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The First Lancet Countdown Event in Japan with Chiho Watanabe, Dean of the Interfaculty Initiative in Planetary Health

The renowned medical journal, The Lancet, annually publishes the “Lancet Countdown,” a comprehensive summary of the latest research on the impact of climate change on health. The eighth edition of this countdown was released on November 15. Alongside the publication, related events take place globally to discuss the connection between climate change and health. This year marked the first countdown event in Japan, which took place on December 14, 2023, at the Nomura Conference Plaza in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. This event was a collaboration between Nagasaki University and the College of Medicine and Dentistry, with support from The Lancet Countdown and was conducted as a hybrid event.

After the opening remarks by Chiho Watanabe, the Dean of the Interfaculty Initiative in Planetary Health of Nagasaki University, the event featured keynote speeches from two renowned experts: Professor Ollie Jay from the University of Sydney and Professor Masahiro Hashizume from the University of Tokyo, both of whom specialize in climate change epidemiology. They discussed the countdown report, focusing on its overview and its specific implications for Japan. Following their insightful presentations, Takafumi Sasaki, the Representative Director of “Midori no Doctors”, shared the findings of a survey on public awareness regarding climate change and its effects.

 The event then transitioned to a panel discussion featuring Takeo Fujiwara from Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Yukiko Imada from the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, and Representative Director Sasaki, alongside Chiho Watanabe, Director of the Interfaculty Initiative in Planetary Health. The panel engaged in lively discussions, with a particular focus on the health of children as the future generation that will be significantly impacted by climate change. Additionally, a Q&A session was held with both the audience and online participants, although this was relatively brief. Despite lasting just over two hours and not being particularly long, the session was an excellent opportunity to communicate the urgent need to address the health and wellbeing threats posed by climate change.

You can watch this seminar here:

A detailed report of the seminar is available here: