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SoftBank brings coronavirus test service to individuals in Japan

App-based business signals technology investor's broader medical ambitions

SoftBank's PCR testing facility in Chiba Prefecture. With another facility in Hokkaido, the company can process around 13,000 tests per day. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- SoftBank Group on Wednesday made its coronavirus testing service available to individuals in Japan via an app offered by its cellphone service provider, a move that shows the investor's broader ambitions in the health care technology business.

The group last year began offering saliva-based polymerase chain reaction testing services for companies and local governments, using kits from Japan's Takara Bio and testing facilities in Chiba Prefecture, next to Tokyo, and Hokkaido. The facilities can process 13,000 tests per day, considered the private sector's largest coronavirus testing capacity in Japan.

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