Chapter 2 Promotion of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
Overcoming health issues that threaten human lives and hinder all kinds of social, cultural, and economic activities is a common global challenge directly linked with human security. Human security is a concept that supplements that of national security; it focuses on individual human beings with the aim of creating a community where people can be released from fear and scarcity, and live fulfilled with dignity. Japan has advocated human security, which underlines the “Proactive Contribution to Peace.” and has acted in support of that principle. Japan regards health as its indispensable element.
Section 1 Basic Design for Peace and Health
In response to the formulation of the “Development Cooperation Charter” in February 2015, the Headquarters for Healthcare Policy established the “Basic Design for Peace and Health” in September of the same year as a guideline for global health policy. This Basic Design sets out, as its policy goals, establishing resilient global health governance able to respond to public health crises and natural disasters, seamless utilization of essential health and medical services; promotion of UHC throughout lifecycle, utilizing Japanese expertise, experience, medical products and technologies. Based on this policy, Japan has led discussions in the international community, keeping in mind the goal of achieving UHC that ensures that all people can receive the health services needed at an affordable cost throughout life.
Specifically, at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit held in May 2016, UHC was listed as a priority issue for the first time in the history of the G7/G8 Summits, contributing to the sharing of the understanding that UHC plays an indispensable role in strengthening preparedness towards a pandemic such as Ebola Virus Disease (“G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health”). To ensure that this Vision is also steadily implemented in Africa, at the TICAD VI held in August 2016, Japan, the World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), and other organizations jointly drew up and announced “UHC in Africa” as a policy framework for promoting UHC in Africa. Furthermore, Japan also played a leading role in the establishment of “UHC2030,” which further develops the previous aid cooperation framework in the health field to achieve UHC by 2030.