The government and manufacturers of face masks are facing a growing challenge to keep up with demand amid the coronavirus outbreak, fueling concern that shortages of such items will continue for some time and leading to frantic searches by many people for stores that still have supplies.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to ensure 600 million masks will be made available in Japan every month, but an industry body has cast doubt over that possibility.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.