Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

The 8th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting
for Caring Societies
Taro Muraki, Assistant Minister for International Affairs, MHLW
Closing Address
Thursday, Sep.2, 2010, around 12:20PM
At No.4 Special Meeting Room, MITA KAIGISHO

Distinguished delegates from ASEAN member states, People’s Republic of China and Republic of Korea; At the closing of this “8th ASEAN & Japan High Level Officials Meeting for Caring Societies,” I would like to address a few words.

I express my appreciation to all participants from the ASEAN countries for introducing their valuable experiences and information throughout the presentation and discussions, especially the representatives from the People’s Republic of China and Republic of Korea who participated in this meeting for the first time.

Furthermore, I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the representatives of ASEAN Secretariat, WHO/WPRO and ILO Office in Japan, as well as all the presenters.

I am grateful that we were able to exchange very productive discussions throughout the four days. This owes to the courtesy and cooperation of all of you who attended the meeting.

During this 8th meeting, we were able to exchange information and share valuable experiences under the theme of “Poverty alleviation with a focus on vulnerable people ― through strengthening collaboration between the social welfare and health services ―”.

It is the common challenge for all the participating countries to realize people’s self-sustenance and self-fulfillment, as well as to improve their quality of life and reduce poverty by supporting the entire community including socially vulnerable people, through collaboration between social welfare and health services. I believe that this meeting provides a good opportunity for all the participating countries to work hand in hand to solve the problems together.

I hope that each one of you will bring the results of this meeting back to your country and utilize them to formulate future policies. I am also hoping that this meeting’s results will be reported to the ASEAN+3 Health Ministers' Meetings and the ASEAN+3 Ministerial Meetings on Social Welfare to be used as materials for future discussions.

Furthermore, based on the recommendations agreed upon during this meeting, we would also like to seek the possibility to collaborate with employment policies in addition to strengthening ties between social welfare and health services.

Although Japanese summer is hot and humid, I hope you have a chance to walk around Tokyo to enjoy Japanese culture and food before you leave.

Now, I would like to end this address by wishing everyone’s further success and prosperity.

Thank you very much.