Japanese activist physician and peace prize winning colleague are dead in targeted killing in Afghanistan

On December 4, 2019, six people, including a prominent Japanese physician were shot in a targeted killing in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Dr. Namakura Tetsu headed the Peace Japan Medical Services (PMS), and with his college, Kazuyo Ito, worked on improving irrigation in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. He was a recipient of the Philippine’s Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and Understanding.

On December 8, the body of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura arrived home to Fukuoka. The Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed his grief and heartfelt condolences to Dr. Nakamura’s family. He condemned the attack and expressed hoped that the Afghan authorities would promptly advance the investigation. In addition, he expressed Japan’s intention to continue supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan in cooperation with the international community.

News article - The New York Times

Press release - MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Agriculture Global health

Japan provides US$7 million to Afghanistan to support childhood disease prevention

The Japanese government has announced that it will provide ¥750 million (US$7 million) to Afghanistan for the prevention of childhood infections. In Afghanistan, the under-five mortality rate is as high as 80 per 1,000 live births, and overall, neonatal and maternal mortality rates are the worst in the region. Continued international efforts are still needed to support infectious disease prevention measures such as polio.

The funding will support the procurement of vaccines required for routine immunization activities including vaccinating about 1 million children under the age of one and 3 million women of childbearing age. The allocation will also make the polio vaccination available for about 11 million children under the age of five. The steady implementation of regular vaccination aims to prevent and eradicate childhood infectious diseases such as polio throughout Afghanistan.

Press Release - MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Global health

Japan provides US$3 million in food assistance to Central African Republic

The Japanese government has announced ¥350 million (US$3 million) in food assistance for the Central African Republic through the World Food Programme.

In 2018, the Central African Republic ranked 188 of 189 countries in the Human Development Index and 119 of 119 countries in the Global Hunger Index. Food security is steadily deteriorating due to harsh environments of droughts and desertification, and worsening security from attacks by armed groups. At the 7th TICAD Conference in Africa (TICAD7) held in August 2019, Japan expressed its intention to contribute to the 'creation of a strong and sustainable society'. These words are now brought to fruition through this cooperation.

Press Release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition

Japanese press secretary highlights innovative financing for SDG achievement

In a November 27, 2019 press conference, Japanese Press Secretary Otaka highlighted the potential of innovative financing, particularly international solidarity tax, as a means to overcome the annual US$2.5 trillion shortage necessary for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the SDG session in Nagoya, the period leading up to 2030 was labeled the 'decade of action', focusing on steadily monitoring efforts and strengthening areas where progress has been delayed. Otaka confirmed the importance and necessity of jointly mobilizing new funds from the public and private sectors, and the need to accelerate domestic and international discussions surrounding the pros and cons of innovative financing instruments.

Press release – MOFA

Global Japan

Japan gains private sector support in infection control efforts

In cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Toray Industries, Inc. will undertake a project to promote the utilization of personal protective equipment (PPE) to strengthen infection risk control, particularly for the Ebola diseases that had spread from 2014-2016 in the Republic of Guinea.

Through January 2021, the ¥37 million (US$0.3 million) initiative will address the nation’s preparedness for future recurrence of the disease. Specifically, in close consultation with relevant government officials, Toray will provide guidance on the use of its LIVMOA®5000 protective clothing and promote the awareness and preparedness for healthcare-associated risks to medical institutes and medical/co-medical personnel. 

Press Release – BioSpectrum


Japan and EU issue joint statement on combating antimicrobial resistance

On November 18, 2019, Katsunobu Kato, the Japanese Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commissioner head of health and food safety released a joint statement on measures to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The statement strengthens the partnership between Japan and the European Union on this important issue and reaffirms their commitment to combat AMR.

The statement comes at the beginning of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019 (November 18-24, 2019) organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and follows the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting held in Okayama, Japan. 

Joint statement - 'Superbugs: Last Call for Action'

Press release - MHLW (in Japanese)

Japan celebrates 60 years of ODA in Turkey and committs to provide further assistance

At the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Turkey, Japan reiterated its commitment to financial assistance programs in Turkey. Vice President of Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Ismail Palakoğlu noted, “we believe that our cooperation with Japan will be enhanced as we diversify from priority sectors and development areas in the 11th development plan.” 

According to the Japanese ambassador to Ankara, Akio Miyajima, Japan has provided a total of around $6.80 billion over the last 60 years. In cooperation with JICA and Iller Bank, Japan also lent Turkey $407 million in 2015 to improve water supplies, sewerage, and waste management in municipalities hosting refugees. 

News Release – Daily Sabah


Japan develops an action plan to implement SDGs

The Japanese Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Promotion Headquarters has developed an action plan to organize and implement the SDGs. The action plan clarifies the goals and targets of the SDGs in a Japanese context and aims to promote domestic implementation and international cooperation. It identifies 8 key pillars required for the“SDGs model”.

  • 1. A society where everyone can play an active role; 
  • 2. Health and longevity;
  • 3. Regional revitalization, opportunities for growth, and promotion of science, technology, and innovation;
  • 4. Sustainable and robust national land policy and quality infrastructure;
  • 5. Promotion of renewable energy, disaster prevention, measure to adapt to climate change, and the creation of a recycling-based society;
  • 6. Conservation of the enviroment to protect biodiversity, forests, and the ocean;
  • 7. A peaceful, safe and secure society; and
  • 8. A robust system and means to promote and implement the SDGs.

Public Opinion Form – Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (in Japanese)


Japanese Council for Promotion of Science and Technology Diplomacy discusses collobrative innovation in Africa

Asako Omi (parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs), Teruo Kishi (minister of foreign affairs science and technology advisor), and Dr. Kano Okayama (science and technology advisor) attended the "11th meeting of the Council for Promotion of Science and Technology Diplomacy".They discussed the research proposals of the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS) and encouraging possible technological options to address social issues in Africa.

This was linked to the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD 7), held in Yokohama in August 2019. TICAD 7 agreed recommendations aimed at establishing an innovation ecosystem to support autonomous and sustainable innovation in Japan and Africa. The conference discussed the establishment of a “Science and Technology Diplomacy Advisory Network” to support science and technology proposals and SATREPS, a three to five-year research program where researchers from developing country collaborate with Japanese researchers.

Press Release - MOFA (in Japanese)

Recommendations - Towards TICAD7: Achieving an Innovation Ecosystem together with Africa (Summary / Full report)


Japan provides US$5 million to Mali to strengthen judicial system and improve food security

The Japanese government has announced ¥300 million (US$3 million) to support Mali's judicial system following attacks by Islamic extremist groups which have destabilized the country's northern and central regions. This cooperation will be used for equipment needed to strengthen Mali's prisons, juvenile institutes, and prison administration, including prisoner transport vehicles and surveillance camera systems.

The Japanese government announced a further ¥300 million (US$3 million) to support improvements in food security. This cooperation will provide approximately 4,100 tons of food assistance to Mali. About 45% of the population in Mali suffer from poverty, and more than 4 million people face food shortages. 

Press Release – MOFA (in Japanese)

Japan Nutrition