Toward the Continuation and Development of the Japan – China Sasakawa Medical FellowshipAgreement signed for human resource development and joint research program

The Nippon Foundation established the Japan – China Sasakawa Medical Fellowship program in 1986 to improve health and social welfare in the People’s Republic of China, while also promoting mutual understanding between China and Japan. A new, fifth stage of the program is being implemented to reflect current circumstances and set the course for the program’s continuation and future development.

The Nippon Foundation President Takeju Ogata (left) and Cui Li, deputy minister of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (right), sign the agreement

The program was established to develop medical practitioner human resources in China and promote friendly relations between Japan and China, with the aim of rebuilding China’s medical sector, which collapsed during the Cultural Revolution. To date, a total of 2,226 people from China have studied medicine in Japan and had the opportunity to conduct research at Japanese universities and research institutions.

The program is based on an assumption that fellows will return to China after completion, and fellows have played leading roles in the field of medical education and contributed to the enhancement of medical technologies and public health in China. Currently, two fellows are directors of medical schools, more than 50 are heads of university medical departments or hospital directors, and more than 600 are teaching medicine.

Changing Direction for Future Development

Group photo after the signing

The fellowship program has previously focused on the cultivation of entry-level researchers, but recognizing that China now has sufficient resources in this segment, the fifth stage will consist of two programs: a joint research course for roughly 20 persons, and a PhD-track course at Japanese universities for roughly 10 persons. The agreement covers a five-year period beginning in April 2018.

Great Hall of the People

A signing ceremony for the fifth stage was held on February 17 at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The agreement was signed by Takeju Ogata, President of The Nippon Foundation; Cui Li, deputy minister of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission; and Hideoki Ogawa, president of the Japan China Medical Association. Japanese ambassador to China Yutaka Yokoi also attended the ceremony.


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