Japan launches its global health policy

Japan_MoFA5 October 2010

Following a short Lancet article from September introducing the new global health policy, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially launched the policy last week, 1 October.  Japan's global health policy 2011-2015 is entitled EMBRACE - Ensure Mothers and Babies Regular Access to Care, and as is obvious it focuses primarily on health development assistance to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 on maternal and newborn health.  The policy clearly takes a public diplomacy approach to global health, similar to the US initiative - its primary goal being to save millions of lives with an investment of US$ 5 billion over the next five years.


It is interesting that this policy, from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is focused almost exclusivly on health development aid, with no mention of human security - a concept which Japan used to raise health concerns on the agenda of the 2008 Toyako G8 Summit. Further pledges of the Japan's new policy are in line with the Paris Declaration's calls for improved partnership and recipient ownership. Japan makes what could be interpreted as an ambiguous reference to global health governance by stating its commitment to "help strengthen global health architecture through enhancing its [Japan's] own capacity in addressing global health, particularly by developing human resources on policy-making and strengthening communication strategies."

The policy can be accessed online at http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/oda/mdg/pdfs/hea_pol_exe_en.pdf


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