Since Japan established universal health coverage in 1961, it has ceaselessly worked to expand its health care services, in the belief that providing more extensive coverage for a wide variety of patient needs will contribute to the well-being of its citizens.

But an increasing number of experts are questioning the idea that more care is better. They say over-diagnosis and over-treatment can inflict more harm than good, and urge doctors and patients to be more selective about medical screenings, treatments and procedures.

There is also a growing need to cut back on waste and unnecessary care as the nation's population grays and shrinks, while a new class of super-expensive drugs are putting immense strain on the system.