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ERIA Co-hosts the AHWIN Forum: Achieving Healthy Ageing in Asia

17 October 2019

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Tokyo, 17 October 2019: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), together with the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan, the Office of Healthcare Policy, Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, as well as the Japan Centre for International Exchange (JCIE) held the AHWIN Forum: Achieving Healthy Aging in Asia, which was the side event of the G20 Health Ministers Meeting in 2019. Asia Health and Well-being Initiative (AHWIN) was launched by the Government of Japan in 2016 to create vibrant and healthy societies where people can enjoy long and productive lives, and to contribute to the region’s sustainable and equitable development as well as economic growth. The half-day event was one of the activities of AHWIN to bring policymakers, researchers, representatives of the private sector, and civil society leaders from around Asia together for an extensive dialogue on health and elderly care.  

At the opening session, Mr Akio Okawara, President and CEO of JCIE, Dr Yasuhiro Suzuki, Chief Medical Global Health Officer of MHLW of Japan delivered their opening remarks. 

Following the opening remarks, several keynote speeches were delivered by Dr Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific of the World Health Organization (WHO); Mr Nguyen Van Tien, Former Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Social Affairs of the National Assembly of Viet Nam, Former Vice Chairman of the Asian Parliamentarians Forum on Population and Development (AFPPD); and Dr Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councilors of Japan and the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Universal Health Coverage.  

After the Keynote Speech, the Special Lecture on Challenges Faced in Dementia and Community-based Approaches in Prevention was delivered by Professor Takayuki Suzuki, Director of the Institute of Gerontology and Professor of J.F. Oberlin University.  

The Forum has two sessions: Session 1 ‘Changing Health Status of Older Adults: Getting Better? Getting Worse?’ and Session 2 ‘Who Will Be the Caregivers? Meeting the Growing Elder Care Needs in Asia’. Session 1 examined the current health status and functions of daily living of older populations in Asian countries by drawing on the findings of the Longitudinal Survey of Ageing and Health in the Philippines and Viet Nam, an ERIA study conducted under the auspices of AHWIN.

In Session 2, findings were shared from an international ERIA study on the Demand and Supply of Long-Term Care for Older Persons in Asia, conducted under the auspices of AHWIN. Government officials, researchers, as well as private sector on healthcare field went on the stage to discuss the trend, forecast, ways in which the research findings can be translated into effective policies to address population ageing, ways to identify the various players in the caregiving industry, and the types of policies required to address the emerging need for caregivers in each Asian country. 

On the closing session, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura, President of ERIA delivered his closing remarks in which he underlined the importance of the circulation of the long-term care workforce, as well as the development of business environment to realise active and healthy ageing societies in this region. Prof Nishimura introduced ERIA research projects on healthcare and ageing conducted under the following four pillars; 1) health expectancy, 2) demand and supply of long-term care, 3) skill transfer by cross-border caregivers and 4) ageing-related businesses.  

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