Senior vice defense minister Yasuhide Nakayama said Monday that the government has decided to set up a state-run mass vaccination center at the Osaka International Convention Center.

He made the announcement during a news conference in Osaka after inspecting two candidate sites in Osaka on Monday as the country seeks to speed up its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The government aims to start vaccinations at the site from May 24.

With Japan lagging behind other advanced countries in its rollout, the government plans to set up large-scale inoculation centers in Tokyo and Osaka to be staffed by Self-Defense Forces doctors and nurses, separately from similar vaccination efforts being made by local municipalities.