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Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that the total number of face masks supplied in Japan is expected to reach one billion by the end of this month.

Speaking at a news conference, he said that about 50 percent of such masks will be made in Japan.

Domestic demand for face masks remains high amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We would like to boost domestic production as much as possible, as well as introduce every other measure, including diversifying import sources,” Suga said.

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