First launched in 2016 by the Japanese government, the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN) aims to promote bilateral and regional cooperation that fosters sustainable and self-reliant health care systems in the Asian region.
The goal of the initiative is to create vibrant and healthy societies where people can enjoy long and productive lives, and to contribute to the region’s sustainable and equitable development as well as economic growth. This goal is closely related to the third sustainable development goal (SDG3), “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” and particularly objective 3.8, which calls for universal health coverage that ensures all people have access to quality essential health care services without suffering financial hardship.
The emphasis of AHWIN is on creating an enabling environment for health through a multitiered, pyramid-shaped approach that begins with a strong, broad foundation of infrastructure that supports healthy lifestyles and healthy communities. The next level of the pyramid is the prevention of disease, the promotion of a healthy diet, and the provision of effective healthcare to maintain people’s health. The highest priority is the provision of quality medical treatment and long-term care, particularly as people age. Investing more in the first two tiers will eventually minimize the burden of that top tier and will thus lead to more economically and socially vibrant societies.
Drawing on the lessons learned in Japan, the most aged country in the world, this initiative first focuses on tackling aging-related challenges. It is composed of four pillars:
(1) to review and share elements of Japan’s experience with the provision of care and service that could benefit other countries in the region,
(2) to provide training for long-term care providers in the region and to facilitate the smooth and effective regionwide movement of care workers,
(3) to promote and develop the long-term care industry and peripheral industries in the region, and
(4) to conduct policy research and dialogues on healthy aging, elderly care, and other relevant issues that benefit from a regional approach.
AHWIN is led by the government of Japan (Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative Promotion Working Group, Headquarters for Healthcare Policy of the Cabinet Secretariat) and the Special Committee on International Health Strategy of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, in partnership with a private-sector consortium of institutions and individuals from the business sector, service providers, and other experts in Japan, as well as from partner nations and organizations overseas.
The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) are working in partnership with AHWIN to develop and maintain this website and other related projects.