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Japan vows to buy excess medical gear if companies raise output

Abe enlists industry giants to alleviate mask and ventilator shortage

Surplus protective gear, such as masks and gowns, and medical equipment would be purchased by the government to go into the nation's reserves.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday urged manufacturers of protective gear and medical equipment to boost output as part of the country's coronavirus response, promising to buy any excess materials.

Abe cited N95 masks, disinfectants, medical gowns and ventilators as "a critical necessity" for medical staff during a video meeting with executives from businesses such as health products maker Kao, cosmetics company Shiseido, Sony and Toyota Motor. Some of these companies are realigning production to begin making medical products.

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