Japan PM hopeful Kono: Lockdown may be needed to tackle pandemic

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TOKYO — Japan’s vaccine minister Taro Kono, who is running in the ruling party’s leadership election, said on Friday there should be debate on possibly giving the government authority to impose strict lockdown measures to better respond to the pandemic.

The winner of the race is all but assured to be premier given the Liberal Democratic Party’s majority in parliament’s lower house.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Philippa Fletcher)