Young Health Programme Japan




2021- 2024

The local context

In Japan, there are many Kodomo Shokudo, or children’s cafeterias, across the nation. These cafeterias provide free and low-priced meals to children.   

In Japan, one out of every seven children live in relative poverty.  Poverty has a direct correlation to poor nutrition.*  The first Kodomo Shokudo was launched by volunteers in 2012 in Tokyo to address this issue and there are now over 4,960 Kodomo Shokudo across the country**.

Kodomo Shokudo provides Japanese children with the opportunity to interact with peers of different ages. Staff are trained to identify children who may need additional support so that their individual health challenges can be supported.

Our objectives

To improve the knowledge and importance of healthy eating mainly among young people in Japan, contributing to the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Our programme

Over the next three years, the programme will focus on supporting children’s cafeterias with nutritional education to prevent non-communicable diseases, and will enable young people to live healthier lives .  It will also provide an opportunity to our employees in AstraZeneca to participate in volunteer activities.

Our partners

A recognized incorporated NPO Japan Kodomo Shokudo Support Center “Musubie” (musubu = to knowt, link or tie):

Musubie, hoping to create a society where nobody is left alone.   Musubie is hoping to be the knot (place) to connect the three parties, namely, children, children’s cafeterias and those who support children’s cafeterias. For more information, please visit .


1. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare “Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions in 2020
2. Cooperative study by Musubie and Local network on Dec 2020

Photo Credits: Musubie, a recognized incorporated non-profit organisation (NPO) as a Nationwide Children’s Cafeteria Support Center.