A movement to remake the protective cloth masks distributed to households nationwide by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is spreading in Sapporo as a measure against the new coronavirus.
Civic groups and welfare facilities in the city are enlarging the masks, dubbed "Abenomask," adding fabric and providing them for a fee after some people felt that they were a little on the small side for adults.
From the start of May, Clubhouse Koropokkuru, an employment support center, has been providing the remade masks for 300 yen each to people who bring the government-provided ones to the facility in Sapporo's Toyohira Ward for exchange.
The masks have been resized using sewing machines and cloth from yukata that are no longer needed. The work making the masks is shared by people receiving support at the facility.
An event to sell handmade confectionery at Clubhouse Koropokkuru was scrapped due to the spread of the coronavirus and sales of the masks are securing wages lost as a result of the cancellation.
"Mori no jikan SNOW HOKKAIDO," a citizen's group in Sapporo has also been remaking the masks distributed by the government since June 1. They can be exchanged for 300 yen plus the government mask at the group's office in Toyohira Ward.
Group representative Yoshie Yokoyama said that there have been requests for remakes of the masks from welfare facilities and medical institutions both inside and outside Hokkaido.
"It's a waste not to use them," said Yokoyama. "If the size does not fit, use a remade one."