Japan accepts 2 million masks from Taiwan

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga thanks Taiwan for support

Two million Taiwanese masks arrived in Japan Tuesday April 21 

Two million Taiwanese masks arrived in Japan Tuesday April 21  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan thanked Taiwan as 2 million masks arrived at Tokyo’s Narita Airport Tuesday (April 21) to help in the country’s fight against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo expanded the state of emergency from seven prefectures to all of the country’s 47 prefectures last week in an effort to contain the virus. Taiwan meanwhile has donated millions of face masks to some of the worst-affected regions in the world, including the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia.

The island’s representative in Japan, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), and prominent pro-Taiwanese Diet member Furuya Keiji (古屋圭司) were on hand at the airport Tuesday to witness the arrival of 2 million surgical masks, while Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide (菅義偉) expressed gratitude for the “warm support and assistance” at a government news conference, Liberty Times reported.

When the boxes arrived at Narita on a China Airlines flight, they were draped in red banners reading “Taiwan can help” and “Taiwan-Japan Friendship.” The masks will be distributed nationwide with the help of local governments and schools within three days, Furuya said.