Tokyo donates another million Covid vaccines to Taipei
The delivery brings the Japanese donation of AstraZeneca doses to 2.2 million. A gift in recognition of Taiwanese aid after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The island also obtained 2.5 million vaccines from the US. Japanese Minister of Defense: Taiwan's security is linked to Japan’s.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Japan has donated another million vaccines against Covid-19 to Taiwan. During a press conference, the Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi explained today that the doses of the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca will be delivered by mid-July. The Japanese government has already offered 1.2 million doses of the same drug to the island, delivered in early June.
Taipei is a global leader in managing the coronavirus pandemic. However, since last month it has seen a sudden increase in infections. Of the 14,465 cases counted so far, 13,000 occurred after May 15.
Faced with the resurgence of the pulmonary disease, the Tsai Ing-wen administration has accelerated the vaccination campaign. At the moment Taipei has received 4.8 million doses of AstraZeneca: apart from those delivered by Japan, they include 2.5 million vaccines donated by the US. The Taiwanese government bought the remainder from the pharmaceutical companies and through Covax, the United Nations-run global distribution program.
Motegi specified that the donations are a thank you to Taiwan for its help to Japan after the country was brought to its’ knees by the 2001 earthquake and tsunami. Like the US, Tokyo has strengthened its support for the island, which China considers a rebel province to be reconquered.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said yesterday that Taipei's security "is directly linked to Japan, and that [Tokyo] closely monitors Taiwan-China relations, and Chinese military activities. ".
In fact, tension remains high along the Taiwan Strait. On June 22, a US destroyer sailed across the strait that divides the island from China: the sixth passage of an American warship in the area after Joe Biden took office in January. Last week, 28 Chinese military aircraft flew over the Taiwanese air identification zone, prompting a response from the Taipei Air Force.