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Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between ERIA and NCGM to Accelerate International Clinical Research in Asia

12 January 2023
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Tokyo/Jakarta, 23 December 2022: the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Jakarta, and the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM), Tokyo, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate international clinical research in Asia and to promote the international expansion of pharmaceutical products. The MoU was signed by their respective presidents, Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura (ERIA) and Norihiro Kokudo (NCGM).

With the signing of this MoU, ERIA and NCGM plan to implement projects that will contribute to the enhancement of healthcare systems and the promotion of the healthcare industry in the entire region, including Japan and ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). For example, ERIA will support NCGM’s international clinical research activities within ASEAN and East Asia as a partner of the ARO1 Alliance for ASEAN and East Asia (ARISE2), an international clinical research and trials network led by NCGM. This will include financial support.

ERIA is an international research organization that conducts policy research on regional trade and investment, industry, national resilience, energy, agriculture, the environment, and healthcare in response to diverse regional needs. ERIA supports the ASEAN and the East Asia Summits. NCGM, as one of Japan’s National Centers for Advanced and Specialized Medical Care and base for international medicine, engages in international medical cooperation and development activities. It is Japan’s research center to conduct global clinical research, including emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

At the signing ceremony, Prof Nishimura expressed his expectations, saying ‘I am confident that by making full use of ERIA’s strong, high-level relationships of trust with ASEAN countries and NCGM’s clinical trial network, ARISE, we will be able to make evidence-based policy proposals and contribute to the development of the ASEAN region and Japan.’ NCGM President Kokudo added, ‘In cooperation with ERIA and relevant Ministries, we will enhance the clinical research functions of ARISE, a clinical research and trial network in the region, and strive to expand the international development of pharmaceuticals and medical devices needed in Asian countries. We hope to work together toward solving health issues for Asian people.’

Further, based on this MoU, ERIA and NCGM will support the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN), with its mission to contribute to the realization of a society that promotes healthy aging. AHWIN is led by the Government of Japan.


  1. ARO: Academic Research Organization. As an academic clinical research institute, an ARO is an organization in which a university or other institution with a research institute or medical center supports clinical and also non-clinical research including drug development.
  2. ARO Alliance for ASEAN and East Asia (ARISE): ARISE is a network of core clinical research facilities in Asia that NCGM built up based on cooperative relationships to realize rapid and low-cost drug and medical device development. The NCGM Center for Clinical Sciences started this initiative with the support of a project subsidized by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

ERIA (Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia): ERIA is an international organization established in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008, from an agreement at the Third East Asia Summit in 2007 between 16 countries (10 ASEAN, 3 East Asian – Japan, China, and South Korea, plus 3 – India, Australia, and New Zealand). Through policy research and proposals that contribute to economic integration, ERIA supports the ASEAN and East Asia Summit chairs. ERIA’s research activities cover a wide range of fields including trade and investment, industrial policy, energy, national resilience, agriculture, the environment, and healthcare, depending on the diverse policy needs of ASEAN. 

NCGM (National Center for Global Health and Medicine): NCGM is one of the six national centers for Advanced and Specialized Medical Care (National Centers). Its roots originated from the military hospital established in 1868, and then from 2015 it became the National Center for Global Health and Medicine. It is an Independent Administrative Institution and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2018. NCGM consists of the Center Hospital, the Kohnodai Hospital, the Research Institute, the Center for Clinical Sciences, the Bureau of International Health Cooperation, the National College of Nursing, Japan and other organizations. NCGM undertakes research and advanced comprehensive medical services on infectious and immune diseases and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. NCGM also promotes international cooperation in healthcare and pursues the development of healthcare professionals.

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