Japan provides 1 billion dollars to COVAX scheme: Huge debt and little help at home

Japan provides 1 billion dollars to COVAX scheme: Huge debt and little help at home

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Japan is blighted by enormous debt and a government under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who can support the international community but provide little at home. Thus the announcement that Japan will provide another 800 million dollars – with 200 million dollars already provided – takes Japan’s commitment to the international Covid-19 COVAX scheme to 1 billion dollars (just under one-eighth of the entire total needed).

Only 3 percent of the population in Japan have had the required two vaccine shots that increase protection against coronavirus (Covid-19). Similarly, while healthy Japanese athletes partaking at the planned Olympics are prioritized, the majority of the elderly population and other vulnerable groups are still waiting to be vaccinated. Therefore, like usual, Japan is neglecting people who face internal economic hardship concerning the ongoing coronavirus crisis – while the pension system is inadequate for vast numbers of people.

NHK reports, Suga uttered “…more solidarity and commitment will be needed to overcome the global crisis. He said that Japan will fully support the safe, fair and effective distribution of vaccines to as many people as possible.”

Of course, to Suga, this “safe, fair, and effective distribution” includes giving priority to healthy athletes partaking in the Olympics over vulnerable groups who are still waiting to be vaccinated twice. In other words, grand words from the leader of Japan. However, only 3 percent are fully vaccinated in Japan, athletes prioritized for the Olympics, and still no internal Japanese vaccine.

Lee Jay Walker said, “At a time when people in Japan need economic support – especially the low-wage, temporary workers, part-time workers, single-parents, poor pensioners, and others – the government of Suga is more concerned about the Olympics, increasing the military expenditure, supporting the international coronavirus campaign (COVAX), and other grand plans. Yet people in Japan desire to be vaccinated and for the government to help people struggling rather than neglecting their plight.”

The international COVAX program to assist poorer nations is a noble aim. Yet, with Japan providing just below one-eighth of all international funding for COVAX despite enormous internal debt – alongside a slow internal vaccination program and still not one Japanese coronavirus vaccine being used – then why are taxpayers in Japan being put at the bottom of Suga’s list?

https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis

https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics


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