[Research Report] Results of Survey on the Japanese Government’s Response to COVID-19 (December 14, 2021)
Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) conducted a nationwide online survey (1,000 respondents; 494 male, 506 female; ages 18 to 79) regarding the Japanese government’s international support, including vaccines, in the context of global health.
In order to end the fight against the pandemic, recent discussions on COVID-19 vaccine policies need to consider human health on a global scale and respond to COVID-19 in developing countries through international cooperation. Furthermore, the Special Session on WHA, hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), also reaffirmed the importance of equitable distribution of vaccines in the context of global health. According to the Global Dashboard for Vaccine Equity by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), one in two people in high-income countries are vaccinated, while only one in 18 people are vaccinated in low-income countries. This will not only affect the economy, society, and health of unvaccinated people in low-income countries but also have a significant impact on the world, such as the possible emergence of new mutant viruses and on the economic and social activities connected by global value chains.
This survey examined how Japan should approach international vaccine-related issues as an advanced country, and the public awareness of vaccine policies. The summary of the survey results is as follows.
1. Equitable distribution of vaccines
When asked about their thoughts on the lack of progress in vaccinations in certain places, such as Africa, the majority of the respondents (54.5%) stated, “from the perspective of the global economy, the vaccines should be distributed around the world,” while others (34.8%) stated, “it is unfair that there is a difference in vaccine distribution depending on the country.”
2. Japanese government’s measures to donate vaccines to other countries
When asked about their thoughts on the free provision of vaccines by the Japanese government to countries and regions in need of the COVID-19 vaccines, almost 90% (86.6%) expressed their support for the matter.
3. Japan’s role in addressing international issues.
When asked about their thoughts on Japan’s role in addressing international issues, about half of the respondents (46.5%) expected the Japanese government to play a “major role.”
4. Priorities of the Japanese government’s response to COVID-19 for other countries
When asked whether financial assistance or the donation of vaccine doses is more important for the Japanese government’s support to other countries, the number of respondents for financial assistance (14.5%) was significantly outnumbered by those for the donation of vaccine doses (57.0%).
5. Public awareness of the term “global health”
When asked whether they knew and understood the term “global health”, the majority of the respondents (83.0%) did not know the term or its definition.
The Japanese government has announced that they will establish a “Global Health Strategy” at the Health and Medical Strategy Promotion Council by June 2022. It is important to proceed by incorporating the lessons learned from the responses to this pandemic while considering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and obtaining the citizens’ understanding.
*The full report of the research written in English will be available on this website in due course.