This contribution focuses on the meaning and challenges of realizing the right to health in Japan, based on the author's experience with monitoring the right to health in Japan. The first section summarizes the outcome of monitoring the right to health in Japan, which includes the country's legal commitments to the right to health, domestic laws, public health financing, and the state of people's health. The second section explores the significance of this right in Japan, the policy approach to human rights, and the right to health as a guiding principle of relevant policies. It is suggested that a number of guideposts commonly accepted with respect to the right to health, in particular the notions of availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality (AAAQ) as well as the notions of accountability and participation are important in Japan. The last section will focus on the challenges for Japan to implement the right to health, by creating a system to monitor human rights and using and developing human rights indicators at a national level.
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