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[Comment] Health inequality across prefectures in Japan

Japan has exemplary records in human development as measured by a human development index of 0·903 in 2016 (ranked 17th in the world).1 Universal access to health services with no financial barrier for every citizen in Japan launched in 1961 and has contributed to nearly equitable access and relatively small gaps in health status across regions and socioeconomic groups in the country.2 Ageing is homogeneously distributed across all communities,3 which has led to high demand for health care in all prefectures (provinces).