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Coronavirus

Japan teams with 400 companies to cut reliance on China medical goods

40% of generic-drug makers warn that supply chains could fail in six months

Much of Japan's supply of masks, gowns and gloves are imported from China. Protective gear is in short supply worldwide amid the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- As the coronavirus pandemic brings Japan's dependence on imported medical supplies to the fore, the government has started working with more than 400 domestic companies to bolster production at home.

Generic drugs is among the most vulnerable fields. Japanese producers import around half of their active ingredients from China, South Korea and elsewhere. But the virus has snarled customs procedures around the world.

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