JAPAN: Political stakes high as vaccination program begins

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Japan has begun its vaccination program, starting with a limited campaign targeting frontline medical workers. Supply constraints could limit the government’s ability to expand the campaign beyond medical workers in the near term. The vaccination campaign presents Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga with an opportunity to reverse his political fortunes, but he will have to contend with logistical and communications challenges. In a television appearance on Sunday, 21 February, Taro Kono, the minister responsible for overseeing Japan’s vaccination program, acknowledged the potent
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