Tokyo’s donation of AstraZeneca jabs was a testament to Japan’s “deep-rooted” friendship with the Philippines, according to PM Suga.
On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that Tokyo’s donation of AstraZeneca jabs was a testament to Japan’s “deep-rooted” friendship with the Philippines.
According to Suga, the delivery of around one million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines was a “clear testament to the deep-rooted bonds of friendship” between the two nations.
Describing the Philippines as Japan’s “true friend closer than a brother”, Suga said that the two countries will work together in unison in order to overcome the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, Japan and the Philippines were commemorating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership as well.
“As we commemorate this year the 65th anniversary of the normalization of Japan-Philippines diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership, Japan will work to surpass the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in unison with the Philippines, a true friend closer than a brother,” Suga said in a statement released by the Japanese Embassy in Manila.
Japanese Embassy Economic Minister Nakata Masahiro joined vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go in welcoming the arrival of the Japan-manufactured AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
In a press briefing in Tokyo last June 15, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu announced the donation of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries in order to support the global effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two weeks later, the governments of the Philippines and Japan signed an agreement to formalize the vaccine provision.
“The quick dispatch of these pledged vaccines is seen to contribute to the Philippines’ goal of herd immunity, along with the recently approved project of Japan and the Philippines for cold chain facility development,” the Embassy of Japan said in a statement.
Last July 6, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to Manila Koshikawa Kazuhiko signed a JPY 687 million grant for the setting up of cold chain logistics facility in order to help the Philippines hasten the efficient and safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces.