While rare today in the West, the battle to eradicate polio continues on in poorer parts of the world, and Japan is pledging to do its part.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said on Oct. 24 at a World Polio Day event in Tokyo that Japan will extend 900 million yen ($11.8 million) in grants to Pakistan and Afghanistan to fund polio vaccinations there.
Atsushi Tamura, a noted entertainer, called for cooperation in the effort to wipe out the infectious viral disease, which may cause paralysis and in some serious cases be fatal, at a news conference at the Foreign Ministry, also attended by Ryuji Yamane, parliamentary senior vice minister for foreign affairs.
Polio has yet to be eradicated in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries, where vaccination efforts are falling behind, particularly in dispute-prone regions, Foreign Ministry officials said.
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