Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

November 16th, 2012

The 10th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies

Date : From 23 to 25 October 2012

Venue : Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

Organizer :

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, JAPAN (MHLW)

Participants :

Experts :

Professor Yasuhiro Otomo, MD, PHD

Department of Acute Critical Care and Disaster Medicine, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

Professor Hiroshi Takahashi

Graduate School of Health and Welfare Management, International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School

Professor Junichi Goto, PhD

Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University

Collaborative Organizations:

The ASEAN Secretariat
World Health Organization, Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO/WPRO)
International Labour Organization (ILO) Office for Japan
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)


"Caring Societies for the Socially Vulnerable Suffering after Natural Disaster"

Outline of Discussion

As keynote presentations by Japanese experts, Prof. Otomo presented the disaster medical system in Japan enhanced by the lessons learned from past disasters. Prof. Takahashi introduced the system for the installation of evacuation centers and temporary housing, and the provision of welfare services from the viewpoint of community welfare. Prof. Goto presented the influence of disasters on employment and labor policy aimed at early recovery.

As keynote presentations by collaborative organizations, the ASEAN Secretariat introduced disaster management and disaster responses focusing on the socially vulnerable people in ASEAN, and the WHO/WPRO reported on the impact of disaster on the elderly and disabled as well as disaster management aimed at enhancing cooperation. JICA reported strategies for three stages of disaster management and introduced an example of a project for community-based disaster management in Thailand. The ILO Office reported employment policy on disaster management and its comprehensive post-disaster employment recovery strategy.

During the country presentations each ASEAN member state outlined basic policies for healthcare, welfare, and employment during natural and man-made disasters management including measures taken for the socially vulnerable people. They also shared information and experience among participating countries.

The 2nd day of the meeting featured a regional disaster prevention program for individuals requiring assistance during disaster based in the concept of self-aid, mutual aid, and public aid in Musashino City, Tokyo. Participating officials visited facilities at Musashino City, such as House Green Park (a long-term care facility), which has entered into a disaster prevention agreement with Msashino City, and Musashino Red-Cross Hospital (a core disaster hospital). Lectures who have been involved in victim support and researches of the Great East Japan Earthquake talked about their experiences as well.

Based on the information and knowledge shared at this meeting, participants discussed common issues and measures to all countries and future approaches by healthcare, welfare, and employment, and adopted the following recommendation by participant’s consensus:

Adopted Recommendations


We, the participants representing health, social welfare and labour sectors at the 10thASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies held in Tokyo, Japan, on 23-25October 2012, which carried the theme “Caring Societies for the Socially Vulnerable People Suffering After Natural Disasters”;

Acknowledging with appreciation the initiative of the Government of Japan to convene the ASEAN-Japan High-level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies since 2003, particularly this 10th Meeting as an effective platform of information sharing and exchange of views the health, social welfare and labour aspects of protecting the socially vulnerable in a natural disaster;

Recalling the goals in the ASEAN Blueprint 2009-2015 to strengthen the community resilience to the impacts of disasters, both natural and man-made, and to address the special needs of vulnerable groups who are at risk and/or victims of disasters;

Acknowledging that ASEAN Member States and Japan are facing different types and scales of disasters, both natural and man-made, and that there is also a need to take into account the adaptation to the impacts of climate change;

Further acknowledging that vulnerable groups (including women, children, persons with disabilities, elderly, the poor, among others) require special needs in time of disasters that should be properly addressed and, at the same time, have the potential to play an active role in building disaster resilient communities;

Nothing the importance of adopting a broader perspective in disaster management considering that the damage caused by a disaster in one area/country may affect labour market and industries in other areas/countries as well;


Agreed on the following mechanism of follow-up actions:

  1. The proceedings and outcomes of this 10thMeeting should be reported to the respective Ministers and other Senior Officials in each country;
  2. Japan, with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat, should report the proceedings and outcomes of this meeting to the ASEAN+3 Health Ministers and Senior Officials Meetings on Health Development (AHMM+3, SOMHD+3), ASEAN+3 Ministers and Senior Officials Meetings on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD+3, SOMSWD+3), and ASEAN+3 Labour Ministers and Senior Officials Meetings (ALMM+3, SLOM+3);


Recommended the following actions:

