Japan to Consider Hospital Ships amid Coronavirus Crisis

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Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will reopen an investigation into whether to introduce hospital ships that offer medical treatment during disasters, according to officials at the Cabinet Office.

The move follows heightened calls for the introduction of such ships to address the spread of the new coronavirus in the country, the officials said. The Cabinet Office plans to compile a report by the end of March next year.

The investigation will look into the necessary functions on hospital ships and the methods for maintaining medical staff onboard during disasters, as well as how to manage the ships when they are not necessary.

At a parliamentary meeting in February, health minister Katsunobu Kato stressed the need to consider the use of hospital ships. A suprapartisan group of lawmakers was recently formed to promote the introduction of such ships.

In a press conference on Friday, Ryota Takeda, minister for disaster management, said the government will study the matter seriously to contribute to the safety of citizens' lives.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press