On Friday, August 25, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., visited Tokyo, Japan on the final stop of a three-nation tour of Asia in support of President Donald Trump’s commitment to global health security.
In the morning, Secretary Price toured the Shintomi Nursing Care Center where health personnel demonstrated state-of-the-art technology that is being used in the treatment of the elderly. At a meeting of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, Secretary Price engaged with leaders within the agency in a productive discussion about ongoing U.S.-Japanese collaboration on health and building on the memorandum of cooperation agreed to by our two nations in May. The conversation covered a range of topics including global health security, cancer research and treatment, how to expand the sharing of data, and tackling specific threats to public health like antimicrobial resistance, counterfeit medications, and the Zika and dengue virus.
In the afternoon, Secretary Price met with the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato. The Secretary congratulated Minister Kato on his recent appointment. Their conversation built on the dialogue from earlier in the day – particularly on cancer research – while also highlighting the challenges that come with an aging population. On the topic of global health security, Secretary Price and Minister Kato discussed the need for reforms at the World Health Organization (WHO), the importance of nations performing joint external evaluations (JEE) to determine their capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to global health threats, ongoing efforts toward polio eradication, and the importance of a continued working relationship between the United States and Japan to prioritize global health security issues, including in multilateral forums such as WHO, G7 Summit, and the G20 Summit.
Secretary Price concluded his meetings with Japanese officials with a sit-down with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. The two furthered the discussion on issues raised in meetings earlier in the day – including the importance of cooperation and collaboration between the United States and Japan on global health security and how best to prepare for and address the concerns of an aging population.
Prior to leaving Japan, Secretary Price and the U.S. delegation met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty at the ambassador’s residence and discussed how to work together to further strengthen collaboration between the United States and Japan.