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Global Infectious Disease Forum: Building a Future Beyond COVID-19

April 1, 2022
Global Infectious Disease Forum: Building a Future Beyond COVID-19

On March 24 (World  Tuberculosis Day), FGFJ/JCIE co-sponsored an event, the “Global Infectious Disease Forum: Building a Future Beyond COVID-19.” This event brought together people from across the fields of government, academia, industry, and international organizations who have been involved in global infectious disease issues including COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. During the forum, these individuals discussed the global shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the shared challenges and values that came about from the pandemic, and how to look forward to a post-COVID-19 future. Video recordings of the live-streamed event are available below (in Japanese).

Summary Video

An abbreviated version of the event, including remarks from the event speakers, is available here (in Japanese only).

Session 1: COVID-19 Pandemic as a “Syndemic of Global Capitalism, Climate Change, and Infectious Disease”

Hon. Motohisa Furukawa (House of Representatives, DPJ) and Minister of Justice Sadahisa Furukawa (House of Representatives, LDP), known as the “Furukawa Duo,” steered a resolution in both houses of the Diet and declared a climate emergency. The duo published an article, “The COVID-19 Pandemic is a Syndemic of Global Capitalism, Climate Change, and Infectious Disease,” in December 2021 in Ronza magazine, on which the discussion in this session was based. Facilitated by writer Hirotada Ototake, the session included discussions on how economic disparities, polarization of society, climate change, and infectious disease are connected and what we can do to act on these issues.


  • Hirotada Ototake, Writer (Facilitator)
  • Motohisa Furukawa, Member of the House of Representatives (Democratic Party of Japan); Co-Chair of the FGFJ Diet Task Force
  • Osamu Kunii, CEO, Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund

※The video below includes the Opening Session

  • Opening: Takako Zenba, News Anchor (General Moderator)
  • Opening Remarks: Ichiro Aizawa, Member of the House of Representatives (Liberal Democratic Party), Co-Chair of the FGFJ Diet Task Force
  • Welcome Remarks: Takako Suzuki, State Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Message to Japan: Peter Sands, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Video message)

Session 2: Questioning Sustainable Management in the Face of Global Infectious Disease

This discussion examined various ways that companies and organizations can contribute to the fight against global infectious diseases and what is needed for Japanese companies to become more actively involved in case of pandemics in the future.


  • Jun Hori, Journalist (Facilitator)
  • Rei Nishimoto, President and Representative Director, Koei Chemical Corporation; Advisor,
    Sumitomo Chemical Co
  • Toshiya Matsuki, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation (NEC)
  • Mihoko Kashiwagura, Head of Japan, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ayako Sonoda, President, Cre-en Corporation; Executive Director, Japan Forum for Sustainability

Session 3: Tuberculosis—Worldwide and in Japan

In honor of World TB Day, this discussion focused on overviews of the state of TB in both the world and Japan. In addition, speakers discussed the role of the Global Fund, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on TB, and how one can better understand and empathize with the struggles of those affected by TB.


  • Takako Zemba, News Anchor (Facilitator)
  • Shinsuke Miyano, Physician, International Medical Cooperation Bureau, National Center for Global Medical Research (NCGM); Member, Global Fund Technical Review Panel (TRP); Advisor for Infectious Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
  • Satoko Itoh, Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE); Assistant Director, Friends of the Global Fund Japan (FGFJ)

YouTube Lecture Series: #TheWorldBeyondCOVID-19 (In Japanese)

With lecturers who are experts of infectious diseases, as well as special guest MCs, this four-part lecture series talks about how we can think about infectious diseases in relation to different keywords. For more information on the lecture series project, click here.

To watch all of these videos and more, visit the FGFJ YouTube Playlist.