Symposium “Harm Reduction in Japan”


Harm Reduction

Illegal behavior brings societal prejudice or discrimination, people with certain occupations, sexual identities or orientations, people who are using drugs or have behavioral habits that pose danger to themselves, these people are unable or unwilling to stop those behavior or do not want to change, too often they are stigmatized and their human rights are not respected.

Harm Reduction refers to the health, social and economic risks and harms associated with a person who has an unhealthy life or who has a behavior habit that poses a risk to him or herself or who is unable or unwilling to stop such behavior. It means public health practices and policies that aim to reduce harm as much as possible.
Harm Reduction, which was born in Europe, has spread to all parts of the world, and is currently being adopted such as drug addiction measures and public health measures in over 80 countries.

Harm Reduction is not to judge certain behavioral habits, but instead respect each and everyone’s identity and life choices and is also an approach aims at minimize negative impacts linked to those behaviors, is not aiming at stopping habits and harmful behaviors.

ハームリダクション In the late 1980s in France AIDS/HIV was rampant, Médecins du Monde: MdM, launched a program to replace needles that were illegal at the time. This is MdM’s first Harm Reduction initiative this is how it started.
Since then, it has been carried out for over 30 years, including the operation of needle / syringe exchange program, introduction and operation of mobile clinic with preventive services, education program for sex workers, and construction of a network for drug analysis services all over France.
These activities have not been limited to France, but have been conducted by practical approaches in various parts of the world in Africa, Europe, Asia and South America.
Rather than denying their identity or lifestyle, we seek to find solutions in line with the need to regain health, and provide treatment, medical care, psychological support and preventive medical services. In all of them, the premise is to respect the non-judgment attitude, the will, the choice, and the identity of the person.

©Sophie Brandstrom

Harm Reduction is now widely recognized as one of the public health approaches, including the WHO (World Health Organization). In particular, despite their role in the control of infectious diseases such as HIV / AIDS and viral hepatitis, there are still only a few people who can receive services based on the idea of Harm Reduction.
Also, in recent years there has been a move to strengthen legal control over specific acts and identities as policies that partially or totally deny Harm Reduction all over the world begin to appear again on political fronts. The environment surrounding Harm Reduction is changing daily.

On the other hand, how is it in Japan?
Nowadays, there is a big difference compared to the world : regarding the awareness of the concept of Harm Reduction and the penetration of its practice:

What is Harm Reduction?
What kind of practice can we do if we introduce Harm Reduction in Japan?

How can we learn from this concept and apply it to daily support and society before aiming for the implementation as a public health practice or policy?

Those who cannot stop their habits of being addicted or at risk, those who are exposed to prejudice from sexual minorities or certain occupations, those who have lost stable, secure housing …

Is there any possibility that Harm Reduction can be another option for those who are vulnerable in society?

With the practitioners of MdM France who have practiced Harm Reduction in various parts of the world, and experts and practitioners in Japan, we planned a “think about Harm Reduction in Japan” event .

We look forward to your participation.

#HarmReduction #ThinkHarmReduction #WhatisHarmReduction

“Harm Reduction in Japan”

Date and time: Sunday, September 8, 2019 13:00-17:30

Place:  Seishin Women’s University Building 4 / Seishin Global Plaza 3F   
     Brit Memorial Hall 4-2-24 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
     1 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Hiroo Station Exit 4

Participation fee: 2,000 yen or more per person

           *Participation fee is subject to tax deduction.

Registration: *We closed accepting applications as it reached full capacity.
        As long as there is seat available, we will re-open the registration.

Hosted by: Non-profit organization Médecins du Monde Japan

Sponsored by: Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K.

Contact: Médecins du Monde Japan

シンポジウム「日本におけるハームリダクションを考える」 2019年9月8日(日)


*MC Akiko Takeishi, Housing First Tokyo Project Coordinator, Médecins du Monde Japan

*Simultaneous translation to be provided

12:45-13:00 Door Open

13:00-13:10 “Why Harm Reduction?“
         Nao Kuroyanagi
         Exective Director
         Médecins du Monde Japan

What is Harm Reduction?
 Mr. Ernst Wisse
         Harm Reduction Advisor
         Médecins du Monde France

14:00-14:50 Dr. Toshihiko Matsumoto
         National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry

14:50-15:10 Break

Harm Reduction and Housing First
 Dr. Yosuke Kumakura  
         The University of Tokyo, Kotobuki Kyoudou Clinic

15:30-15:50 Dr. Makoto Nishioka
         Yurin Clinic

15:50-16:20 Dr. Suimei Morikawa
         Yurin Clinic

         Mr. Yuji Iwamoto
         Psychiatric Social Worker
         Yurin Clinic

Panel Discussion “Think about Harm Reduction in Japan”

Facilitator: Mr. Hiroki Mochizuki (Writer), Dr. Yosuke Kumakura
Panelist:  Dr. Toshihiko Matsumoto, Mr. Ernst Wisse

17:25-17:30 Closing

*Please note that the program/speaker is subject to change without notice.


*We closed accepting applications as it reached full capacity.
As long as there is seat available, we will re-open the registration.


Médecins du Monde Japan

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