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Japan to offer up to $100 million in aid to help Indo-Pacific nations fight COVID

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland April 4, 2022. Dawid Zuchowic/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

Japan plans to extend up to $100 million in aid to developing countries in the Indo-Pacific region to help them better battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday.

Hayashi made the comment to reporters on the sidelines of a Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers meeting in Germany, where discussion focused mostly on Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We will also discuss COVID-19 response at working dinner tonight. I will unveil a plan to offer up to $100 million in aid mainly to the Indo-Pacific, with focus on vaccination data management, border control and disposal of infectious waste," he said.

At the meeting, G7 foreign ministers have reaffirmed their resolve to crank up pressure on Russia through measures including further sanctions to have Moscow halt its aggression and withdraw troops from Ukraine immediately, Hayashi also said.

Russia calls its action in Ukraine a "special military operation".

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Alison Williams)

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