US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opens office in Tokyo

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has opened an office in Tokyo to step up monitoring of virus situations in the region.

CDC Director Mandy Cohen spoke to NHK during her visit to the Japanese capital to mark the opening of the East Asia and Pacific regional office on Monday.

Cohen stressed the significance of launching an office in Tokyo, apparently considering that infections of the coronavirus started in China.

Cohen said, "We know how important this region of the world is to overall world security, looking at health." She also said, "We know a lot of new viruses have come from this part of the world."

The CDC played the central role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

As for preparations for new infectious diseases, Cohen said, "Collaboration and exchanging of information is very important to make sure that we are able to identify and respond to new or emerging threats so that we can respond together quickly." She added, "We can bring the greatest strengths we all have to the table to protect health all around the world."

The CDC director indicated the US will share information promptly with Japan and other parties, and also help them improve the capabilities for tests and genomic sequencing to identify virus mutations.

Cohen called Japan a leader in health security, and expressed hopes for the country's role in producing medicine and vaccines.