Global Health Diet Roundtable | Update on the Regional COVID-19 Situation

April 21, 2020

On April 21, JCIE held its 5th Global Health Diet Roundtable, virtually bringing together twelve leaders in the Japanese Diet with Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific. Dr. Kasai briefed the Japanese legislators on the situation that each member state is facing and the steps that the WHO is taking to support countries to fight against COVID-19. He also discussed the fact that many of the countries in the Asian Pacific region, including many of the Pacific Island nations, have vulnerable health systems and are not equipped with enough ventilators, meaning those countries would be overwhelmed quickly if they were hit with a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Kasai analyzed that early border closure has been effective in keeping the cases low in the region to some extent but reminded everyone that it has also hindered the shipping of medical equipment. He called for greater international cooperation, especially regarding the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits.

JCIE launched the Global Health Diet Roundtable series in 2018 as part of its Global Health and Human Security program. The aim of this program is to assist a bipartisan group of young and emerging Diet members in deepening their understanding of global health issues.



TAKESHI KASAI, Regional Director, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific

Diet Members

HANAKO JIMI, Member, House of Councillors (Liberal Democratic Party – LDP)

HITOSHI KIKAWADA, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

KAREN MAKISHIMA, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

HIROMI MITSUBAYASHI, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

SHU SAKURAI, Member, House of Representatives (Constitutional Democratic Party)

KEI SATO, Member, House of Councillors (LDP)

HIROAKI TABATA, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

KEIZO TAKEMI, Member, House of Councillors (LDP); WHO Goodwill Ambassador for UHC

TOSHIKO TAKEYA, Member, House of Councillors (Komeito)

MIKI YAMADA, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

YURIKO YAMAKAWA, Member, House of Councillors (Constitutional Democratic Party)

TSUNEHIKO YOSHIDA, Member, House of Representatives (LDP)