Japan is looking to launch a biennial forum on health care in developing nations in 2019, with hopes of boosting international support for these countries as well as Japanese exports of medical-related devices and technology.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce the plan at the Universal Health Coverage Forum, starting here on Wednesday and lasting two days.
The Japanese government will co-host the new forum with the United Nations, the World Bank and other organizations. By inviting heads of state and health ministers, it aims to promote top-down reform in developing countries.
The proposed forum is part of a global effort toward universal access to health care at a reasonable price. The goal is to reduce obstacles to receiving care in developing countries, including the distance to medical facilities and financial barriers. It will explore the possibility of using drones to deliver medicine and other medical supplies, among other measures.
Participants will also discuss ways to strengthen the response to outbreaks of infectious diseases, like Ebola, and to advance services for newborns and infants. They will urge developing countries to draw on the successes of other countries. Japan hopes to use its advanced medical technology to help developing countries and boost its profile on the global stage.
In addition to Abe, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will attend this week’s UHC Forum in Tokyo.