Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 1. Assistance Relating to the Basic Policies of the ODA Charter > 3. Partnership and Collaboration with the International Community > (2) Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza

(2) Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza

Since the autumn of 2005 avian influenza has spread globally, and there has been an increasing risk that avian influenza might be transformed into a new strain of influenza that can be transmitted from human to human (i.e., pandemic influenza). Awareness of threat of pandemic influenza is now widely shared by countries. In this era of advanced transportation systems that make possible quick movement of people and goods, one country alone cannot stop the spread of infectious diseases—thus, avian influenza and pandemic influenza have come to be recognized as a global issue.

    International cooperation is essential in order to fight against avian influenza, and countermeasures must be developed through cooperation among various countries and international organizations. For its part, Japan has participated in various international conferences taking on a key role in providing financial support and knowledge. At the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza held in Beijing in January 2006, Japan pledged support in the amount of US$155 million, principally for Asia. By having disbursed this amount by March 2006, Japan became the first country in the world to actually begin implementing the pledged support. Specifically, this support was provided for stockpiling antiviral virus drugs and personal prevention equipment in order to swiftly contain the disease if pandemic influenza breaks out, communication campaigns training for specialists of animal and human health, assisting the development of national plans of developing countries, and intellectual support through international joint researches. In January 2006 Japan, in co-sponsorship with WHO, held an international conference concerning early containment if pandemic influenza breaks out in the Asian region. Experts from Asian countries, the international organizations, and donor countries concerned, participated and identified measures needed to swiftly contain the disease.

    On the international arena, the US took the initiative of holding a conference for concerned countries, and Canada held a meeting of health ministers of 30 countries which were considered important in preventing avian influenza. In addition, various conferences were held around the world. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) held ministers' conferences concerning avian influenza and Japan, the US, Australia, and others organized seminars and symposiums. International organizations such as WHO have held senior official level conferences. At the APEC and ASEAN summit conferences and East Asia Summit, declarations have been issued pledging to work in partnership in combating avian influenza. At the above-mentioned pledging conference in January 2006, support of more than US$1.9 billion was pledged.

    Japan intends to collaborate with various countries and international organizations in implementing measures against avian and pandemic influenza.