Recently, Russia's ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, has been busy conducting sales diplomacy in Kasumigaseki and Nagatacho. “We have started production of the world’s fastest developed coronavirus vaccine. Please try using the Russian vaccine.”

His efforts follow President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that regulatory approval had been granted to Sputnik-V, a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamelaya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in coordination with the Russian Defense Ministry.

Apparently, Russia has already begun vaccinating medical workers. Vaccinations for the general public are scheduled to become available early next year. The vaccine is given in two doses, and maintains immunity in recipients for about two years. During his announcement, Putin also revealed that one of his daughters had been inoculated — a move that evoked images of Russian Empress Catherine the Great’s voluntary vaccination against smallpox in 1768.