Official Development Assistance (ODA)
International Trends Regarding the Sector
Health is an extremely important sector for achieving human security. Japan has been actively contributing to global health efforts since 2000. Investment in health is investment in human capital, and as such, it contributes to economic growth.
Japan has achieved the world's highest average life expectancy and level of health care through its universal health insurance system. There are still even many developed countries where health care is based on private insurance and there are people who have no cover at all. In addition to guaranteeing public health insurance for all citizens, the Japanese system enables all citizens to freely choose any medical institution they wish—something that is rare for a universal health insurance system. In 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized Japan's health insurance system as the best overall anywhere in the world.
Having one of the highest-quality universal health insurance systems in the world like this, Japan has been taking its knowledge—which is backed by experience—and leveraging it to make diplomatic contributions to the global health sector. Based on the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs)," Japan formulated a "Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy" in 2013, and a "Basic Design for Peace and Health" in 2015. Using these in a mutually complementary manner, it makes global health one of the pillars of its foreign policy. Japan will continue to promote universal health coverage (UHC), and to lead other action on global health issues.