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[Event Report] The Dementia Policy Project Expert Meeting – Looking Back on Twenty Years of the Long-term Care Insurance System: Examining the Ideal Long-term Care System For Meeting the Needs of a Society of Healthy Longevity (December 20, 2021)

[Event Report] The Dementia Policy Project Expert Meeting – Looking Back on Twenty Years of the Long-term Care Insurance System: Examining the Ideal Long-term Care System For Meeting the Needs of a Society of Healthy Longevity (December 20, 2021)

In our role as a non-profit, independent healthcare policy think-tank, Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) considers dementia and the other various issues associated with population aging as healthcare policy issues that affect the entire world. As such, we have been working to encourage policy responses to these issues on a global level. For several years starting in FY2021, in an initiative titled “Creating a Long-Term Care System for the Era of Healthy Longevity,” we examine what policies will be needed for the future and outline a vision for Japan’s long-term care system with an eye on supporting Japan’s super-aging society.

Since its establishment in 2000, the Long-Term Care Insurance System has become an indispensable system for our daily lives by providing mutual aid in an institutionalized manner through the social insurance framework based on the concept of socializing long-term care which was, in the past, provided in the home.

However, as the population continues to age, demand for long-term care services continues to grow. By the end of FY2018, approximately 6.58 million people had been certified as requiring support or long-term care and their numbers are reaching new records each year. Annual expenditures associated with providing long-term care benefits are projected to expand to approximately 15 trillion yen by FY2025 and to approximately 25 trillion yen by FY2040. More and more elderly people are living in single-person households, particularly in urban areas, and there are also still many people (“caregivers” or “young caregivers”) providing in-home care for their loved ones, which is another factor that suggests more people will require long-term care services in the future.

Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2025, Japan will be facing a shortage of approximately 370,000 long-term care workers. Improving productivity through the use of information and communications technology (ICT), robotics, and other technologies remains an ongoing challenge, as is developing systems for organic cooperation among healthcare and welfare services and similar provider-side systems.

With this backdrop, we held an expert meeting titled, “Looking Back on Twenty Years of the Long-term Care Insurance System: Examining the Ideal Long-term Care System For Meeting the Needs of a Society of Healthy Longevity.” We hosted experts from various fields like healthcare, long-term care, industry, sociology, and finance to take a look back on the past two decades since the establishment of the Long-Term Care Insurance System. They shared their impressions regarding changes in society, roles that the long-term care system has fulfilled, and issues currently facing long-term care and discuss how to best shape the long-term care system to meet the needs of a society of healthy longevity. 

*A report on the Expert Meeting will be published online at a future date.

■ Overview

  • Date and time: Monday, December 20, 2021; from 18:00-21:00
  • Format: Online using the Zoom conferencing system
  • Host: Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)
  • Languages: Japanese only

■ Program (Titles omitted)
18:00-18:15 Welcoming remarks and explanatory introduction
 Ryoji Noritake (CEO, Board Member, HGPI)
 Go Aso (Senior Associate, HGPI)

18:15-18:40 Keynote lecture 1 – “The History of Japan’s Long-Term Care System and Discussion Points for the Future”
 Teruyuki Katori (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences, Sophia University)

18:45-19:10 Keynote lecture 2 – “The Ideal Form of Care in a Democratic Society”
 Yayo Okano (Professor, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University)

19:15-19:55 Panel discussion 1 – “Looking Back on Two Decades Since the Long-Term Care Insurance System Was Established to Socialize Long-Term Care”
Panelists:
 Shu Kinoshita (Lecturer, Faculty of Letters, Keio University)
 Yumi Shindo (Researcher, Center for Gerontology and Social Science, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology)
 Junichiro Tohya (Director, SAKURA SHINMACHI Urban Clinic, Platanus Medical Corporation)
 Kiyoyuki Tomita (Manager, Value Unit, Integrated Dimension Strategy Department, Eisai Co., Ltd.)

Moderator:
 Go Aso (Senior Associate, HGPI)

20:05-20:50 Panel discussion 2 – “What Will Be Required of the Long-Term Care System in the Era of Healthy Longevity?”
Panelists:
 Takashi Iguchi (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo)
 Masayuki Takahashi (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Saitama University)
 Motoi Fujisaki (Representative Managing Officer, Chief Risk Officer (CRO), SOMPO Care Co.)
 Mie Morikawa (Professor, College of Policy Studies Department of Policy Studies, Tsuda College)

Moderator:
 Ryoji Noritake (CEO, Board Member, HGPI)

20:50-21:00 General comments
 Teruyuki Katori (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences, Sophia University)

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