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Coronavirus

Japan Self-Defense Forces start mass-vaccination mission

PM taps 'last bastion' to inoculate people 65 and older as Olympics near

Japanese Prime Minister Suga speaks to the media after visiting a large vaccination center in Tokyo on May 24. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- Japan deployed its Self-Defense Forces on Monday to aid in its vaccination drive, offering a much needed helping hand to accelerate inoculations of COVID-19 vaccines targeted at 36 million people over the age of 65.

Medical officers and nurses will be stationed at two vaccination sites in Tokyo and Osaka. The reinforcements arrive as frustrations mount over the slow progress of vaccine distribution and prolonged business restrictions under the state of emergency.

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