09/08/2021, 10.25
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Tokyo, Covid-19: 150 million doses of Novavax ordered

Vaccines will be distributed starting in 2022. The response to the pandemic and income inequality central to former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, officially a candidate in the leadership race of the Liberal Democratic Party. Former Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi is also expected to announce her candidacy by today.



Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Japan has purchased 150 million doses of the US vaccine Novavax that will be distributed from the beginning of 2022, it was announced yesterday by the Japanese Ministry of Health. The comunique added that the pharmaceutical company Takeda will be responsible for the production of the vaccine in the country once it receives approval from the same ministry.

Yesterday, 10,634 new Covid-19 infections and 62 deaths were recorded. Thanks to the extension of the state of emergency to several prefectures since the end of August, when Japan had reported nearly 25 thousand new cases in one day, the infections have begun to fall.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated income disparities, according to former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who has announced his candidacy for the Liberal Democratic Party's internal elections that will designate Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's successor on September 29.

Others expected to announce tehir candidacy in the race include Administrative Reform Minister Taro Kono, who is favored by polls, and former Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi.

Presenting his own economic proposals, Kishida explained that neo-liberalism and deregulation, fostered by reforms in the early 2000s, have widened the gap between rich and poor in Japan. "Without wealth distribution, there will be no increase in consumption and demand, no further growth," he said. The former minister also reiterated the need for an economic stimulus package of "tens of trillions of yen" to counter the effects of the pandemic. 

According to local media, Takaichi enjoys the support of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. If elected, she would be the first woman in Japanese history to serve as prime minister. Coming from the more conservative wing of the party, polls currently place her rather low. Takaichi has stated that she wants to work on issues left unresolved by previous administrations, such as reaching 2% inflation and introducing legislation "to prevent the leakage of sensitive information to China".

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