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Archives, Diplomacy  Jun. 1, 2020

Building International Cooperation in Infection Control Measures: The Role of Japanese Diplomacy as We Enter the Post-Coronavirus World

Sakabe-Mori Aki, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba   People have pointed out the lack of international cooperation in the response to COVID-19, said to be the greatest ordeal of the postwar period. At the General Meeting of the WHO on May 18, 2020, China announced that it would donate the large sum of 2 billion dollars in response to COVID-19, while the United States criticized the WHO for being “pro-Chinese,” thus making the meeting a stage for US–China conflict. At the time of writing this article (June 1, 2020), there is still no clear prospect for international cooperation in infection control measures. In this paper, I consider how Japanese diplomacy can contribute to the building of such international cooperation. The shortage of masks, protective gear, artificial respirators, and other medical supplies is emblematic of how international cooperation is ... ... [Read more]

No.58
Archives, Diplomacy  May. 20, 2020

Interview: Grand challenges posed to humanity by a viral disease

Omi Shigeru, Vice Chair, Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, interviewed by Takase Fumihito, editor, Gaiko (Diplomacy)   ―― Since the COVID-19 outbreak was first confirmed in China toward the end of January 2020, the disease has been confirmed in many regions across the world. COVID-19 is significantly affecting not only people’s health but also the world economy.   Dr. Omi Shigeru: Health matters were dealt with by highly specialized government offices worldwide, for example, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan. Since the SARS outbreak, however, health matters have become an important subject that requires the involvement of offices outside that specialized field, including the Foreign Minister, the Prime Minister and the United Nations Secretary-General.   ―― Dr. Omi served as Regional Director of the Western Pacific Regional Office for the World Health Organization (WHO) for ten years from ... ... [Read more]