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Japan's prime minister thanks Taiwan for medical equipment aid

Medical supplies reciprocal act of gratitude for Japan’s generous COVID vaccine donations

Taiwan gifts Japan medical equipment. 

Taiwan gifts Japan medical equipment.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan’s prime minister, Suga Yoshihide, on Thursday (Sept. 16) expressed his gratitude to Taiwan for its medical supply donations and stressed the strong bond between the two countries.

Japan and Taiwan have developed a firm friendship from helping each other in the event of natural disasters and pandemics, and the equipment pledged by Taiwan will be used wisely, Suga said in a tweet, both in Chinese and Japanese.

Taiwan has announced a donation of 10,000 pulse oximeters and 1,008 oxygen concentrators to the East Asian neighbor. The aid is intended as a token of gratitude for Japan, which has gifted Taiwan over 3.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Taiwan’s representative to Japan.

Hsieh noted that local media have suggested there is growing demand for oxygen devices as many COVID patients recuperate at home, hence the aid from Taiwan. Taiwan's people have also thanked Japan in different ways, from running ads in Japanese newspapers to the landmark skyscraper, Taipei 101, displaying flashing thank you messages, wrote CNA.

Japan's vaccine donations have arrived as Taiwan scrambles to inoculate its people against the virus after a local COVID surge in mid-May. As of Wednesday (Sept. 15), over 12.7 million doses have been administered, with 48.97% of the population having received one shot, according to official figures. However, only 5.22% of Taiwanese are fully vaccinated.