Abe Remembered for Efforts to Elevate Global Health Security
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose state funeral is being held today in Tokyo, was perhaps best known for his efforts to revive the Japanese economy and strengthen national security, but he also elevated Japan’s health commitments, such as by championing universal health coverage as a component of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Abe used the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit, which “came in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa,” to elevate global health security, noted Research Director Kenji Shibuya in an obituary in the Lancet. “There were so many other issues, including macroeconomics and trade issues, but he wanted the G7 to take on global health and women’s issues as a priority. . . . He used health as one of the major arsenals to push Japanese presence in the global health sphere.”
“Abe’s emphasis on UHC was also now very important, not only for equitable access, but also very important for health security,” added Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto in the same obituary. “He was proud of the Japanese universal health insurance system” and looked to share its lessons globally.
“Obituary: Shinzo Abe,” The Lancet
Profile of Research Director Kenji Shibuya
Profile of Senior Fellow Haruka Sakamoto
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