Japan has expressed readiness to ship more than a million shots of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine at no cost to Taiwan as requested by the East Asian nation, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Friday.
“In response to Taiwan’s request, Japan will supply 1.24 million doses of coronavirus vaccine free of charge. During the Great East Japan Earthquake, the residents of Taiwan were among the first to respond and send help. This is fresh in our memory. Therefore, we send [the vaccine] as a sign of this important partnership and friendship”, Motegi said at a press conference.
The Japanese government has already had a contract for 120 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccines, but decided not to rollout it across the country due to reports of blood clots.
The Great East Japan Earthquake with a 9.0 magnitude rocked the country on 11 March 2011, sparking a powerful tsunami that devastated the region. Natural disasters caused thousands of deaths.