11 million 'Abenomasks' in government stockpile found defective

Japan Times -- Dec 21
Some 11 million, or 15%, of 71 million cloth face masks in stock prepared by the Japanese government in the early stage of the novel coronavirus crisis but left unused have been found defective, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday.

The substandard masks were found in inventory inspections by the health ministry, Kishida said at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet.

The so-called Abenomask were procured at the initiative of then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe amid a mask shortage during the pandemic.

At the meeting, Kishida also said his government has spent a total of ¥2.92 billion in additional costs for mask inspections by the ministry and suppliers.

“We’ll consider appropriate measures from the standpoint of cost-effectiveness, including distributing the inventory to care facilities as needed,” he said, reiterating his plan to distribute them.

岸田総理大臣は安倍政権で配布された布製マスク、いわゆる「アベノマスク」の在庫について、希望者に配布し、有効活用を図ったうえで年度内をめどに廃棄する方針を明らかにしました。 - ANNnewsCH