Tag - health-care



New regulations took effect this month to cap the working hours of hospital doctors, with the health ministry also specifying that hours spent on duties and self-development directly associated with education and research should be considered work hours.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 1, 2024
Japan starts work style reform to cap doctors' overtime
Medical services in Japan have historically relied to some extent on the self-sacrifice of doctors.
Japan will charge members of medical insurance programs with fees starting in fiscal 2026 to tackle the country's sluggish birthrate.
Mar 29, 2024
Fight against low birthrate to cost ¥450 monthly per head
The government plans to boost annual spending on measures to fight the sluggish birthrate to ¥3.6 trillion by fiscal 2028.
Shi Pong Hsu, 75, makes coffee in a Singapore coffee shop. The city-state's government projects that almost a quarter of its population will be 65 or over by 2030.
Mar 10, 2024
Singapore is bracing for a super-aging society
Japan and South Korea may be the poster children for low birthrates, but Singapore is confronting its own decline. Its solution? Bonuses for nurses.
Health minister Keizo Takemi announces the government's decision to stop subsidizing COVID-19 medical expenses, at a news conference on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Mar 5, 2024
Japan's government to stop subsidizing COVID-19 treatment after March
"Hospitals are making preparations to admit coronavirus patients to general wards and we think that is no problem," said health minister Keizo Takemi.
The Central Social Insurance Medical Council has adopted a proposal to increase outpatient fees in order to boost the salaries of health care workers.
Feb 15, 2024
Japan to raise outpatient visit fees to increase workers' pay
In order to increase pay for young doctors, nursing staff and pharmacists, basic hospitalization fees and outpatient fees will be raised.
Digital minister Taro Kono (second from right) and health minister Keizo Takemi hand out leaflets to promote the use of My Number cards as health insurance certificates at Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo last month.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Dec 22, 2023
Japan to scrap health insurance cards from December next year
The government aims to streamline administration and improve health care services by integrating the function of the cards into My Number cards.
Medical fees will be lowered by 0.12% in fiscal 2024, marking the fifth consecutive reduction in the fees that are reviewed every two years.
Dec 20, 2023
Japan fees for medical services and drugs to be lowered by 0.12%
The government will raise its official fees for nursing and disability welfare services by 1.59% and 1.12%, respectively, in fiscal 2024.
The government is considering scrapping the idea of expanding the range of older residents who must pay out of their pockets 20% of the costs of elderly care services provided under public insurance.
Dec 19, 2023
Japan to scrap idea of raising elderly care user fees
Many ruling lawmakers have expressed cautious opinions on the proposed expansion.
The new Alzheimer's drug lecanemab, branded Leqembi
Dec 13, 2023
New Alzheimer's drug to be covered by health insurance in Japan
The drug, to be launched Dec. 20, will cost around ¥2.98 million per year in Japan but patients will only have to pay a limited share.
A My Number card reader at a clinic in Tokyo
JAPAN / Science & Health
Dec 3, 2023
Half of hospitals see no merit in My Number health insurance cards
Over 70 million in Japan have already adopted the cards, but actual use remains around 4%.
A selection of injector pens for the Wegovy weight loss drug.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 21, 2023
New treatment for obesity to be covered by Japan's public insurance
The expansion of health care options comes amid concerns about the potential misuse of such drugs by healthy individuals for weight loss.
Smuggled cannabis resin, which had been hidden inside ethnic Indian musical instruments, alongside the instruments in which they were hidden, at a police station in Fukuoka Prefecture in 2012.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 14, 2023
Bill to legalize cannabis-derived drugs clears Japan’s Lower House
The bill was sent to the Upper House the same day. If approved there, changes stipulated in the bill will likely go into effect by the end of next year.
Digital Minister Taro Kono looks at a nursing robot in a day care facility in Tokyo on Oct.18.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 7, 2023
Japan’s aging population to increase burden on nursing care costs
The average annual nursing care cost per capita is estimated to increase 75% to ¥235,000 in 2050 compared to 2019 levels, according to government data.
Japan is facing a serious shortage of generic drugs.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Oct 22, 2023
Serious generic drug shortage hits Japan amid flu spread
The supply of cough medicines, in particular, has fallen by 15% compared with levels before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the ministry.
In some cases in Japan, parents are asked by hospitals to attend to their children's daily requirements, and are sometimes asked to take on jobs that are normally reserved for hospital staff, a recent survey has shown.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Oct 1, 2023
Hospitals criticized for failing parents of young patients
While facilities in other countries incorporate parents and their needs into children's treatments, some hospitals in Japan use them as extra workers.
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine targeting BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants. Japan will roll out an updated version targeting the XBB variant on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Sep 19, 2023
Japan to begin COVID vaccine drive targeting XBB subvariant
The free shots will be offered until March next year to prepare residents for an expected uptick in infections during the winter.
Nobody wishes for a medical emergency, but preparing for one while you're in a foreign country can only make things easier.
Sep 18, 2023
How to avoid medical purgatory when hospitalized in Japan
Much like a legal will, a visit to the hospital is the last thing for which you want to prepare — yet doing so will save you stress and worry.
A nurse puts on protective clothing in front of an isolated hospital room to examine a person who tested positive for COVID-19 at a hospital in Saitama Prefecture in July 2021.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Sep 16, 2023
Japan to reduce public funds for COVID-19 treatments from October
The health ministry's decision is part of a broader plan to return the health care system to normal by next spring.
New health minister Keizo Takemi is the son of Taro Takemi, a prominent physician who was dubbed “Emperor Takemi” due to the enormous and often dictatorial power he wielded over health care policy as president of the Japan Medical Association.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Sep 15, 2023
Critics worry about new health minister's ties with lobby group
Keizo Takemi is the son of a former president of the Japan Medical Association, a political lobby mostly made up of doctors in private practice.
A man receives a COVID-19 vaccination  at Aoyama University in Tokyo in August 2021.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Sep 9, 2023
Japan to end free COVID-19 vaccinations in March
From fiscal 2024, the country will provide a COVID-19 shot once a year between to people aged 65 or over who are at high risk of severe symptoms.


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on