Japan to host Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in 2020

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Japan will host the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit in December 2020, following the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. This is in keeping with the trend started after the London Olympics in 2012 and continued after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The 2020 summit will stress the double burden of malnutrition, which relates to the existence of both over- and undernutrition simultaneously within individuals, households, countries, or other populations. The event will also aim to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a number of methods including:

  • Integrating nutrition into universal health coverage;
  • Building a healthy and sustainable food system;
  • Measuring against malnutrition in fragile or conflict situations; and
  • Securing financial reforms to improve nutrition.

In preparation for the Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2020, the Japanese government intends to collect information on Japan’s nutrition policy and future direction, as well as data on furthering international contributions to nutrition.

In addition to serving as the host country for the summit, the Japanese government has allocated ¥81 million (US$736,000) for sharing technical information with industry, academia, and government officials; ¥46 million (US$418,000) for researching and analyzing the nutrition policies of various countries; and ¥5 million (US$45,000) for setting up project headquarters to promote an enabling environment for healthy living.

Press release – Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (in Japanese)

Global Japan Nutrition

Japan announces US$3 million to UNICEF’s emergency response for children in northeast Syria

Japan has announced US$3 million in support to UNICEF's emergency response fund for vulnerable children and families in northeast Syria. Due to the escalation of the conflict in the region since October 2019, new waves of displacement have aggravated the needs of an estimated 2 million people in the affected area.

The funding will serve populations including families in camps, collective shelters, and host communities through improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. Safe access to water in camps and collective shelters will be provided through emergency water trucking, as well as through more latrines, water points, and hygiene supplies. In urban centers, the contribution will be used to repair damaged infrastructure and restore interrupted services.

As part of the announcement, Mr. Akira Endo, Special Coordinator for Syria and Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Syria, declared Japan’s continued commitment to supporting children and families in Syria.

Press release – UNICEF


Japanese delegation visits Cambodia to continue assistance with ongoing mine removal efforts

In an effort to better understand efforts towards mine action in Cambodia, members of the Japan-Cambodia Parliamentary Friendship Association conducted an official visit to Cambodia in January 2019. During the visit, Chairman Imamura Masahiro led a delegation to the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), one of the organizations at the forefront of the fight to remove live mines which remain in the ground from past conflicts.

The Government of Japan has previously assisted CMAC with technical assistance and grants worth more than US$70 million, in addition to US$50 million in other non-monetary contributions.

During the visit, Chairman Masahiro reinforced Japan’s continued commitment to supporting development in Cambodia, including but not restricted to  mine action.

Press release – Cambodian Mine Action Centre


Japan supports Philippines in launching a relapse-prevention program for drug users

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippine’s Department of Health (DoH) have launched a project to train health professionals with the objective of strengthening treatment and rehabilitation practices.  The training includes a new program  called 'Intensive Treatment and Rehabilitation Program for Residential Treatement and Rehabilitation Centers’ (INREPRET), which features various treatment methods such as cognitive behavioral therapy, social support, psycho-education, and self-help treatments. JICA have also committed ¥1.85 billion ($US16.8 million) for building a treatment and rehabilitation center.

According to the Dangerous Drug Board, half (50.1%) of drug dependant people in the Philippines, are unemployed and roughly a quarter (33%) of the 3,000 people recovering from drug addiction have little to no income. 

New Release – BusinessWorld


Japan contributes US$12 million for food, sanitation, and education for Palestine refugees

Japan has signed two contribution agreements worth approximately US$12 million to provide funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The first contribution of US$6 million to the Social Security Net Program (SSNP) will be used to provide food assistance to 98,000 Palestine refugees in Gaza. The second contribution of US$6 million will be used for two infrastructure projects: the construction of a school that will give access to quality education for 1,000 students in Gaza, and a sewage system in the Ein el-Sultan camp in the West Bank.

Press release - UNRWA


Japan supports ophthalmology workshop in India

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported a workshop on 'Medical Equipment for Amblyopia Treatment in Children' to facilitate the adoption of technical and medical best-practices of ophthalmology in India.

Amblyopia is a vision development disorder in which the visual cortex stops growing at around 8 years of age. Around 3% of newborn babies develop amblyopia, irrespectively of race or nationality.

New article – Business Wire India

Japan Global health

Japan provides US$5 million in food assistance to Democratic Republic of Congo

Japan has announced ¥500 million (US$5 million) in food assistance for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These funds, in combination with assistance from the US, will provide approximately 8,200 tons of food to the DRC, improving food security.

This initiateive is in accordance with Japan's objective of contributing to the creation of a strong and sustainable society, as was reaffirmed at the seventh TICAD Conference (TICAD7) in August 2019.

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)


Japan provides US$21 million for four new gender-sensitive secondary schools in Mozambique

The Japanese government has announced ¥2 million (US$21 million) to construct four secondary schools in the Zambezia province of Mozambique's capital city, Maputo. The schools, which are expected to accommodate some 4,400 students annually, will be outfitted with new educational materials including classroom items and science laboratory equipment.

The schools will also feature gender-sensitive facilities, such as separate changing rooms and bathrooms for male and female pupils. These amenities are intended to facilitate increased enrollment and attendance rates by girls, for whom lack of private, hygienic spaces in which to utilize menstrual products is one of the primary obstacles to higher education globally.

Press release – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Japanese)

Japan Education

UHC Youth Network shares perspectives from Japan on universal health coverage

The UHC Youth Network, a civil society group organized by Japanese medical and nursing students to promote universal health coverage (UHC), released a series of interviews entitled 'Lesson and message from Japanese experience' on December 12, 2019. The interviews highlight the challenges that Japan faces as a result of an aging society, and include lessons and messages to the international youth community on how they can support UHC and the achievement of wider sustainable development goals by 2030. The interviews feature seven goodwill ambassadors:

  • Mr. Masaki Inaba (Program Director on Global Health, Africa Japan Forum);
  • Prof. Kenji Shimazaki (Professor, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies);
  • Prof. Keizo Takemi (WHO UHC Goodwill Ambassador);
  • Prof. Yasushi Katsuma (Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University);
  • Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura(President, Japan Medical Association);
  • Ms. Sumie Ishii (Chairperson, Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning); and
  • MIYAVI (UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, artist).

Universal Health Coverage Day - UHC2030

'Lesson and message from Japanese experience' - Youtube

Japan Global health

Japan and WHO issue joint statement on UN's International UHC Day

Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, secretary-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), co-authored an opinion piece on December 12, 2019, on the importance of universal health coverage (UHC). The piece was published in recognition of the UN's International UHC Day. 

Op-ed - The Washington Post

Press release - MHLW (in Japanese)

Japan Global health