All national dailies reported on a finding by the Board of Audit that some 83 million of the cloth masks procured by the GOJ during the pandemic last year have gone unused. The number of “Abenomasks” and other masks that were in storage as of March accounted for almost 30% of the 290 million masks the GOJ had intended to distribute to every household in addition to nursing homes and childcare facilities amid the acute shortage of disposable masks. The GOJ reportedly earmarked some 600 million yen ($5.3 million) for keeping them in storage. During a press conference yesterday, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Isozaki dismissed the view that the highly controversial mask delivery initiative ended up being a huge waste of taxpayer money by saying that supply and demand of face masks was extremely tight then. “It was appropriate at the time,” the government spokesperson was quoted as saying.