Kishida advocates health security at GZERO Summit amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks in a video message for the virtual GZERO Summit on Wednesday in this screenshot from the summit’s website.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida advocated health security in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic, during an address Wednesday for the GZERO Summit.

The three-day virtual conference organized by the Eurasia Group and supported by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other organizations is being held through Thursday.

In his video message, Kishida stressed his intention to work on promoting vaccines, free PCR tests and oral antiviral drugs to address “risks that threaten the sustainability of our socioeconomic activities.”

Positioning these measures as “health security,” Kishida said, “we will … fundamentally strengthen the entire course of progression from prophylaxis and discovery to early treatment.”

Kishida also showed readiness to invest about ¥500 billion to develop and produce domestic vaccines and medicines, considering preparedness for new infectious diseases.

On the issue of climate change, Kishida wants to push forward investment toward a decarbonized society while reviewing restrictions in order to maximize the introduction of renewable energy.

“We will undertake a major transition that transforms climate change and other social issues common to all humankind into growth fields leading to new markets,” he said.

In response to a growing trend toward “G-Zero” — a world without global leadership — Kishida expressed his desire to work with the United States, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, India and other nations to realize the vision of a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”