Olympics host Japan says it will not accept vaccines from China

Japan’s Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa

China is offering vaccines to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Olympic participants, but Japan does not want any of it.

Japan’s Olympic Minister, Tamayo Marukawa, said the Chinese vaccine has not being approved for use in Japan.

“We have been taking comprehensive anti-infectious disease measures for the Tokyo Games in order to allow participation without vaccinations,” Marukawa said. “There is no change to our principle of not making vaccinations a prerequisite.”

The “surprise deal” from China comes as it continues to face international pressure over the internment of at least one million Muslim Uyghurs, which has been labelled a “genocide” by several governments and human rights bodies.

The IOC initially said it would not require athletes to get vaccines, but only encourage it. The deal with China puts more emphasis on getting vaccines to young, healthy athletes and others.

The IOC has said it will pay for the vaccines but gave no indication of the cost or quantity.