My connection to Japan goes back to my birth, it’s the homeland of my mother, it’s also where I have friends and family, and it’s where I spent a memorable year at Waseda University as a student. Looking at the news, I feel a deepening concern regarding Japan’s lack of a body like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This is an institution which is foundational to the well-being of people, and it’s effective when it’s independent and fully funded. Without it, it means that there is considerable expertise within Japan which goes untapped at this time.
I am a public health researcher with a deep commitment to understanding health inequality. One thing that country’s need in order to honor all their citizens’ right to simply live, is to develop a Centers for Disease Control. Without such an institution, countries are at the whim of opinion, not science; ideas not evidence, and health for some, but not everyone.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.