Japan ruling party committee to urge giving AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan

TOKYO, May 28 (Reuters) - A Japan ruling party committee on Taiwan relations said on Friday it would call on the government to supply a portion of Japan’s AstraZeneca vaccine stock to Taiwan to help the island tackle a surge in coronavirus infections.

“We should provide Taiwan with vaccines as soon as possible,” the head of the policy group, Masahisa Sato said at a press briefing following a meeting of lawmakers. “When Japan was in need Taiwan sent us 2 million masks,” added Sato, who has served as a deputy defence minister and a deputy foreign minister.

The recommendation will be included in a set of proposals the policy group will give to Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, aimed at bolstering diplomatic and security ties with Taiwan as concern in Japan grows over China’s increasing pressure on the island.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Jacqueline Wong