The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


坂元 晴香/Haruka Sakamoto


Haruka Sakamoto

Last updated : March 02, 2024

Associate Professor, Tokyo Women's Medical University
Senior Manager, Health and Global Policy Institute

Areas of Expertise
  • Global health
  • health system

Haruka Sakamoto, MD MPH, PhD, is a primary care physician and a project researcher at the Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo. She received her MD from Sapporo Medical University and worked as a physician at St Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo for several years. With a scholarship from the World Bank, she received her MPH at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. From 2011-2013 and 2016, she worked at the international cooperation department of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, where she was deeply involved in health policy activities. As part of her work, she participated in WHO meetings, G7 meetings, and bilateral cooperation activities through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. She is a 26th Term Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan and is also working at the World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office. Her current research focuses on health system strengthening, health care financing, and politics in global health.

Research Program
Rethinking Global Health Policy in the Post-COVID Era
Developing Sustainable and Resilient Health, Nursing, and Long-Term Care Systems in the Post-COVID Era

Select Publications

  1. Sakamoto H, Ishikane M, Ghaznavi C, Ueda P. Assessment of Suicide in Japan During the COVID-19 Pandemic vs Previous YearsJAMA Netw Open. 2021 Feb 1;4(2):e2037378.
  2. Nomura S,Sakamoto H, Ishizuka A, Katsuma Y, Akashi H, Miyata H. Ongoing debate on data governance principles for achieving Universal Health Coverage: a proposal to post-G20 Osaka Summit meetings. Glob Health Action. 2020 Dec 31;13(1):1859822.
  3. Ghaznavi C,Sakamoto H, Nomura S, Kubota A, Yoneoka D, Shibuya K, Ueda P. The herbivore’s dilemma: Trends in and factors associated with heterosexual relationship status and interest in romantic relationships among young adults in Japan—Analysis of national surveys, 1987–2015. PLoS ONE. 2020; 15(11): e0241571.
  4. Yoneoka D, Tanoue Y, Kawashima T,Nomura S, Shi S, Eguchi A, Ejima K, Taniguchi T, Sakamoto H, Kunishima H, Gilmour S, Nishiura H, Miyata H. Large-scale epidemiological monitoring of the COVID-19 epidemic in Tokyo. The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific 2020; 3: 100016.
  5. Nomura S,Yoneoka D, Shi S, Tanoue Y, Kawashima T, Eguchi A, Matsuura K, Makiyama K, Ejima K, Taniguchi T, Sakamoto H, Kunishima H, Gilmour S, Nishiura H, Miyata H. An assessment of self-reported COVID-19 related symptoms of 227,898 users of a social networking service in Japan: Has the regional risk changed after the declaration of the state of emergency? The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific. 2020 Aug:1: 100011.
  6. Shimizu K, Wharton G,Sakamoto H, Massialos E. Resurgence of covid-19 in Japan. BMJ. 2020;370:m3221.
  7. Yoneoka D, Kawashima T, Tanoue Y,Nomura S, Ejima K, Shi S, Eguchi A, Taniguchi T, Sakamoto H, Kunishima H, Gilmour S, Nishiura H, Miyata H. Early SNS-Based Monitoring System for the COVID-19 Outbreak in Japan: A Population-Level Observational Study. J Epidemiol. 2020 Aug 5;30(8):362-370.
  8. Japan International Cooperation Agency (Sakamoto Hjoined as part of the Academic Advisory Team Members). To our friends and partners: Fighting against COVID-19. 2020.
  9. Nomura S,Sakamoto H, Sugai MK, Nakamura H, Maruyama-Sakurai K, Lee S, Ishizuka A, Shibuya K. Tracking Japan's development assistance for health, 2012-2016. Global Health. 2020 Apr 15;16(1):32.
  10. Sakamoto H, Ishikane M,Ueda P. Seasonal Influenza Activity During the SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak in Japan. JAMA, 2020 Apr 10. 323(19), 1969-1971.
  11. Nomura S, Yoneoka D, Tanaka S, Makunouchi R,Sakamoto H, Ishizuka A, Nakamura H, Kubota A, Shibuya K. Limited alignment of publicly competitive disease funding with disease burden in Japan. PLoS ONE. 2020 Feb 10.
  12. Mikkelsen L, Iburg, KM, Adair T, Fürst T, Hegnauer M, von der Lippe E, Moran L,Nomura S, Sakamoto H, Shibuya K, Wengler A, Willbond S, Wood P, Lopez AD. Assessing the quality of cause of death data in six high-income countries: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan and Switzerland. Int J Public Health. 2020 Jan; 65, 17–28.
  13. Ghaznavi C, Sakamoto H, Yoneka D, Nomura S, Shibuya K, Ueda P. Trends in heterosexual inexperience among young adults in Japan: analysis of national surveys, 1987 - 2015BMC Public Health. 2019;19:355.
  14. Sakamoto H, Ghaznavi C, Shibuya K. Country Chapter 7 - Japan. In Legido-Quigley H, Asgari-Jirhandeh N, editors. Resilient and people-centred health systems: Progress, challenges and future directions in Asia. New Delhi: World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2018.
  15. Sakamoto H, Lee S, Ishizuka A, Hinoshita E, Hori H, Ishibashi N, Komada K, Norizuki M, Katsuma Y, Akashi H, Shibuya K. Challenges and opportunities for eliminating tuberculosis: Leveraging political momentum of the UN high-level meeting on tuberculosisBMC Public Health. 2019;19:76.
  16. Han SM, Rahman MM, Rahman MS, Swe KT, Palmer M, Sakamoto H, Nomura S, Shibuya K. Progress towards universal health coverage in Myanmar: a national and subnational assessmentThe Lancet Global Health. 6(9), e989-e997.
  17. Sakamoto H, Ezoe S, Hara K, Hinoshita E, Sekitani Y et al. Japan’s contribution to making global health architecture a top political agenda by leveraging the G7 presidency. Journal of Global Health (accepted), 2018;8(2).
  18. Sakamoto H, Ezoe S, Hara K, Hinoshita E, Sekitani Y et al. Japan’s contribution to universal health coverage: leveraging Japan’s G7 presidency to advance global health. Bull World Health Organ 2018; 96(5): 355-9.
  19. Sakamoto H,Rahman MM, Nomura S, Okamoto E, Koike S et al. Japan Health System Review. Vol. 8 No. 1. New Delhi: World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, 2018.
  20. Ezoe S, Noda H, Akahane N, Sato O, Hama T, Miyata T, Terahara T, Fujishita M, Sakamoto H, Abe SK, Gilmour S, Shobayashi T. Trends in policy on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Japan. Health Systems & Reform. 2017; Health Systems & Reform. 4 (2017): 268-277.
  21. Nomura S, Sakamoto H, Glenn S, Tsugawa Yet al. Population health and regional variations of disease burden in Japan, 1990–2015: a systematic subnational analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 10101 (2017): 1521-1538.

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