Japan to Investigate Developmental Disorders in Southeast Asia

Japan is planning to conduct fact-finding on developmental disorders in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam in order to strengthen mutual cooperation in addressing this issue, according to sources familiar with the plan. The initiative is expected to be included in a joint statement to be released after the summit between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Tokyo on Sunday.

Developmental disorders, which are often found in children, encompass a range of conditions including spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, and intellectual disability.

An international organization has compiled a guidebook based on research conducted in Southeast Asian countries since 2021. The research focuses on factors such as the living conditions of individuals diagnosed with developmental disorders and their families, as well as the measures implemented by health authorities in these countries.

According to the findings, nonurban areas have fewer resources to address developmental disorders compared to physical and mental disabilities, primarily due to lack of awareness about these disorders.

As part of the joint initiative, Japan and ASEAN will conduct similar fact-finding efforts and provide training for teachers and other personnel who work with individuals with developmental disorders. The goal is to promote exchanges between families of individuals with these disorders and relevant officials from academic and business circles.

The initiative is an important step towards building stronger bridges between Japan and Southeast Asian countries in addressing developmental disorders and promoting a more inclusive society for individuals with these conditions.

This move also signifies a deeper commitment from Japan and ASEAN to collaborate on issues related to public health and social welfare, further strengthening the partnership between the two regions.

As part of this effort, both sides will also explore opportunities for joint research projects, knowledge-sharing initiatives, and capacity-building programs aimed at improving the support system for individuals with developmental disorders in Southeast Asia.

This joint initiative represents a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to address developmental disorders in the region, and it underscores the importance of international collaboration in tackling complex health and social challenges.

By working together, Japan and ASEAN can pave the way for a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with developmental disorders, ensuring that they have access to the resources and care they need to thrive and contribute to their communities.

Overall, this fact-finding and cooperation initiative reflects a shared commitment to fostering understanding, empathy, and support for individuals with developmental disorders, and it sets the stage for a more collaborative and inclusive approach to addressing these challenges in the Southeast Asian region.

© KYODO

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