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For the promotion of international cooperation in the health sector in a difficult international environment -JICA President KITAOKA Shinichi talks with KATO Takatoshi of Japan Center for International Finance (JCIF)-

July 6, 2020

On July 6, JICA President KITAOKA Shinichi had an online discussion with KATO Takatoshi, advisor of the Japan Center for International Finance (JCIF), who is the former vice minister for international affairs at the Ministry of Finance of Japan. This dialogue was conducted as a part of the research project entitled "International Cooperation in the Post-Corona World" by JICA, designed to examine the future of the world and international cooperation through a series of dialogues between President Kitaoka and intellectuals inside and outside Japan.

Mr. Kato introduced his experience of leading the debate on how to mobilize funds for international cooperation in the field of public health in the early 2000s, when he was a member of the Committee on Macroeconomics and Health organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Turning to the international situation under the current COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Kato pointed out that, in addition to the absence of leaders promoting international cooperation to cope with the pandemic, China's actions have made international cooperation difficult. He emphasized that, in this situation, Japan should make an international contribution by disseminating the Japanese model of public health and by exercising its influence in international organizations.

Following on, Mr. Kato, President Kitaoka and the members of the research project exchanged views on such issues as the future of the international cooperation in the health sector in a situation in which the US-China conflict is intensifying. They also discussed how we should see the Chinese initiatives in the field of international economics, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the digital Yuan.

Although international solidarity is dearly needed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases worldwide, the reality is that international cooperation has become difficult, due to the deteriorating international environment. This dialogue reaffirmed the need for Japan to play a leading role in promoting international cooperation.