The Daily Manila Shimbun


EXCLUSIVE: Japan govt to demand halt to face mask auctioning

February 28, 2020

Tokyo--Japan's industry ministry will ask online auction companies to voluntarily shut out face masks from their websites amid supply shortages caused by the spread of COVID-19 infections, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

Face masks are still in short supply mainly in urban areas, partly because some individuals and businesses buy up face masks at retail stores, according to ministry officials.

The situation has not improved even though the supply of face masks has risen to around 100 million units per week.

Those selling face masks at high prices on auction websites are believed to have hoarded them up.

The ministry will set a grace period before the voluntary sales halt, in order to urge such sellers to unload their face mask stocks.

According to a mask manufacturing industry group, makers had a total of 1.8 billion face masks in stock in January. But the stock went nearly depleted in early February.

Meanwhile, the Japan Fair Trade Commission on Thursday requested drug store chain operators not to bundle face masks with expensive products. Jiji Press