Responding to COVID-19:
Prospects for UK-Japan Cooperation


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Join us for the second event in this online series organized in collaboration with Chatham House and the Embassy of Japan in the UK during which the speakers draw upon their direct experience of managing the COVID-19 crisis in the UK and Japan to consider the importance of data-sharing during the pandemic.


Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser; Head, Government Science and Engineering Profession, Government of the United Kingdom

Dr Suzuki Yasuhiro, Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Government of Japan

Chair: Champa Patel, Director, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

Countries across the world have undertaken unique paths in their responses to COVID-19. Globally, this has resulted in the set-up of multiple new information systems as governments attempt to manage information about their country’s rate of infection and make assessments regarding the disease’s potential future trajectory. Little effort has, however, been made to bring together national public health data from different countries, or to conduct cross-border research and analysis.

The speakers will draw upon their direct experience of managing the COVID-19 crisis in the UK and Japan respectively to consider the importance of data-sharing during the pandemic and explore possibilities for UK-Japan cooperation to tackle new infectious diseases in the future.

This event is held in partnership with Chatham House and the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

Please note that the event will be recorded.

About the speakers
Sir Patrick Valance

Sir Patrick Vallance FRS FMedSci FRCP is Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) and Head of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession. His personal research was in the area of diseases of blood vessels and endothelial biology.

Patrick was President, R&D at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2012 until 2017. Prior to this, he was Senior Vice President, Medicines Discovery and Development. He joined the company in May 2006 as Head of Drug Discovery. He was a member of the GSK Board and the Corporate Executive Team. During his period as head of R&D over 14 new medicines were approved for use worldwide, for diseases ranging from cancer to asthma and HIV.

Prior to joining GSK, he was a clinical academic, Professor of Medicine and led the Division of Medicine at UCL. He has over 20 years’ experience of basic and clinical research, and was a consultant physician in the NHS. His research spanned from work on medicinal chemistry and structural biology, through to cellular work, studies in humans and use of large electronic health record databases.

He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999 and to the Royal Society in 2017. He was on the Board of the UK Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) from 2009 to 2016. He is an Honorary Fellow at UCL and holds honorary degrees from Imperial College London, Glasgow University, University of York and St George’s, University of London. He was a non-executive director and board member for UK Biobank and a non-executive board member for Genome Research Limited but stepped down in taking up the GCSA role.

Dr Suzuki Yasuhiro

Suzuki Yasuhiro is Advisor to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) and has played a key role in the country’s response to COVID-19 since its outbreak. He has previously served as Japan’s Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, and Vice-Minister for Health for the MHLW.

Dr Suzuki’s professional career with the MHLW has spanned over 30 years, covering infectious diseases, mental health, environmental health, food safety, international health, aging and health, and health research policy. He served as Executive Director for Social Change and Mental Health, and for Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals (covering vaccines, immunization and biologicals), at the World Health Organization from 1998 to 2002.

Dr Suzuki graduated from the School of Medicine, Keio University (MD) in 1984 and trained as neurologist. He received his PhD in public health from Keio University in 1996, and two Master's degrees from the Harvard School of Public Health (MPH in 1989 and MSc in 1990).