Senior Japan ruling party official urges end to mask-wearing

A senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party says Japan should abandon its practice of asking people to wear face masks indoors as a precaution against COVID-19.

LDP Secretary-General Motegi Toshimitsu was speaking with reporters on Tuesday.

The Japanese government is considering downgrading the handling of the coronavirus to the same class as seasonal influenza sometime in the spring. Whether or not to continue asking people to wear masks indoors is also expected to be debated.

Motegi said that in many other countries, masks are now rarely used outdoors, and even indoors.

He added that Japan should follow the "global standard," unless it has particular reasons that do not allow the move.