IHP 501 Final Project 1.docx - Running head COUNTRY PROFILE...

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Running head: COUNTRY PROFILE 1 Country Profile - Japan Michael Skinner Southern New Hampshire University
COUNTRY PROFILE 2 Introduction Japan is an interesting country to profile as an American. At first glance, there are glaring differences between the Japanese and American cultures. For example, the Japanese tend to be more formal than Americans. Japanese communication is subtle, while Americans tend to be blunter. Social hierarchy is very important in Japan, and much less so in America (Aliasis, 2018). Stereotypes of ‘eastern medicine’ vs. ‘western medicine’ have been perpetuated for decades. Are these differences as great as they appear? Do the differences translate from culture to healthcare? Japan is an island nation made up of four main islands located off the east coast of Asia, specifically off the coast of Russia, North Korea, and South Korea. Many of the islands are highly forested and mountainous, and several are volcanic (Holtz, 2016). This leads to high population densities, as those mountainous and forested areas are frequently uninhabitable. It has a population of nearly 128 million people as of 2016. The total expenditure on health care is approximated at 10.2% of Japan’s GDP (World Health Organization, 2019). Japan’s climate is categorized as ‘monsoonal’ – governed by seasonal winds, which are either wet or dry. Temperatures are cooler in the north than in the south. For example, in January the average temperature in Asahikawa (a northern city) is 18 degrees Fahrenheit, but in Kyushu (in southern Japan) the average temperature is 46 degrees Fahrenheit (Watanabe, et al, 2019). Japanese people make up an overwhelming majority of the population (98.4%), along with very small immigrant populations of Chinese, Koreans, and Filipino’s (Watanabe, et al, 2019). Japan used to be ruled by an Emperor for much of its history. However, in 1947 after World War II, a new constitution was ratified which stipulates a separation of powers between executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The Emperor’s role is now mostly ceremonial (Watanabe, et al, 2019). State of Healthcare Japan echoes much of the western world with its leading health concerns, namely cancer, cerebral vascular disease, heart disease, pneumonia, accidents, and suicide. Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Japan since 1980. Although the rate of cerebral vascular disease has declined over the years, it still ranks as the second highest cause of death in Japan. A large worry of the Japanese people is their reliance on nuclear power, and the health risks that exposure to radiation could cause (such as cancers). These fears were somewhat realized in March of 2011 when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced a partial meltdown due to damage received from an earthquake and the resultant tsunami (Holtz, 2016).

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