ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

Japan shortens ventilator screening to days to lure newcomers

Government counts on automakers and other manufacturers to help boost production

Japan hopes to address a potential ventilator shortage by removing regulatory barriers   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Seeking to put more ventilators into hospitals as fast as possible for coronavirus patients, Japanese regulators are streamlining quality screening for carmakers and other newcomers seeking to enter the field.

Initial on-site checks will be deferred for ventilators assembled by nonmedical manufacturers in partnership with ventilator producers, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced Monday. So the process will be completed in days via document-based reviews, instead of the four months or so typically needed.

Quality checks under the law on medical device safety will still be carried out later. The hope is that the accelerated process will encourage manufacturers of automobiles, electrical machinery and other products to team up with existing ventilator makers and repurpose factories.

Facing a potential shortage, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the government will initially "secure 15,000 ventilators and will further boost production."

Japan's auto industry has offered to provide manufacturing know-how to help ramp up ventilator production but no carmaker has come forward to start actual production. Since existing medical equipment makers alone will not be able to meet surging demand, the government hopes to encourage cross-industry partnerships.

The U.S. has already eased restrictions on materials and parts for ventilators to encourage entry by nonmedical manufacturers, with General Motors planning to start shipments by June. 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more