IVI and Japan


Japanese Support for IVI


In the “Joint Declaration and Action Plan on a new Korean-Japan Partnership for the 21st Century” adopted by Korean President Kim Dae Jung and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi on October 9, 1998, Japan expressed understanding of the importance that Korea places on the work of the International Vaccine Institute that was established in Seoul in May 1997 to protect the health of children in developing countries.


From 2003 to 2006, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) provided funding to IVI’s first global program, the Diseases of the Most Impoverished (DOMI), which studied the disease burden of cholera, typhoid, and shigella throughout Asia. Additional funding was also provided to IVI’s Mucosal Immunology Program and the Program on New Systems for Assessing Vaccine Safety in Developing Countries. 


In January 2007, the IVI Charity Concert was held in Osaka, Japan and drew 25,000 attendees. Proceeds from the event helped fund IVI programs.


In 2020, LINE Corporation provided IVI with three Official Accounts (Global, Thailand, Indonesia) as part of a CSR program to promote child immunization initiatives. In June, IVI and LINE FRIENDS released a set of animated stickers together featuring LINE FRIENDS’ BT21 characters, with all sales proceeds going to IVI’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts. Many Japanese BT21 fans have purchased the stickers.  


Participation in IVI Leadership


From 2000 to 2008, Dr. Shigeru Omi served as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative on the IVI Board of Trustees (BOT). Dr. Omi is currently President of the Japan Community Health Care Organization.


Starting in 2020, Dr. Takeshi Kasai is now serving as the WHO representative on the IVI BOT. 


From 2016 to present, Professor Ken J. Ishii of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo has served on IVI’s Scientific Advisory Group (SAG).


Zika Vaccine Development


As part of IVI’s efforts to develop a Zika vaccine, the Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. funded and supported an IVI landscape analysis on Zika burden in Asia


Scholars in Residence Program


In 2010, Professor Chihiro Sasakawa from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo participated in the Scholars in Residence program. Sponsored by Merck Vaccines, Prof. Sasakawa mentored IVI scientists and delivered lectures on vaccinology. 


Respiratory Pathogen Vaccine Program


From 2008 to 2011, scientists and doctors from Nagasaki University and Nihon University of Tokyo participated in the Respiratory Pathogen Vaccine Program, which collected and analyzed data on hospitalizations for community-acquired pneumonia in children and adults. The study used preexisting computerized hospital discharge records and local census data to estimate the incidence and disease burden of pneumonia that has been acquired outside of a hospital or a health care facility.