Tokyo, 19 August 2022 (TDI): Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi met with the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation William Bill Henry Gates.

On August 18, a meeting between the officials started at 11 am and continued for approximately 35 minutes.

Minister Hayashi received a courtesy call from Bill Gates and presented him with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

Initially, Minister Hayashi presented the Diploma of Decoration and the Order. Moreover, the Minister expressed his gratitude for his essential and protracted contribution to global health over the years.

Furthermore, Bill Gates expressed his gratitude for the Decoration and his desire to continue contributing to Global health in cooperation with Japan.

During the discussion both the officials agreed to make efforts to strengthen health systems which contributes to the preparedness for future pandemics. Moreover, Minister Hayashi expressed his hope that the Global Fund, whose 7th replenishment meeting is scheduled this September.

Both officials had a telephonic conversation in July where they discussed enhancing close cooperation.

Gates’ Foundation contribution:

In response, Bill Gates expressed his regards to Japan’s Government for their contribution and struggles in enhancing global health.

Secondly, he shared his best wishes to collaborate with Japan’s leadership to improve global health.

The Foundation distributed more than US$7.8 billion including more than US$1.9 billion for immunization and US$448 million for The Grand Challenges in Global Health project.

Moreover, the Foundation donated US$50 million to the World Health Organization for the improvement of Health facilities and to empower Health care units during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, both sides agreed to work closely, including projects like the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT).

Both sides confirmed to continue working closely to control diseases like polioviruses.