"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Instructions by the Prime Minister regarding the COVID-19 Booster Shots

[Date] February 7, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

Instructions by the Prime Minister

The booster shots are the key to preventing the onset and severe illness of the COVID-19 when dealing with the highly infectious Omicron strain.

From February, we are making full-scale efforts to accelerate the vaccination schedule for the elderly with the Government, local governments and private companies working together to strengthen initiatives to increase the pace of vaccination to one million doses per day as early as possible in February.

Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and Ms. Horiuchi, Minister in Charge of Promoting Vaccinations, are requested to take the lead in making all-out efforts in cooperation with other ministers.

In particular, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications is asked to request each local government to cooperate with the Government, other municipalities and private companies to achieve the target of one million doses per day by promoting the distribution of vaccination coupons to those who are six months or more from their second dose and increasing the number of vaccination sites, thereby accelerating the vaccination schedule to the maximum possible extent through the full use of the vaccines that have been systematically distributed to local governments. Additionally, I request that efforts be made to carefully listen to the voices of those on the frontlines and offer them necessary support.

In the middle of this month, we will introduce vaccinations at workplaces. The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and others are requested to actively encourage private companies in the industries under their jurisdiction to fully utilize this system.

Vaccinations should also be promoted for essential workers in each community through the use of vaccines that have been distributed to local governments.

In particular, given the growing number of infections at day care centers and schools, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare are requested to urge prefectures and municipalities to actively promote vaccinations primarily for school personnel and nursery staff. I would also like to ask the Chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission and the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications to promote vaccinations for police officers and firefighters.

The Government, for its part, will support the efforts of local governments by raising the number of doses administered at large-scale vaccination sites operated by the Self-Defense Forces to the same level as last year under the supervision of the Minister of Defense, as well as improving the environment for the promotion of vaccinations by raising the doctor's fees for each dose administered at workplaces. I would also like to request that vaccinations be promoted for national public officers with priority given to those in charge of public safety and disaster management.

It is also important to be able to timely monitor whether preparations and actual vaccinations are properly underway. The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare and Minister Horiuchi are requested to coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies, as well as to monitor the status of distribution of vaccination coupons, request early entry of data into the VRS (Vaccination Record System) and monitor the records of vaccinations at workplaces.

With a clear goal set, the Kishida administration will ensure that the entire government will work together to provide vaccinations to those wishing to get vaccinated as soon as possible. I would like to ask the relevant ministers to make further efforts.