Japan to help Senegal tackle coronavirus

Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu has pledged continued support for Senegal in its efforts to deal with the coronavirus and strengthen its medical system.

Motegi met Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Aissata Tall Sall on Sunday and Monday during a visit to the West African country.

Motegi highly evaluated Senegal's active promotion of universal health coverage, a concept that entails providing quality healthcare to all citizens.

In response to Motegi's offer of support in dealing with the pandemic, the Senegalese minister asked Japan to help the country secure COVID-19 vaccines and provide financial assistance for its medical system.

The ministers agreed to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries, as they mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

Motegi requested Senegal's understanding for Japan's vision of a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific," in light of China's increasing influence in Africa.

The Senegalese minister said she "completely" shares Japan's views. She said she would like to actively strive to realize this vision.