G8 Summit Global Health Follow up Tokyo meeting


2008 Toyako Summit had on its table agendas on energy, climate change, surging food prices, financial crisis, etc., all of which are major global problems that seemed to appear so suddenly.  However, I would like to point out that Japan played a significant role here even in this difficult time, especially in the area of global health where Japan followed up the promises between health care providing systems and G8, producing outcomes that were very highly evaluated by the world.

A follow up meeting was held on November 3 th and 4th in Tokyo under the auspice of JICE with the cooperation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.  Participants were the world’s top members in this field, Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of WHO (photo1, the last time I saw her was at Seattle in June), Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (we were together at Fusionopolis 3 weeks ago), Dr. Julio Frenk, former Minister of Health of Mexico and Dean elect of the Harvard University School of Public Health (can you imagine such selection in Japanese university?), Dr. Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of The Lancet.

In addition, Dr. Miriam Were, the recipient of the "Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize" announced at TICAD4 this May was present, also a happy reunion for both of us.  Large number of specialists gathered, not just from Japan but from all over the world.  Here, I would like to acknowledge their effort.

Rimg00192whodg2008113photo 1  From the left end, Ms. Ikegami of UNFPA Tokyo Office, Dr. Mari Simonen(deputy executive director of UNFPA), me, Dr. Margaret Chan(Director General of WHO), Dr. M Prakasamma(director of Academy for Nursing Studies and Women’s empowement Research Studies).

photo 2, 3  Panel title. Myself as the chair, to left, Mr. Yamamoto, Ministry of foreign affairs and two officers of Ministry of Foreign Affairs who were assigned to the G8 of next fiscal year.


In this meeting, Japanese government intends to summarize and stabilize plans that will be handed to Italy, the next host of the G8 Summit.  Former vice minister of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, currently Senior Fellow at Harvard University School of Public Health, Dr. Keizo Takemi is working to make this happen, which is truly wonderful.  Political activities carried out not only by government offices but also by many global NPOs and social movement groups, in which many of us participate, are part of the great social changes occurring in Japan as well as all parts of the world in this global era (refer to my speech at the G8 meeting of the ministers of environment).  Thanks to all who participated.  I was in the panel, too (photos 2, 3).  At the reception, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nakasone delivered a welcome speech.

In the evening, besides other appointments, I had an opportunity to meet with Dean Olian of UCLA Management School (whom I saw last year, too), the Vice President, and Mr. Shibusawa (reference 1 ), a graduate of UCLA Management School and my friend (photo 4).

photo 4  Dean Olian of UCLA Management School, Mr. Shibusawa, in the back row, Assistant Dean, Dr. Schakelford.

It was a busy day.