Taro Kono said he expected to be able to get 10 million doses of vaccines each week in May but that the Olympics are not a factor in his scheduling.
For Elaine Lies's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Mixed signals from the games' organizers and a recent sexism scandal have left some would-be helpers lacking motivation.
Kono has seen his popularity surge even as the government of his boss, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, has been battered by criticism over the pandemic.
The tale of a boy fighting human-eating demons which murdered his family, "Demon Slayer" is poised to become Japan's top-grossing film ever, thanks to a boost in fan numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic and its message of resilience.
Negative tests next week could allow the reigning Olympic champion to participate in a planned four-nation meet at Yoyogi National Gymnasium on Nov. 8.
Banned from spas, hot spring resorts, some beaches and many gyms and pools, enthusiasts hope the presence of tattooed foreign athletes at next year's Tokyo Games will help sweep away suspicion surrounding their ink.
Yuzawa in Akita Prefecture has seen a decline in its fortunes in recent years, with a low birth rate and high death rate.
Yoshihide Suga, used to suits, a lectern and the trappings of the Japanese government, now finds himself on hip hop T-shirts and bags in his hometown, where the locals are celebrating the man expected to become prime minister in a few days. Designer Ippei Fujita ...
Hiroko Takahashi took to making masks after business dropped off when COVID-19 arrived in Japan.
Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have brought a more relaxed touch to one of the world's oldest monarchies, chatting in English with foreign visitors, laughing with children and even playing with dogs. They are the first imperial couple with university degrees, to speak several languages ...