NEW REPORT – Policy Priorities for Super-Ageing Japan: Health Innovation and Economic Growth in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era

New York and Tokyo (February 24, 2021) – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) announced a report sharing key takeaways from their roundtable on healthy aging, innovation, and the silver economy. The October 2020 virtual roundtable convened experts from across the health, business, aging, and elder homecare sectors in a policy discussion to call on governments to recognize health spending as a critical investment for countries like Japan, who are leading the global megatrend of aging and placing innovation at the center of this investment. The roundtable was held by GCOA in collaboration with HGPI and sponsored by Pfizer Japan.

The roundtable was the first in a series on healthy ageing, innovation, and the silver economy led by GCOA and the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD).

Five key takeaways emerged that shine a light on the importance of health innovation in Japan and in aging societies around the world:

  1. Japan needs innovation to ensure healthy longevity.
  2. To foster innovation, Japan must recognize spending on health innovation as an investment in healthy and active ageing.
  3. Cross-sector, cross-discipline, cross-geographical cooperation is essential for achieving health innovation.
  4. In Japan, investment in health innovation will require incentivizing those poised to lead the innovation.
  5. Global and Japanese-focused forums have set the stage for action to achieve new models for health innovation to fuel the silver economy.

Click here to read the report in English. Click here to read the report in Japanese.

The discussion was introduced by Michael W. Hodin, CEO of the GCOA, Hideki Makihara, Member of the Japanese Diet, and Yumiko Murakami, Head of the OECD Tokyo Centre.

Key comments during the roundtable included:

“Global collaboration and communication play a critical role in promoting health innovation and the silver economy,” said OECD’s Murakami. “With almost 30% of the population over 65 years old, Japan has the opportunity to demonstrate international leadership. Fostering health innovation is a key part of what we want to model for other aging societies.”

Mikiro Suga, Director, Health and Welfare Department, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) New York, said, “By pursing policy solutions that support health innovation and economic growth, Japan is laying the groundwork for a future with a strong economy, efficient healthcare spending, and a healthy, active, and robust population of older adults.”

Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA, said the importance of incentivizing innovation, noting that “in sectors, like elder homecare, technology and medicines, increased innovation can result in greater functional ability for older adults and continued economic activity across the life course.”

Another mark of the value of supporting health innovation and investment was a virtual discussion convened by The Economist on November 25, 2020. Policymakers, clinicians, and experts gathered to discuss how to spur innovation in Japan’s life sciences sector while safeguarding the sustainability of its health system. Click here to read the summary in English. Click here to read the summary Japanese. The discussion was sponsored by Pfizer.

 

Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path to health, productivity and economic growth.

 

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) is a Tokyo-based, independent, non-profit, and non-partisan health policy think tank established in 2004. Since its establishment, HGPI has been working to realize citizen-centric health policies by gathering together diverse stakeholders and developing policy recommendations. HGPI is committed to serving as a truly independent organization that can provide society with new ideas from a broad, long-term perspective in order to foster fair and healthy communities. HGPI looks forward to continuing to partner with people from all around the world as we continue our work for the development of effective health policy solutions for Japanese and global issues.

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