In the press review of this Wednesday, September 2, we will discuss: the covid-19 vaccination campaign for 2021, the candidacy of Yoshihide Suga to succeed Shinzô Abe, and finally the record death rate in Tokyo due to the heat.
Free covid-19 vaccine for 2021
While some countries have officially approved covid-19 vaccines even before the second phase of the test, such as China and Russia, Japan is gearing up for a mass vaccination campaign. The Japanese government hopes to receive the vaccine in the first half of 2021 and would like to distribute it free to all residents, in order to limit the number of severe cases and deaths, and ensure access to it for all. Today the Minister of Health, Katsunobu Katô, said regarding the funding that “We will draw a conclusion on financial support based on our discussions and the nature of the vaccines”. Experts remain cautious, however, and warn that there is no guarantee that the vaccine will be fully effective.
Suga joins the election race
Cabinet Secretary General Yoshihide Suga today confirmed his candidacy to succeed Prime Minister Shinzô Abe, currently head of the Liberal Democratic Party which holds power in Japan. He could win nearly 70% of the votes of party members, confirming his position as favorite. The election race will officially start on September 8 and the election will take place at a plenary meeting of party members on September 14.
A record death rate after the heatwave
During the month of August, the Japanese capital suffered a record 187 people who died due to the heat. These numbers have been recorded every summer since 2007, and the highest data was from July 2010 with 137 deaths. Last month, people over the age of 70 accounted for 82% of deaths and 85% of them did not have an air conditioner in their home. Having had no reports of deaths during the month of July, forensic scientists concluded that the August figures were due to a significant temperature difference.