Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of COVID-19 measures, told NHK public television’s weekly talk show Sunday that about 60% of the population is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of September, on par with current levels in Europe.
The government is studying a roadmap for easing restrictions around November when a large majority of the population is expected to be fully vaccinated. That would allow fully vaccinated people and those who test negative to travel, gather for parties, or attend mass events.
Although progress is being made, infections from virus variants spread explosively in August among younger generations still largely unvaccinated, severely straining health care systems.
Japan has done much better than other developed countries in curbing illnesses and deaths without a lockdown. It has counted more than 1.65 million cases and 16,700 deaths.
– Ella Breedlove