Hygiene and Public Health in Japan, Chosen and Manchuria. Report on Conditions Met with During the Tour of the League of Nations Interchange of Health Officers


As part of its work in the area of international health, the League of Nations organized the “Interchange of Health Personnel” for the purpose of affording “opportunity to Health Officers of different countries for seeing the organization of and equipment of, and the methods employed by the health services of the country visited….” In October–December 1926, a delegation led by A.R. Wellington, senior health officer in the Federated Malay States (present-day Malaysia), undertook a tour of health facilities in Japan, Korea (then under Japanese rule and known as Chosen or Choson), and Japanese-controlled territories along the South Manchurian Railway in northeastern China. Presented here is the report of the delegation, which was written by Wellington. It provides detailed information on the organization and administration of health care in the Japanese Empire, vital statistics, and approaches to particular diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy, venereal diseases, beriberi, and mental illnesses. The report makes many favorable comparisons between Japanese approaches to public health and those in Western countries. More controversially, the report implicitly endorsed Japanese colonial rule in Korea by praising the effects of Japanese administration on population growth, industrialization, and education. This copy of the report is from the archives of the League of Nations, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.

Last updated: August 5, 2016