The government is pushing ahead with the distribution of its much derided masks even though commercially made masks are now readily available, prompting a renewed outcry on social media.

Dubbed the "Abenomask," which means Abe's mask and is a pun on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Abenomics program, the washable gauze mask has been criticized as ill-fitting with quality issues and as a waste of public money.

First introduced amid a mask shortage as the coronavirus spread in Japan, some 130 million have been distributed to households and the government is still working on sending out 80 million of a planned 157 million to facilities such as nursing homes and day care centers.