  1. Mainstream the special needs of socially vulnerable people such as the persons with disabilities, the elderly, women, children and other victims of disasters in the whole cycle of disaster preparedness, response, recovery and reconstruction;
  2. Prepare and advocate for appropriate health care, welfare services and labour policies responding to the impacts of disasters, both natural and man-made, in times of peace to ensure comprehensive, effective and timely responses and resources;
  3. Utilize the experiences on previous disaster response as lessons learnt for evaluating and developing effective measures;
  4. Improve availability, accuracy and timeliness of data and information about victims and special needs of vulnerable groups, including the mode of communication;
  5. Recognize that health emergency systems and plans need to be in place to provide an initial response to maximize the saving of people's lives in natural and man-made disasters. This includes capacity building through adaptation of technical guidelines, practical training, and regional interagency collaboration;
  6. Enhance emergency and disaster response systems, resource mobilization and capacities at all levels of society to enable local and immediate and longer-term responses to medical, social welfare and employment needs of the victims following different types and scale of natural and man-made disasters;
  7. Develop measures to facilitate better inter-agency coordination and collaboration by adopting a cluster approach, and closer partnerships with stakeholders, such as civil society, academia, and the private sector, in disaster management;
  8. Strengthen the existing social protection schemes, including contribution- and voluntary-based social insurance, to cover the victims of disasters who are at risk or become vulnerable as a result of disasters and to effectively meet their immediate special needs;
  9. Incorporate the labour sector in the national disaster management systems to focus on preparedness, response, recovery and reconstruction phases following natural or man-made disasters;
  10. Advocate for the inclusion of pro-active employment policies in disaster response for the purpose of recovering self-sustained livelihoods through mid-term support, in addition to emergency aid for unemployment.


10th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies

Tuesday 23 October 2012
Wednesday 24 October 2012
Thursday 25 October 2012
Report on the 10th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (with photos) (PDF:1,483KB)
Country Report on the follow-up of the 9th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies


Background of the Meeting

With the aim of enhancing the close relationship between ASEAN member states and Japan in the fields of health and social welfare, and human resource development in such fields, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has been inviting high-level officials in charge of social welfare and health policies from 10 ASEAN member states to participate in the ASEAN and Japan High-Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (HLOM) since 2003. From the 9th meeting held in 2011, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has invited officials in charge of labour policy in consideration of the collaboration with the field of the health and welfare.

The themes of the HLOM are determined based on the proposals of the ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat as well as the recommendations of the ASEAN+3 Health Minister’s Meeting and the ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development e.

This meeting has been highly regarded for providing the opportunity to share information on approaches in the fields of health, welfare, and labour among participating countries, and to acquire useful knowledge to be used as a reference for establishing policies in each country.

These HLOM is recognized as a vital platform which supports the ASEAN+3 Health Minister’s Meetings and the ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meetings on Social Welfare among the ASEAN member states. The proceedings, discussions, and recommendations of the previous ninth High Level Official Meetings were reported to the above-mentioned ASEAN+3 Minister’s Meetings. ASEAN member states expressed profound gratitude for this initiative by Japan and requested to continue these types of meetings.

Past themes of the ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies

The 1st Meeting November, 2003 Human Resource Development for Social Welfare and Health Services
The 2nd Meeting August, 2004 Development of Human Resources and Implications of Aging Societies
The 3rd Meeting August, 2005 Health and Welfare Services for Children and People with Disabilities
The 4th Meeting August, 2006 Support to Vulnerable People (Children and Women)
The 5th Meeting August, 2007 Collaboration of Social Welfare and Health Services, and Development of Human Resources and Community
-Community Services for the Elderly-
The 6th Meeting September, 2008 Healthy Next Generation:
- Strengthening Joint Collaboration between Health and Social Welfare -
The 7th Meeting August, 2009 Towards an Inclusive Society
-Strengthening the collaboration between social welfare, health and medical systems for Children with Disabilities-
The 8th Meeting August, 2010 Poverty alleviation with a focus on vulnerable people
- through strengthening collaboration between the social welfare and health services-
The 9th Meeting October, 2011 Human resource development in the sectors of welfare and health
-with a focus on capacity building of service providers and employability promotion of vulnerable people-