In the press review on Monday, May 10, we will discuss: the Prime Minister calls for an acceleration of the approval of new vaccines, the Japanese people against the Olympics and the creation of recycled plastic figures.

Suga calls for accelerated vaccine approval

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday that the government should speed up the approval process for vaccines against COVID-19, as Japanese drug makers lost ground to their foreign rivals. “We need to consider revising the system to approve trials faster”, said Suga at a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. In Japan, Shionogi and several other companies have developed vaccines against the coronavirus, but large-scale clinical studies have been a major obstacle to the approval and marketing of domestic vaccines. To be approved, a vaccine must pass a clinical study involving tens of thousands of participants, during which its effectiveness is evaluated. But, as more and more people acquire immunity to the virus, thanks to advances in vaccination programs and the spread of infections, it should become increasingly difficult to recruit a sufficient number of subjects who do not have immunity. .

The Olympics, a source of contention

International Olympics officials, Tokyo organizers, and Suga himself have insisted that the Games will run smoothly. “Safe and secure”. Foreign spectators have been banned, and organizers last month released detailed regulations aimed at preventing coronavirus infections. A survey carried out this weekend by TBS News found that 65% of those surveyed wanted Olympic Games be canceled or postponed again, 37% voting for the outright cancellation of the event and 28% asking for a further postponement. Asked at a meeting whether the Games will continue even though infections at COVID-19 are experiencing a peak, Suga replied : “I have never put the Olympics first, my priority has been to protect the life and health of the Japanese people. We must first prevent the spread of the virus ”. He repeated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has the final say on the fate of the Games and that the role of government is to take action so that they can take place safely. The senior official of the Olympic Games, John coates, said on Saturday that while Japanese sentiment towards the Games “Was worrying”, he saw no scenario in which the sporting event could not take place.

Recycled Gundam figures

Toy maker Namco Bandai recently started a project to recycle discarded plastic parts from its scale models, based on the popular Japanese sci-fi animated television series. Mobile Suit Gundam, as part of its effort for the environment. The company plans to reuse plastic waste to make other plastic products, including models Gundam, as well as for the production of thermal energy. The models Gundam, known as “Gunpla”, a Japanese term combining “Gundam” and “Plastic”, have been very successful, with cumulative sales exceeding 700 million games worldwide in March of this year. According to an estimate of Namco Bandai, up to 2,000 tonnes of waste are generated from the 7,000 tonnes of plastic used to produce its flagship products each year. “Gunpla is a product very popular with many people, so we started this recycling project with the desire to create a sustainable society with the fans”, a Namco Bandai spokesperson told Kyôdô News. The production plant, located in the department of Shizuoka, in the center of Japan, will benefit from a discount on its electricity bill from the electricity company to which Namco Bandai will sell the electricity produced by thermal energy as part of the recycling project.


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