• Kyodo

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Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday reiterated his country’s readiness to begin exports to and production in Japan of the Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.

Galuzin said earlier this year Russia had proposed the vaccine supply to Japan and was awaiting a response from the Japanese government.

His remarks come at a time when Japan, where Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is the only one approved for use and those of Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC are set to be approved Friday, is struggling to speed up vaccination of health care workers and the elderly before starting a rollout to the wider population.

“We are ready for cooperation with Japan with regard to the Sputnik vaccine,” Galuzin told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo.

The ambassador said the Russian vaccine has already been approved for use in about 65 countries and several of them including India are locally producing it.

As for the long-running territorial issue between the two countries, Galuzin said there is no change in Russia’s position of prioritizing economic cooperation in such fields as tourism and fisheries.

Japan and Russia have yet to conclude a post-World War II peace treaty due to their spat over the Moscow-held, Tokyo-claimed islands off Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, known as the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kurils in Russia.

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