Japan plans to step up its support for the delivery of coronavirus vaccines to developing countries in response to global spread of the Omicron variant.
The United Nations is calling for quicker distribution of vaccines, saying low vaccination rates in developing nations in Africa and elsewhere are behind the spread of the strain.
Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa has told reporters that even if Japan can contain infection, risks remain if the virus still exists elsewhere in the world. He said global efforts to control the virus are essential.
The government has pledged a one billion-dollar contribution to the COVAX Facility, an international framework seeking a fair distribution of vaccines.
Japan plans to provide up to 60 million doses, and has already provided half that amount.
The government plans to speed up the delivery of the rest to developing countries.