following another planned delivery to Taiwan, the foreign minister said Tuesday.
Japan has been providing domestically-made doses of AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine to other countries and regions that need them. An additional 300,000 doses are scheduled to be delivered to Taiwan on Wednesday, bringing the total to 4.2 million.
Vietnam and Indonesia, which have close relations with Japan, are also among the recipients, each having received 4 million doses.
Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged in June to donate 30 million doses. Japan has seen its daily confirmed COVID-19 cases falling sharply in tandem with rising vaccination rates.
“We hope that the provision of vaccines from Japan will help prevent a further spread of coronavirus infections,” Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said in a press conference.
With equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines a challenge, developed nations with ample supplies are giving doses to other countries. The United States and China have been stepping up such vaccine diplomacy.