Japan-China Sasakawa Medical Fellowships Celebrate 20 Years [2007/09/26]
Beijing’s Great Hall of the People
On August 26th, in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 20th year of the Japan-China Sasakawa Medical Fellowships. These fellowships enable Chinese doctors and nurses to study for one year at Japanese universities and medical institutions, and the program has come to be a strong bridge of friendship between Japan and China. The celebration was attended by some 1,200 individuals from both Japan and China. The parties involved also announced the decision to seek even higher levels of medical exchange between the two nations by inviting a total of 150 doctors (30 per year) to Japan under a new five-year program that will begin in April 2008.
This program was launched in 1987 by three parties: the Japan-China Medical Association, the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation, and the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China, with support from the Nippon Foundation. In 1992, a special program that subsequently brought select researchers back to Japan was launched to promote ever-more advanced research. Together, these programs have brought more than 2,000 medical professionals from China to study at 200 Japanese universities and medical institutions.
This year’s ceremony was the second such event, following a tenth-anniversary celebration held in 1996. The August 26th ceremony was attended by approximately 500 people from Japan, and 700 Chinese fellows who are currently active throughout China.
Commemorative ceremony attended by 1,200 people
The ceremony opened with special lectures, entitled “Japanese Medicine Today and the Challenges Confronting It” by Dr. Yasuhiko Morioka, Director General of the Japan-China Medical Association, and “Joining Together Medicine and Public Health as Seen in the SARS Crisis,” by Dr. Yin Dakui, Chairman of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association. These were followed by Chinese Minister of Health Chen Zhu’s expressions of gratitude to Japan. “This program is a model for human resource development and has contributed significantly to China’s modernization,” said Zhu. Referring to an ancient proverb, he also commented, “If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” Dr. Chen expressed hopes for the future expansion of the program.