Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has quickly become an online meme following his announcement Wednesday evening that the government will distribute two cloth masks to every household in the nation, a policy many slammed as out of touch with reality.

Presiding over a COVID-19 meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, Abe revealed a batch of measures the government would be taking to alleviate the nationwide shortage of face masks, including plans to dole out 15 million surgical masks to medical institutions across the nation next week. He also said financial support for domestic manufacturers had led to a supply of 600 million masks last month.

But it was the unexpected distribution of two cloth — therefore washable — face masks to approximately 50 million households nationwide that has left many online aghast.