Combating COVID-19: Japan’s Response & Efforts

February 25, 2021 - February 25, 2021
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Live Webinar past event

Thursday, February 25, 7—8 PM EST   Calculate your local time

Many are hopeful that the new coronavirus vaccine will bring an end to the pandemic that has cost more than 1.5 million lives and plunged the world’s economies into decline. However, the virus remains rampant and the world is still engulfed in a health crisis. In Japan, the Japanese government continues to take measures to suppress the spread of the coronavirus. What is the current situation in Japan? Why is the COVID-19 death rate low in Japan compared to other countries? In this webinar, leading Japanese experts share their insights into the latest situation in Japan, the government’s response to the coronavirus and the nation’s plan for the COVID-19 vaccination.

This event is part of the Japanese government’s “Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” program.


Tomoya Saito, MD, MPH, PhD, Director, Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response National Institute of Infectious Diseases
Haruka Sakamoto, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Keio University

James Gannon, Executive Director, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA)


7—8 PMDiscussion and Q&A

This is a free event. You must register for the webinar to receive the login details. Registrants will receive a link to access the live webinar one day before the event.

For more information, please contact the Business and Policy Program at 212-715-1208 or email [email protected].

About the Speakers:
Tomoya Saito, MD, MPH, PhD is the director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response, National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan. As a distinguished expert in public health emergency preparedness and response, he serves as members of the cluster response task force in MHLW COVID-19 response headquarters and WHO Review Committee on the functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) during the COVID-19 Response,. Previously, Dr. Saito was the director of the Department of Health Crisis Management, National Institute of Public Health. From 2011 to 2014, Dr. Saito was a medical officer at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan and responded to several public health events such as Fukushima nuclear power plant incident and emerging diseases such as influenza A/H7N9, MERS, SFTS and Ebola virus diseases. Before joining MHLW, Dr. Saito was the instructor in the Department of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. He received his M.D. from the School of Medicine, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, his M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Medicine, Keio University.

Haruka Sakamota, MD MPH, is a primary care physician and assistant professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management, Keio University. She got her M.D from Sapporo Medical University and worked as a physician at St Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo for several years. She then got a scholarship from the World Bank and got her MPH at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health. From 2011-2013 and 2016, she worked at the international cooperation department, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, where she was deeply involved in health policy activities in Japan. She’s also currently working at Gates Foundation Tokyo Office, World Health Organization and World Bank as a consultant, and Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo as a project researcher.

James Gannon is the executive director of the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/USA), a foreign policy institute that strengthens US-Japan relations and encourages international cooperation on regional and global challenges. Through JCIE’s Global Health and Human Security Program, he has been closely involved in supporting the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to joining JCIE/USA in 2001, Jim conducted research with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and taught English in rural Japanese middle schools as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. He received a BA from the University of Notre Dame, carried out graduate research at Ehime University in Japan, and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Jim has written widely on US-Asia relations and is the co-editor of Looking for Leadership: The Dilemma of Political Leadership in Japan (2015) and A Growing Force: Civil Society’s Role in Asian Regional Security (2013). His most recent article on COVID-19 is "Global Health Needs US-Japan Cooperation" in the Council on Foreign Relation’s Asia Unbound blog.



  • Feb 25, 2021 at 7:00 pm