03/09/2021, 09.46
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Tokyo allocates $ 41 million to vaccinate 25 Asia-Pacific countries

Vaccines to be distributed through the UN Children's Fund. The goal is to create a "cold-chain" distribution network in the nations that will benefit from it. The Japanese government has already committed $ 200 million to the Covax global program. Japan, USA, India and Australia respond to Chinese vaccine diplomacy.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Japanese government has allocated 4.5 billion yen (41 million dollars) to encourage the distribution of vaccines against Covid-19 to 25 Asian and Pacific countries, the Foreign Ministry has announced.

The aid will be distributed through the United Nations Children's Fund to create a "cold chain" - a distribution system for ensuring that medicines are supplied and stored at certain temperatures.

Philippines, Thailand, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, East Timor and Vietnam are among the Asian countries that will benefit from the funds; the remaining are mostly small states of Oceania: Cook Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Japan has already committed 200 million dollars to Covax, the world program created by the UN to vaccinate the populations of developing countries. Its goal is to ensure the distribution of 2 billion doses by the end of this year.

The partners of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue), which includes the US, India, Japan and Australia, seem to be oriented towards developing their own "vaccine diplomacy", to counter China’s attempts to broaden its global sphere of influence through the offer of vaccines.

The Asian nations that will benefit from the Japanese donation are all partners of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping's great project to make Beijing the hub of world trade. The Pacific islands that are part of the Tokyo program, on the other hand, have long been attracted by Chinese investment promises.

According to press reports, India has proposed that Quad countries to join forces to contain Beijing's healthcare "soft-power". In Delhi's plans, its three partners are expected to invest in India's vaccine manufacturing chain, which would then be distributed to poorer nations.

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