Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

December 25th, 2013

The 11th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies

○Date & Venue

Date : From 3 to 5 December 2013

Venue : Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo, Japan


○Participants :


○Theme:Active Aging


○Discussion Points

Universal Health Coverage as a basis “Active Aging”

Medical and Welfare Services, Health Promotion, and Disease Prevention

Local Communities that Support the Elderly

Social Involvement and Contributions by the Elderly

Learning from the Approaches for Active Aging in Japan

The roles of the Government in “Active Aging”

Future Cooperation with and among ASEAN Countries for the Aging Population

○Organizer: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare


Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013

【Adopted Recommendations】

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:


We, the participants representing health, social welfare and labour sectors of the ASEAN plus 3 countries at the 11th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (hereafter referred to as the Meeting) held in Tokyo, Japan, on 3-5 December 2013, which carried the theme “Active Aging”;

Remembering that this year marks the 40th year since the relations between ASEAN and the Japanese Government began, and that we have kept cordial relationships throughout this time, aiming to further enhance our cooperations and build strategic partnerships in the future;

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 11th Meeting as an effective platform of information sharing and exchange of views on the health, social welfare and labour aspects of “Active Aging”;

Also, acknowledging with appreciation the active initiatives by the Government of Japan for holding the “ASEAN-Japan Seminar, The Regional Cooperation for the Aging Society” in Jakarta this November, with hopes that these efforts will continue and promote further collaborations in the future;

Noting that aging is progressing worldwide, and by 2050 the population of age 60 years and over will reach 2 billion;

Recognizing that ASEAN countries will experience rapid aging in years to come, and face new challenges such as maintaining health, responding to welfare and social security needs, prevention of isolation and poverty of the elderly that require urgent attention;

Considering that the current situation of aging in the health, labour and welfare sector and the promotion of measures related to aging in ASEAN countries vary, and that cultural and social backgrounds differ between ASEAN member states and Japan, therefore the current issues that are faced by each country may not be the same;

Also, noting the results of the discussions made by the “Study Group for Japan’s International Contributions to Active Aging.”


We, the participants of the Meeting have agreed:

  • The proceedings and outcomes of this 11th Meeting should be reported to the respective Ministers and other Senior Officials in each country;
  • 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);
  • The promotion of collaborations for active aging with the ASEAN countries will be reaffirmed in the ASEAN-Japan Summit held in Tokyo this December.


We call upon all participants to:

  1. take into consideration the needs of the elderly, in formulation of health, welfare and labor policies-recommendations  to ensure that quality of life can be improved by maximizing health, social participation and social security as a person ages recognizing that women live longer than men
  2. enhance the development of policy-recommendations for long-term care and health care and human resources for the elderly;
  3. consider  incorporating the needs of elderly into the policy-recommendations to be taken by the health and welfare sectors towards universal health coverage, recognizing that universal health coverage is an important and basic policy for active aging;
  4. ensure that appropriate services are provided to the elderly, particularly services for the various problems facing the elderly including non-communicable diseases and dementia;
  5. consider reorienting and building systems to support the elderly according to the current conditions in the community recognizing that urbanization is rapidly progressing in the ASEAN countries, and that the challenges for elderly policies differ between urban and rural areas;
  6. reaffirm the roles played by the elderly, their families and the community including roles of volunteers for the elderly, and explore policies-recommendations to further enhance their capacities and participation;
  7. incorporate elderly policies-recommendations into labour and occupational safety policies-recommendations, recognizing the importance of promoting social participation of the elderly, in light of utilizing skill, experience and capacities of the elderly as well as securing income, considering that there is a vast informal sector;
  8. consider building policies-recommendations, systems and plans for creating an age-friendly society, that include considerations on economic sustainability, utilizing private sector resources, improving or making technical guidelines for facilities and personnel, and practical training;
  9. improve data quality, availability, accuracy and timeliness on the needs specialized for the elderly for evidence based policy making, and consider appropriate methods for communicating to stakeholders for promoting active aging;
  10. note the important leading role of the government for further coordinating the ministries and with local governments, and for promoting close partnerships between the relevant civil societies, academic research institutions, and the private sector, and also for continuing to exchange information on the current situations and good practices among the ASEAN plus 3 countries;
  11. Finally, recognize that aging is a common challenge for the ASEAN plus 3 countries, and continue to promote co-operations by policy dialogue, technical cooperation, and human resource development and concerted efforts of relevant institutions.
Report on the 11th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (with photos)(PDF:1021KB) 
Country Report


Background of the Meeting

The ASEAN and Japan High-Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies has been held since 2003 for the purpose of enhancing the development of human resources in health and social welfare in ASEAN regions and strengthening cooperative relationship between Japan and ASEAN countries.

Until the 8th Meeting held in 2010, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) invited high-level officials in charge of health and social welfare policies from the 10 ASEAN countries. From the 9th Meeting held in 2011, MHLW has invited officials in charge of employment policies as well as those in charge of health and social welfare policies for the promotion of cooperation in these three fields.

The Meeting is recognized as a vital platform which supports the ASEAN Plus Three (Japan, People’s Republic of China, and Republic of Korea) Health Ministers’ Meetings (AHMM+3) and the ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meetings on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD+3) among the ASEAN countries. Japan reported the results of the Meeting to the above-mentioned ASEAN Plus Three Ministers’ Meetings.

ASEAN countries expressed profound expectation for the continuation of the 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-
The 10th Meeting October, 2012 Caring Societies for the Socially Vulnerable Suffering after Natural Disaster