Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

November 10, 2014

The 12th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies

○Date & Venue

Date: From 21 to 23 October 2014

Venue: Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo, Japan


○Participants: total 120 participants :


○Theme: Resilient Communities for Active Aging※

※Active Aging:“Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.”
(WHO (2002) Active Ageing Policy Framework)

○Discussion Points

- Health care and healthy life style for the elderly by utilizing the potential of communities

- Long term care service for elderly and human resource development

- Age-Friendly cities and communities

- Social participation and contribution of elderly

- Future cooperation with and among ASEAN countries for the aging population

○Organizer: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare


Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Thursday, 23 October 2014

【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 the health, social welfare and labour sectors of the ASEAN plus 3 countries at the 12th ASEAN and Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (hereafter referred to as the Meeting) held in Tokyo, Japan, on October 21-23, 2014, under the theme, “Resilient communities for Active Ageing”;

With appreciation to the continued initiative taken by the Government of Japan to address the ageing of population in the ASEAN region, acknowledging that this 12th Meeting serves as an effective platform for information sharing and exchange of views on the public health, social welfare and labour aspects of ageing;

Welcoming the recommendations of the “ASEAN Japan Active Aging Regional Conference” held in Jakarta in June 2014 as the outcome of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit Meeting held in December, 2013;

Considering measures for building a sustainable cooperative network to share good practices for Active Ageing among the ASEAN Member States, and expecting to receive support from Japan toward this end;

Recognizing that ageing is progressing worldwide, with people over 60 expected to reach 2 billion by 2050, in particular in the ASEAN Member States where the population is projected to age rapidly in the near future, and that maintaining the health of the older people, addressing their welfare and social security needs, and taking preventive measures against their isolation and poverty are matters requiring an urgent response of each ASEAN country;

Recognizing that urbanization is the global trend of the world population, and three-fifths of people around the world are projected to dwell in cities by 2050, and that in developing countries, the share of older people living in urban communities will multiply by 16 times from 56 million in 1998 to 908 million in 2050 ; and

Noting the concepts of the “Global Age-Friendly Cities Guideline” advocated by the WHO in 2006;

Acknowledging that parallel rural-urban migration of the youth to the urban cities resulting their elders and older people left with lesser care in the rural and remote villages may subject them to more difficult situation due to lack of social and financial support;

Noting the diversity among the ASEAN Member States in the public health, welfare, and labour situations and measures being promoted related to ageing, and differences in the situations of the ageing population and cultural and social backgrounds, and therefore, the current challenges they are facing between the ASEAN member states and Japan.


We, the participants of the Meeting have agreed:

The proceedings and outcomes of this 12th 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);

Promotion of collaboration with regard to measures related to the ageing population will be reaffirmed at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting and related meetings held in November 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

1 Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide, World Health Organization(2007), p3-4


We call upon all participants to:

  1. Consider the public health, social welfare, and employment policies that bring out and utilize the capacity of families and local communities to the fullest, in order to ensure that people’s quality of life improves through the ageing process while they fully benefit from health and social security services as well as social participation;
  2. Acknowledge older people’s potential and independence to actively participate in the society and that respect for their dignity and self-worth are key elements to achieve Active Ageing;
  3. Make an effort to understand the functional, mental and social situations of the older people accurately, to enhance the development of professional human resources engaged in long term care and medical care services, to promote the widespread use and quality of these services for older people, and actively promote bridging the knowledge and experience between these experts and families and communities;
  4. Recognize that the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and manageing geriatric syndrome such as dementia and depression are important elements in achieving Active Ageing;
  5. Recognize the need to strengthen primary healthcare and promote healthy lifestyle not only among the older people but all age groups in each ASEAN country;
  6. Recognize that health promotion in the community and preventive care for the older people are important measures constituting the foundation of Active Ageing, which is expected to contribute to curbing increasing social security costs, and make an effort to include health promotion in appropriate social security systems and care programmes and to develop human resources who administer them; welcome actions by each country to implement them in the health and welfare sectors and cooperation among multi-stakeholders to carry them out;
  7. Discuss appropriate role and resource sharing between the public and private sectors and ensure their commitment in providing health and care services for the older people and designing their supply systems, and offer those services in affordable prices, maximize the quantity and quality of the services, and train personnel who support those services;
  8. Recognize importance of reliable database on older people that identify the relevant issues and concerns of older people to develop appropriate policies and programmes that promote their welfare and quality of life
  9. Strengthen age-friendliness of cities including outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, employment, communication and information to improve and promote quality of life of the older people;
  10. Recognize that social participation of the older people has an important implication to the utilization of their skills, experience and ability, income security and health promotion, and make an effort to include an employment measure and volunteerism in the policy for the older people to enable their participation in socio-economic, cultural and productive activities in private sectors and local communities;
  11. Promote a closer partnership among stakeholders, including those academia and the public and private sectors to support appropriate and effective use of various emerging technologies to support Active Ageing;
  12. Recognizing and acknowledging that ageing is a common challenge posing the ASEAN+3 countries, continue to cooperate in the areas of, such as, policy dialogue, technical cooperation, and human resources development aiming at strengthening collaborative and inclusive efforts and constructing a sustainable network.
Report on the 12th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting on Caring Societies (with photos) (PDF:2,959KB)  
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), the ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meetings on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD+3) and the ASEAN Plus Three Labour Ministers Meetings (ALMM+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
The 11th Meeting December, 2013 Active Aging