History of Homeopathy in Japan

After a long period of homeopathy lacking recognition, it has gradually come to be known in Japan, with an increasing demand for consulting homeopathic doctors. However, there are no specific legal controls or certification that prevent people from practicing homeopathy unsafely. For example, several years ago, few private school for ordinary people (and a very few medical practitioners) to practice homeopathy and there are some profit-making non-medical bodies in action.

The Japanese Physicians Society for Homeopathy (JPSH) was established in January 2000 by some doctors aiming to practice homeopathy in earnest. It is only physicians body for Homeopathy in Japan. Now the JPSH consists of 276 members (176medical doctors, 61Vets, 25 Dentist and 14Pharmacists).

Dr. Ryoichi Obitsu , who is the president of the JPSH , is a leader of the holistic medicine in Japan and a specialist for homeopathy. Dr. Ronko Itamura is the first doctor in Japan to qualify as an MFHom from the Faculty of Homeopathy in the UK. Dr.. Keiji Moriii is a vet homeopathic leader and the excellent author who wrote homeopathic material medica " Materia Medica for clinical medicine" in Japanese.

As the promoter of homeopathic medicine in Japan, the JPSH started in 2001 a three-year homeopathic training course for physicians who will gain a qualifications in accordance with the Medical Homeopathic Education of LHMI trained up to a standard level. It is co-ordinated with the Faculty of Homeopathy in the UK.
At the same time, there are some problems; the remedies have not been recognized as medicines by the Japanese Ministry of Welfare and Medicine. In Japan, most complementary therapy is not available on health insurance, except Chinese herbal medicine. Homeopathy is regarded a complementary therapy, which are widely understood to be medical treatment, but are not regulated as such by Japanese law. Therefore most of the complementary therapy is not available on health insurance. Also it is very risky if anyone can practice homeopathy so laxly. That is, there are no specific legal controls or certification that prevent people from practicing homeopathy unsafely.

Recently, some media sources have become interested in Homeopathy and have introduced Homeopathy to many people. Moreover ordinary people have started to pay attention to homeopathy , because several homeopathic guide book and translated book for homeopathy have been published last few years. So the JPSH has started to have some seminars for ordinary people to understand homeopathy as a medical treatment.

Homeopathy, so far has achieved modest but encouraging results in our patients. Furthermore, we hope to consolidate our position with patients in the future by lobbying the Japanese Government to achieve further official recognition for homeopathy. However we hold hopes that homeopathy will be integrated into a medical framework in Japan before very long.

Ronko Itamura, M.D.,Ph.D., MFHom
Chief Director of the Japanese Physicians Society for Homeopathy(JPSH)
NVP of Japan.