Japan (Inawashiro) / Ghana Relations -The Dr. Hideyo Noguchi Connection

Japan (Inawashiro) / Ghana Relations - The Dr. Hideyo Noguchi Connection


Team Ghana is preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Inawashiro Town due to special relations between Ghana and Japan.

On December, 2, 2018, the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah and the Mayor of Inawashiro, Mr.Hiroshi Zongo signed the Pre Games Training Camp Agreement that has enabled Team Ghana to be accommodated at the Bandai Youth Friendship Centre and train at various facilities in the town, like the Azuma Junior High School for swimming and the Aizu Wakamatsu General Gym for boxing.


Indeed Team Ghana is most grateful to Superintendent of Education, Mr. Unayama Tadaki and his hard working staff for their support and solidarity,

The town of Inawashiro, located in the centre of Fukushima Prefecture accepted to host Ghana’s team despite the coronavirus challenges because of the late scientist, Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, a highly respected personality of the town of Inawashiro who died in Ghana, while researching on Yellow Fever.


His residence is a tourist attraction centre, where only Ghanaian citizens are exempted from paying to visit. Inawashiro is surrounded by beautiful nature created byMountain Bandai and Lake Inawashiro, the fourth largest in Japan.

His image is on the highest Japanese currency 1,000 Yen, and natural mineral water that the people drink.

nugochi water

Yours Truly met a Japanese media colleague and his ID Card also beared the image of  Dr. Hideyo Noguchi and his mum.

nugochi press card

Born in Yama County, Inawashiro Town, Fukushima Prefecture in 1876 (the 9th year of Meiji). (Seisaku for his childhood name, he had surgery on his left hand which was burnt at a fireplace in his childhood, which caused him to make up his mind to become a doctor.

Dr Noguchi Hideyo visited many countries, and arrival in Ghana in 1927, brought relief to the people of Ghana with his work, interest and dedication in the area of yellow fever, until his death on May 21, 1928 led to the discovery of yellow fever vaccine.

The famous Noguchi Memorial Institute was built on his legacy and therefore lauded him for living a life for humanity.

Ever since, the Ghana-Japan relations has been growing from strength to strength.

Dr. Hideo Noguchi, a man who devoted his life to the medical research of, and who himself eventually succumbed to, yellow fever.

At the laboratory, medical cooperation by Japanese and Ghanaian researchers have been underway since 1968 to combat infectious diseases. The activities of the Institute include the establishment of surveillance and diagnostic technologies, researches on laboratory diagnosis of various diseases and mechanism of the pandemic of infectious diseases, as well as the training of the personnel and strengthening the Institute's functions.

The Dr. Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize was established for doctors and medical researchers in the world who achieved distinctive contribution to research activities for disease prevention, such as infectious diseases of Africa, and the 1st awarding ceremony was held in May, 2008 (the 20th year of Heisei).

The original Japanese version was written by Teppei MORITA, curator of Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall in Fukushima. This English translation is by the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize Unit.

Dr. Hideyo Noguchi was the first scientist whose portrait was printed on a Japanese bank note (the thousand yen note), in 2004. He was born in Sanjo Gata, Inawashiro Town, Yama County, which was then called Mitsuwa Village, located in almost the center of Fukushima Prefecture. Hideyo grew up in an environment abundant with nature, with Mt. Bandai towering in the north and Lake Inawashiro stretching to the south. Then he started to pursue a medical career and finally devoted his whole life to humanity.

Seisaku (Hideyo’s childhood name) Noguchi was born on November 9, 1876, as the first son of Sayosuke Noguchi, who had married into his wife's family, and Shika Noguchi, who was the only daughter of the Noguchi family. The Noguchi family was a farm family which had much agricultural land, but with no son being born for two generations, the land became desolate and they led an extremely poor life.

By Sammy Heywood Okine, Courtesy GOC Communications / Inawashiro