Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Health care policy and market reforms in Japan

Since health care markets are usually dictated by domestic and local policies, health care services in Japan are not so much affected by globalization at present. But in some countries, globalization has a great influence on their health care markets as medical tourism is becoming popular around the world. For example, some countries especially developing ones, can attract customers from developed countries by offering high quality health care at a cost lower than in their home country.

The Japanese government has recently acknowledged that health and medical care will certainly form a huge global market in the future. On the other hand, health care services have been under constant pressure to reduce costs for sustainability of social health care insurance. This study discusses how the policy to advance health care markets and that for sustainable social health care insurance can be made compatible in Japan and also argues the risk of policy failures.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hori, M. Health care policy and market reforms in Japan. BMC Health Serv Res 14 (Suppl 2), P58 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: