Global Health Summit 2008

Main Contents
Follow-Up Meeting in Tokyo

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
  • Ministry of Finance


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  • The Nihon Keizai Shimbun

    March 11th 2008,
    Morning Edition, page 29
    Keizai Kyoshitsu

    Japan should demonstrate leadership in global health


  • The Japan Times

    February 24th 2008, page 2

    World Bank asks Japan to double medical ODA

  • The Japan Times

    February 18th 2008, page 2

    Experts push global health initiatives for G8 summit
    >>Online version

  • The Asahi Shimbun

    February 11th 2008, Morning Edition, page 4
    Opinion column "Today’s Topic"

    Global Health Summit to convene on February 16th (Sat)


The Nihon Keizai Shimbun
March 11th 2008,
Morning Edition, page 29
Keizai Kyoshitsu





Two key issues to be tackled in the context of diminishing Official Development Assistance (ODA)

The two frameworks drew significant international attention to the issue of global health. As a result, funds devoted to the efforts in this area have ballooned from six billion dollars in 2000 to 14 billion dollars in 2007.

Having provided strong leadership in the area of global health at the G8 Okinawa Summit, Japan attracts high expectations from the international community. The G8 Toyako Summit is a good opportunity to review the efforts made in global health since the G8 Okinawa Summit and to bring about a new international trend in this area. The major achievement of the G8 Okinawa Summit was that it focused on fighting the three major infectious diseases and significantly expanded the resources directed at this issue. The G8 Toyako Summit is expected to shed light on other areas lagging behind these efforts and to establish a system for delivering comprehensive healthcare. It is a mission of Japan as a chair of the summit to steer the meeting towards this trend.

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in January, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced the global agenda to be addressed at the G8 Toyako Summit. Included in the agenda was global health. He specifically talked about the improvement in maternal and child health and the enhancement of human resources in the health field in developing countries. This direction is in line with the new trend of international efforts awaited in the area of global health. By focusing on these challenges in the context of this new international trend in global health, Japan can present a clear vision to the international community.

Among the health-related MDGs, the child and maternal mortality rates in particular still remain serious. If malnutrition —which accounts for 35% of the total deaths under 5 years of age — is to be reduced, it would also contribute to eradicating hunger as is stipulated in the MDGs. Given that Britain and Germany are also focusing their attention on maternal and child health, forming an international alliance is a possibility to tackle this issue.

Cultivating health professionals in developing nations is also an urgent issue. As many educated health professionals are headhunted by healthcare institutions in Europe and the US, healthcare delivery in developing countries is at stake. Under such circumstances, it is crucial to develop a system for delivering comprehensive healthcare in order to complement the disease-specific measures such as those in the MDGs.

The question is: how do we get the funds to do all of this? The ODA of the Japanese government has been dramatically reduced in recent years. Though the assistance extended to Africa is slightly increasing, the total amount the government can spend on a short-term basis is limited. In addition, there are also unavoidable uses of funds such as continued contributions to the Global Fund which was established by the leadership of Japan. In such circumstances, it is impossible for Japan to exercise leadership without incorporating the resources and wisdom of the private sector at home and abroad, including private foundations and companies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). To this end, there are two urgent tasks to be addressed.