King expresses appreciation to Japanese govt for contribution of AZ vaccines

Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia OKA Hiroshi (Centre) at the KLIA with Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin (Right), and Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (Left). Photo courtesy of Japanese Embassy Facebook.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 – Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today expressed his deep appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for their contribution of one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the country.

The vaccine, manufactured in Japan, arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) via Japan Airline JAL723 flight Thursday evening, a press release from the Japanese Embassy here on Thursday said.

Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia OKA Hiroshi presented the vaccine to Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs at a brief event at the airport.

In a statement here today, Oka Hiroshi said he was deeply honoured by the message from the Royal Palace on the vaccine contribution.

He also commended the good relations enjoyed between the two countries and expressed hope that the vaccine donation will contribute to the national vaccine programme, and help in the protection of people’s lives and boost the country’s economic recovery.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Suga of Japan sent his message to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin, he said, noting that that next year would mark the 65th anniversary of the Japan-Malaysia diplomatic relations as well as
the 40th anniversary of Look East Policy.

He said Suga had also expressed the wish to work together with Malaysia to overcome the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Japan has provided various cooperation to Malaysia, including emergency assistance to the people in need and the grant cooperation for providing advanced medical equipment. Japan supports Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s view on the importance of ensuring fair access to vaccines.

“The Government of Japan thus hosted the COVAX Summit in June to ensure access to safe, effective and quality assured vaccines and was able to raise well over the $8.6 billion needed to vaccinate at least 30% of the population in developing countries by the end of this year. Japan has pledged an additional $800 million to COVAX, bringing
its total contribution to $1 billion. In parallel, Japan provides vaccines on bilateral basis as well.”

— WE