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Millions of unused cloth masks remain in storage in Japan

KIFI

By MARI YAMAGUCHI
Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Tens of millions of unpopular cloth masks produced as an anti-coronavirus measure under former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remain unused and are being kept in a private storage facility at a cost of hundreds of millions of yen (millions of dollars). A government spokesperson says about 83 million of the cloth masks are currently in storage, or nearly one-third of the 280 million procured by the government during a severe shortage of surgical masks last year. The government had planned to distribute two to every household. Few people actually used the masks. Abe modeled one, which barely covered his nose and mouth. People complained that they were too small and arrived too late, when more effective and comfortable surgical masks were back in stock. 

Associated Press

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