Research Activities of Epidemiology in Japan Infectious Disease Fight Against Infectious Diseases

Kenji Soda, Katsuhiko Kitamura, Mitsuhiro Kamakura

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1 Citation (Scopus)


During early Meiji era in Japan, there were frequent epidemics of fatal acute communicable diseases such as cholera, dysentery and smallpox, and preventive measures and preparations for acute infectious diseases were urgently needed. Together with improvement of scientific preparations, the Communicable Disease Prevention Law was promulgated in 1897. Then gradually until 1940's, the focus of preventive measures have been shifted from acute infectious diseases to chronic ones, particularly tuberculosis. After the World War II, except the short period of social confusion, major legally-defined communicable diseases had been decreasing rapidly mainly due to the use of antibiotics and improvement of environmental sanitation. At the same time, the introduction of preventive vaccination marked a new era for the prevention of infectious diseases and was largely responsible for the remarkable decrease of Infant mortality In Japan. Recently the concept of defense by vaccination against infectious diseases has evolved from group-oriented to Individual-oriented, so that the Preventive Vaccination Law was drastically revised in 1994. Currently, effective counter-measures against newly emerged infectious diseases, as viral hepatitis, institution-acquired infection, viral hemorrhagic fever etc., have been implemented. For the future, improvement of infections disease surveillance, vaccine development and expansion of vaccination coverage along with monitoring sideeffects, preventive health education on AIDS/STDs, addressing the special needs of foreigners living in Japan and international collaboration for disease control abroad are all vital to the success of protection of the public's health from infectious diseases in Japan. J Epidemiol, 1996; 6: S61-S66.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • communicable
  • infectious disease
  • preventive measure
  • surveillance
  • vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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