We have been building up links with Japan for over a decade since two Japanese physicians, Professor Akira Nakagawa and Dr Akira Naito, first attended CIC courses in London. Following this, we hosted visits by groups of their colleagues to the UK, and in 2013 John Launer did a teaching tour of Japan, with presentations and workshops in Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka.
Now, it looks as if 2023 will be an exceptionally exciting year for collaborations with Japan. Current projects include:
- Monthly online meetings of a ‘Think Tank’ of leading Japanese and UK primary care educators to explore how to adapt teaching of narrative practice in health care for the Japanese context. Members include Professor Machiko Inoue (vice president of the Japanese Association of Primary Care) and Professor Joanne Reeve (from the Academy of Primary Care Research at Hull/York Medical School.)
- A bilingual online webinar on narrative medicine and narrative practice being delivered and recorded in February.
- An online presentation and interactive workshop by Dr John Launer and Diana Kelly with colleagues from Japan and the UK at the 14th annual conference of the Japanese Primary Care Association in May.
- A second teaching tour of Japan by Dr John Launer between 2 and 17 July with presentations and workshops on ‘Conversations Inviting Change’ to faculty members, GPs, registrars and medical students. This will include events for the Japanese Association for Narrative Medicine in Kyoto, the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Hamamatsu University, the Hokkaido Centre for Family Medicine in Sapporo, and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Fukushima Medical University.
We express enormous gratitude to our colleagues in Japan who have made these developments possible, including everyone mentioned above and also: Professor Ryuki Kassai (Founder of GP training programmes in Japan and Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Fukushima Medical University), Professor Tesshu Kusaba (President of the Japanese Primary Care Association), Dr Koki Kato (Deputy Director of the Academic and Research Centre, Hokkaido Centre for Family Medicine and Board Member of the British Journal of General Practice), Dr Junichiro Miyachi (Director of the Fellowship Programme, Hokkaido Centre for Family Medicine) and Dr Maham Stanyon (Assistant Professor, Centre for Medical Education and Career Development, Fukushima Medical University), Dr Makoto Kaneko, (Lecturer, Primary Care Research Unit, Graduate School of Health Data Science, Yokohama City University.)