world-news

Japan’s Kishida vows tight borders, faster boosters for elderly

Japan’s Kishida vows tight borders, faster boosters for elderly

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan would bring forward booster shots for elderly people and maintain tight border controls as it tries to slow the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. “Regarding the vaccine, we will work to bring forward third doses for health workers and the elderly,” Kishida told a new years news conference Tuesday. “For those local authorities that are on track, we will bring forward vaccinations for the elderly once again, using 9 million doses that are on hand across the country.” He also said the border measures would remain strong, although he noted the policy would be reviewed next week.  The stakes are high for Kishida to get his response to the virus right, with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party facing upper house elections in July. Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stepped down in September after losing voter support for seemingly being out of tune with the public sense of urgency on the virus. The country has more recently enjoyed a respite from the worst of the infections. Yet with boosters still, months away for the bulk of the population, Japan risks a resurgence like those seen in many parts of the world. Just 0.4% of the Japanese population have received a third vaccine dose, according to the prime minister’s office. Japan’s ex-vaccine czar urges faster booster rollout Restrictions on activities may be introduced if hospitals come under strain, he said, adding he would take a cautious stance on re-introducing “Go-To” subsidies for domestic travel. Depending on symptoms, some of those infected may be supported to recover at home, rather than being admitted to hospital, Kishida said.  In November, Kishida reimposed border controls that ban new entries by foreigners due to concerns about omicron. The strictest measures among the Group of Seven advanced nations have helped minimize the number of infections brought in from overseas and bought time for preparation he said.  Xenophobia spills into Japan’s Covid-era debate on immigration Japan posted 673 new coronavirus infections Monday, more than double from a week ago and its highest since October. But the country still has some of the lowest infection numbers in the developed world, while an omicron-fueled wave pushed the U.S. to set a global daily record of coronavirus cases, with more than 1 million people diagnosed on Monday. The premier also said his government would introduce a five-year plan to bolster startups, including providing funding from the public purse. “Japanese capitalism needs new players for the future,” he said at the event held in the coastal city of Ise.  Kishida said he had been seeking to arrange to visit U.S. President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the near future, but would instead prioritize virus management at home. He has no plans to travel abroad before parliament opens later this month, he added. .

world-news 2022-01-05 hindustantimes