Accessibility links

Breaking News

Japan Supports WHO During COVID-19 Pandemic


Wearing a protective mask, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe leaves a news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, April 17, 2020.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he absolutely would not think of reducing funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) at a time when it is leading the global fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Abe made the comments to reporters during a news briefing in Tokyo. He had been asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this week to temporarily halt U.S. funding for the WHO. Trump alleges there are failures in the organization’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Japanese prime minister said the WHO is the only organization designed to lead an international fight against a pandemic such as the one the world is currently facing. He said politics should be set aside so they can focus on protecting the health of all people.

Abe did add, however, that he recognized there were some issues within the WHO that should be addressed, and once the pandemic is over, he would support a "proper review" of the organization.