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The government is preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines to Japanese citizens living abroad starting as early as August, officials said.

The government plans to vaccinate such individuals free of charge at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture when they re-enter the country, the officials said.

The move is in response to requests from citizens overseas who are concerned about the safety of vaccines approved by the countries where they live.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the Diet in April that the government would help overseas residents get vaccinated.

In late April, the Foreign Ministry set up an office with about 10 staff members to make preparations, including surveying demand for such vaccinations.

Some citizens living overseas are concerned about the safety of vaccines other than those that have been approved for use in Japan.

In addition, some are concerned about whether they will be able to receive sufficient medical care if they develop severe side effects from vaccinations in their countries of residence.

The government plans to start vaccinating citizens living overseas after more progress is made with the inoculation campaign for residents of Japan, the officials said.

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