• Kyodo

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Some 2 million face masks donated by Taiwan arrived in Japan on Tuesday for delivery to public hospitals and special schools across the country in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move came after the Taiwanese government responded to a request from a cross-party group of lawmakers aimed at fostering friendly relations between Japan and Taiwan.

“We’d like to again express our sincere gratitude for the warm cheers and support from Taiwan,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference.

“We will continue boosting our cooperation with related countries and regions against the new coronavirus, which is a threat to all humankind,” the top government spokesman said.

Representatives from both Japan and Taiwan were present on the tarmac at Narita airport near Tokyo as they watched the masks being carried out of an aircraft.

Taiwan at one point lacked masks but has since achieved production of 15 million masks daily, and succeeded in meeting domestic demand after its government asked the private sector to increase mask production.

Taiwan also donated 10 million face masks to the United States, European nations and diplomatic allies earlier this month.

The pandemic has claimed over 270 lives in Japan so far, with nearly 12,000 infected. Taiwan had logged six deaths and 420 infected as of Sunday.

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