Taiwan thanks Japan for sending vaccines

Taiwan's foreign ministry has expressed gratitude to Japan for donating more than one million doses of coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines arrived at an airport near Taipei on Friday afternoon.

The ministry said in a statement that Japan had decided to help Taiwan with its spreading infections, even though Japan's coronavirus situation still remains severe.

The statement said the decision represents Japan's spirit of compassion, and the ministry sincerely expresses its gratitude to Japan's government and friends in various sectors.

In Taiwan, coronavirus cases have been rising since mid-May. But less than 3 percent of the population have received at least one dose of the vaccine by Wednesday.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen blames China for obstructing vaccine procurement from overseas pharmaceutical companies.

China has criticized Taiwan for accepting vaccines from Japan. A spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council made a comment on the matter.

The spokesperson said that China has repeatedly expressed its willingness to offer domestically-developed vaccines, but that Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party has made a raft of excuses to block vaccine delivery.

The spokesperson urged the ruling party not to put political manipulation above the health of people.