Changing Global Health Governance and Japan’s Role

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Wednesday, November 17, 20217:00PM - 8:30PMOnline Event, Online Event
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The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health emergency but a more complex phenomenon closely linked to various social factors. Its remarkable feature is that, unlike other recent outbreaks such as Ebola and MERS, it spread worldwide simultaneously, and almost all countries have been scrambling for access to vaccines, medical equipment, and medicines. As a result, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, rich countries will have 1.2 billion surplus vaccine doses, whereas only around 3% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated at present. Under such circumstances, most countries have realized how unreliable the global health governance system is, especially during a crisis, and they are attempting to strengthen their preparedness and response capacity at the national and regional levels. In this regard, both the European Union and African Union have strengthened their regional health cooperative system, and the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue)—comprising Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S.—has announced its own vaccine partnership. This, however, gives rise to the possibility that the post-COVID-19 global health governance system will be more fragile and lack of leadership.

The ongoing pandemic is not going to be the last, and we should prepare for the future based on the lessons learned from it. How can we achieve efficient global health governance, and what role is Japan expected to play? Or, is it possible for the World Health Organization to regain its leadership position? This speech will examine the problems plaguing the current global health governance and propose some solutions.

Speaker Bios:
Dr. Kayo Takuma is a professor of international politics at the Faculty of Law and Politics, Tokyo Metropolitan University. Her research interest is global health governance’s origin, evolution, and challenges, with a focus on its relationship with the changing international political order. In this regard, she has been engaged in several projects such as a comparative study on G7 countries’ contribution to the implementation of the International Health Regulations and health cooperation in Asia. Her recent publications are as follows: Kayo Takuma, ‘Global Solidarity is Necessary to End the COVID-19 Pandemic’, Asia Pacific Review, 27-2 (2020), pp.46-56; Kayo Takuma, ‘Current Status and Issues Surrounding the COVID-19 Vaccine: The Expected Role of Japan’, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, Japan Looking Ahead Series, April 2021; Kayo Takuma, Jinrui to Yamai: Kokusai Seiji Kara Miru Kansen Sho to Kenko Kakusa [Mankind and Diseases: Infectious Diseases and Health Inequality in International Politics], Chuokoron Shinsha, 2020 (in Japanese).

Tana Johnson is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research, which examines the operations and design of international institutions, has been published in top outlets such as International Organization and Journal of Politics, Her book Organizational Progeny: Why Governments are Losing Control over the Proliferating Structures of Global Governance ( won the Alger Prize from the International Studies Association. Johnson has received fellowships from Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, and the Global Governance Futures (GGF) program. Prior to joining the UW-Madison faculty, she was an Associate Professor at Duke University.

Yves Tiberghien (Ph.D. Stanford University, 2002; Harvard Academy Scholar 2006; Fulbright Scholar 1996) is a Professor of Political Science and Konwakai Chair in Japanese Research at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He is also Director Emeritus of the Institute of Asian Research, and Director of the Center for Japanese Research.
Yves is Distinguished Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada and a Senior Fellow at the University of Alberta’s China Institute. He is an International Steering Committee Member at Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD). In November 2017, he was made a Chevalier de l’ordre national du mérite by the French President.
In 2014-2016, Yves served as Co-Director of the UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA), which he founded as Chair of the UBC Public Policy Curriculum Committee in 2014.
He is a regular visiting professor at Tokyo University (Graduate School of Public Policy) and at Sciences Po Paris (Paris School of International Affairs). He has held other visiting positions at National Chengchi University (Taiwan), GRIPS (Tokyo), and the Jakarta School of Public Policy (Indonesia).
Yves’ research specializes in comparative political economy and global economic and environmental governance, with an empirical focus on Japan, China, Korea, and Europe.
His books include The East Asian Covid-19 Paradox. August 2021. Elements in Politics and Society in East Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press DOI:, Entrepreneurial States: Reforming Corporate Governance in France, Japan, and Korea (2007, Cornell University Press); L’Asie et le futur du monde (2012, Paris: Science Po Press); and Leadership in Global Institution-Building: Minerva’s Rule (2013, edited volume, Palgrave McMillan). In 2020, he edited an online collection of papers on Japan’s leadership in the Liberal International Order. He has published articles and book chapters on the political economy of Japan and China, global governance, global climate change politics, and the governance of agricultural biotechnology.
He is working on two books: Up for Grabs: Disruption, Competition, and the Remaking of the Global Economic Order and Navigating the Age of Disruption: Understanding Canada’s Options in a Shifting Global Order.
Dr. Tiberghien co-founded the Vision 20 initiative in 2015, a new coalition of global scholars and policy-makers aiming at providing a long-term perspective on the challenges of global economic and environmental governance. The V20 held six summits (Hangzhou, 2016, Buenos Aires 2018, Tokyo 2018, and Washington DC, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Phillip Y. Lipscy is associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. He is also Chair in Japanese Politics and Global Affairs and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. His research addresses substantive topics such as international cooperation, international organizations, the politics of energy and climate change, international relations of East Asia, and the politics of financial crises. He has also published extensively on Japanese politics and foreign policy. Lipscy’s book from Cambridge University Press, Renegotiating the World Order: Institutional Change in International Relations, examines how countries seek greater international influence by reforming or creating international organizations.


Mio Otsuka


Kayo Takuma
Professor, Faculty of Law and Politics, Tokyo Metropolitan University

Tana Johnson
Associate Professor, Public Affairs and Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Yves Tiberghien
Professor, Political Science; Konwakai Chair in Japanese Research, University of British Columbia; Director Emeritus, Institute of Asian Research; Director, Center for Japanese Research

Phillip Lipscy
Director, Centre for the Study of Global Japan, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

Opening Remarks
Consul-General of Japan in Toronto

Main Sponsor

Centre for the Study of Global Japan


Consulate General of Japan in Toronto

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