In the course of the 27th EU-Japan Summit on 27 May, the leaders of the EU represented by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, met with the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga. Discussions surrounded the three main pillars of the summit, namely, global issues, bilateral relations and foreign and security policy.
At the press conference following the summit, Ursula von der Leyen stated that, with regard to the response and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, “the European Union will continue to support the efforts to fight the pandemic, including by exporting vaccines. It is a sign of solidarity and a sign of friendship with Japan that so far the European Union has authorised more than 100 million doses to be exported to Japan. That is approximately enough to vaccinate 40% of the population.”.
Japan was not only amongst the countries with the slowest vaccine rollout at the end of April, but also the biggest importer of Covid-19 vaccines.
The joint statement also highlights that all parties present “[…]support the holding of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 in a safe and secure manner this summer as a symbol of global unity in defeating COVID-19.”.
The Games will be held in Japan’s capital from 23 July to 8 August under the strictest hygiene and coronavirus rules.