Tokyo, Japan — In late February, the American Cancer Society took part in Japan’s Health and Global Policy Institute’s annual Global Health Forum and Health Policy Summit. The theme for the 2011 Global Health Forum was “The MDGs and Beyond.” As a G8 country, Japan has led many initiatives in global health. But with limited resources now and in the foreseeable future, Japan’s continued contribution depends on developing new methods and strategies. The Forum’s panel was moderated by Aiko Doden (a senior commentator for Japan’s Broadcasting Corporation NHK), and speakers included Masato Mugitani (Assistant Minister for Global Health), Hiromasa Yonekura (Chairman of Sumitomo chemicals), and Stephen Morrison (Senior VP and Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies). The Society’s main representative to the UN, Cristina Parsons Perez, spoke about the changing global health agenda and the urgent need to address non-communicable diseases. The 2011 Health Policy Summit focused on “Sustainable Society” and “Growth Strategy” in response to Japan’s rising incidence in chronic disease and its ageing society. The audience was addressed by Japan’s Secretary of Health Mitsunori Okamoto and by the chairman of the Health and Global Policy Institute, Kiyoshi Kurokawa. At the session on “The ageing society and healthcare, building new social bonds” Society staff Cristina Parsons Perez spoke about civil society and shared best practices from the Society’s domestic work such as patient navigation, advocacy, and the CEO Cancer Gold Standard. Robert Youle, member of the Society’s National Board of Directors and immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of ACS CAN, was a panelist at the session on “The challenge in health reform and advancing health through partnerships in a globalized context.” The panel included Takkako Ebata (member of the House of Representatives), Shigeru Omi (Regional Director of the WHO’s Western Pacific region), and Hiroyuki Mitani (President and CEO of Novartis Pharma KK). Robert Youle, American Cancer Society National Board of Directors
Robert Youle spoke of ACS CAN’s leadership in cancer advocacy, and also voiced the need for an effective UN High Level Meeting on non-communicable disease to address political commitment, concrete measurable action, and increased financing.