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Japan's largest business lobby has secured about 260,000 high-performance masks donated by its member companies to ease the shortage of personal protective equipment at medical institutions caused the coronavirus crisis, sources said Saturday.

Keidanren, also known as the Japan Business Federation, plans to distribute the masks to medical institutions through the government and the Japanese Red Cross Society, the sources said.

Keidanren is soliciting donations of N95 and DS2 high-performance masks that can prevent infection via coronavirus droplets.

The United States has limited exports of such masks amid fierce international competition to acquire them amid the pandemic

The business lobby called on its 1,400 or so member companies Monday to donate any stockpiled masks.

Companies including Sumitomo Chemical Co. and Daiwa Securities Group Inc. complied with the request.

Keidanren is also seeking donations of dustproof clothes and goggles used at semiconductor-manufacturing plants for use at medical institutions handling patients with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.

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