Former Vaccine Minister Kono Vocal over Booster Rollout

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)--Taro Kono, the former Japanese minister in charge of COVID-19 vaccinations, is increasingly making demands to the government over its rollout of booster shots.

Kono, currently chairman of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Public Relations Headquarters, is seen to be irritated by the slow pace of inoculations under the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The former minister's experience in accelerating the rollout of first and second shots when he was in charge under Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is believed to be behind his impatience.

After Kishida unveiled Monday his government's target of vaccinating one million people per day, Kono told people close to him of his frustration that the target was not 1.2 million.

He is increasingly interfering with the government's vaccination approach behind the scenes, telling officials at the prime minister's office that the rollout should be "done the same way we did it" under the Suga administration and that "vaccination vouchers should be distributed quickly."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press