Investing in Healthy and Active Aging for Sustainable Growth—A Regional Approach to Promoting Innovative Long-Term Care

August 15, 2017
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

A multistakeholder forum was held to address the challenges facing Asia Pacific due to aging populations. Rapid population aging is one of the key challenges faced by an increasing number of societies in Asia Pacific and was identified in Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 as an urgent issue to be jointly addressed. The forum, which was held on the sidelines of meetings related to this year’s APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) in Viet Nam, drew over 260 people from 27 economies in the region, representing diverse stakeholders, namely parliamentarians, government officials, and representatives from international organizations, academia, civil society organizations and the private sector.

An aging society is not only an economic challenge but it is inherently a health and human security issue. It will significantly impact the achievement of universal health coverage, which is essential to ensuring healthy and active lives for all throughout the life course, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals. This forum offered a platform to raise awareness of the urgency of the issue, discuss the challenges and ways to harness the benefits of rapid aging in Asia-Pacific countries, and share good innovative practices. The participants recognized that population aging is no longer merely a domestic issue, but a common agenda item that transcends national borders, and that the multifaceted and complex challenges brought on by aging require a multisectoral approach.

It is hoped that the intellectual input from the forum will spur further policy debate among APEC officials and will encourage greater focus on the issue of aging in national, regional, and global policy debates in the future.



  • Government of Japan
  • Government of Viet Nam
  • Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD)
  • Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • HelpAge International
  • Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)
  • Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)

Opening Remarks

  • Akio Okawara, President and CEO, JCIE (Moderator)

Welcoming Remarks

  • Tien Nguyen Thi Kim, Minister of Health, Viet Nam

Keynote Speeches

  • Keizo Takemi, Member, House of Councillors, Japan; Chairperson, Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD)
  • Ermalena Muslim Hasbullah, Member, Parliament, Indonesia; Chairperson, Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development

Session 1: Discovering Asia’s Pathway toward a Vibrant Aging Society
Overview of Global Demographic Change and its Economic Impact from a Macro Perspective

  • Soonman Kwon, Chief of Health Sector Group, Asian Development Bank

Overcoming the Challenges—Lessons Learned from Japan’s Experience

  • Koji Fujimoto, Deputy Director General, Office of Healthcare Policy, Cabinet Secretariat, Japan
  • Shigemi Kitahara, President, Kitahara Neurosurgical Institute, Japan

Session 2: The Essential Role of Community Systems for Long-Term Care

  • Eduardo Klien, Regional Director, Asia Pacific Regional Office, HelpAge International


  • Du Peng, Director, Institute of Gerontology, Renmin University of China
  • Vichai Chokevivat, Member, Quality Control Committee under the National Health Security Act; President of Senior Citizen Council of Thailand; Former Expert in Health Promotion, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand
  • Peh Kim Choo, Chief Executive Officer, Tsao Foundation; Director, Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing, Singapore
  • Faridah Binti Abu Bakar, Deputy Director, Family Health Development Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia
  • Koji Miura, Professor, Keio University Hospital Clinical and Translational Research Center; Former Director-General, Health and Welfare Bureau for the Elderly, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan

Session 3: A Regional Approach to Capacity Development and the Cross-Border Movement of Care Workers
Luncheon Speaker

  • Sarah Louise Barber, Director, WHO Kobe Center, Japan


  • Reiko Hayashi, Director, Department of International Research and Cooperation, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Japan


  • Diono Susilo, Head, Division of Empowerment of Foreign Human Resources for Health, Board of Development and Empowerment, Human Resources for Health, Ministry of Health, Indonesia
  • Suvinda Samarakoon Singappuli, Director, National Secretariat for Elders, Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Sri Lanka
  • Juan Antonio A. Perez III, Executive Director, Commission on Population, Philippines
  • Pham Thi Quynh Huong, Division for Japan-Europe and Southeast Asia, Department of Overseas Labor, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affair, Viet Nam
  • Wako Asato, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, Japan

Closing Session: Way Forward for Policy Discussions and Decision Making on Regional and Multisectoral Collaboration

  • Keizo Takemi (Moderator)
  • Eduardo Klien (Moderator for Session 2)
  • Reiko Hayashi (Moderator for Session 3)
  • Jetn Sirathranont, Member of Parliament, Thailand; Secretary General, AFPPD
  • Pham Le Tuan, Vice Minister of Health, Viet Nam

Closing Remarks

  • Lubna Baqi, Deputy Regional Director, Asia Pacific Regional Office, UN Population Fund
  • Hidetoshi Nishimura, President, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Visit JETRO Exhibition & Performance


  • Jun-ichi Kawaue, Consul General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh City
    Pham Le Tuan, Vice Minister of Health, Viet Nam