With Japan lagging behind other wealthy nations in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics just two months away, the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is intent on accelerating the nation’s inoculation campaign. It has set for itself the rather ambitious goal of giving the nation’s population of older residents 1 million shots per day and give all 36 million of them a chance to get vaccinated by the end of July.

The 1 million shots a day goal, and the extent to which the central government has cracked the whip on municipalities, are the latest manifestations of Suga’s apparent frustration with the nation's slow-starting vaccination campaign.

Local governments will be vital in Japan’s endeavor to accomplish the target.