Japan is expected to receive corona virus strains from several more SARS-hit areas in Asia as part of efforts to develop a vaccine, health minister Chikara Sakaguchi said Tuesday.

The areas, including Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam, responded positively to Japan’s request during bilateral talks held on the sidelines of a meeting of health ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Sakaguchi said. The meeting was held in Bangkok late last month.

Hong Kong has already provided Japan with a strain of the virus that is believed to be behind the bulk of the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic.

However, Japan has made little headway in SARS-related studies, including vaccine development, according to the minister of health, labor and welfare.

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