Health ministers from Japan, China and South Korea agree to cooperate amid major natural disasters


The health ministers of Japan, China and South Korea agreed Sunday to cooperate so that their countries can maintain proper medical services even if they are hit by a massive natural disaster.

At a meeting in the city of Kumamoto, the ministers adopted a joint statement that the countries will share their experience, information and technology to improve the capabilities of their medical services to respond to natural disasters.

The statement noted big earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture, Sichuan Province in southwest China and Gyeongju, South Korea, between 2016 and 2017, stressing the importance of building health and medical systems that are resilient to natural disasters.

The three countries also confirmed that they will boost efforts to improve their preparedness to deal with outbreaks of infectious diseases and to extend healthy life expectancy.

“It is significant that the three nations have agreed to strengthen cooperation on important common issues,” health minister Takumi Nemoto told a news conference.

The three countries started holding the annual ministerial meeting in 2007. Next year’s gathering will take place in South Korea.