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Japan to expand its role in world health by increasing senior officers

  • May 12, 2016
  • , Yomiuri , p. 4
  • Translation

The government announced a new policy for increasing the number of Japanese personnel working at the senior level in the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health-related international institutions. The new policy calls for a 50% increase in senior officers before 2020. Japan is a leader in health care, and the government is aiming at improving Japan’s global contribution in this field.


So far only 31 Japanese nationals hold senior positions in five international organizations including WHO. This represents 2% of all senior officers. If the number increases by 50%, there would be around 45 Japanese officers holding senior positions. According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, this is the first time for the government to announce a numerical target for Japanese personnel working for international organizations. One merit of having senior Japanese officers would be quicker communication and information exchange with the Japanese government, which would lead to a better response in Japan to an emergency situation such as an epidemic.


To achieve the goal, the government plans to establish a “Strategic Center for Health-related Human Resources” (provisional name) in 2017 to develop and recruit candidates. The center will gather information on senior positions, find candidates from industry, government and academia, and prepare them to succeed to the posts.


Currently, many Japanese applicants for international organizations rely on public recruitment announcements. They submit individual applications. In many instances, this method does not lead to employment because the candidates do not meet the organization’s needs.


The government will include the cost of the center in the 2017

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