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The purpose of this paper is to describe current cultural issues in Japanese health-care services that have resulted from the increased immigration. Also described is the establishment of a new academic research centre that will focus on culturally appropriate nursing care. There are many health-care issues in Japan caused by a shortage of health-care workers and disparities in access to health care. The major issues are an increase in the number of foreign patients, foreign nurses and care workers. Despite the occurrence of similar issues in other countries, Japan's situation and the causes are different. In response to dynamic demographic and health-care changes in Japan, we launched the Asian Research & Collaboration Center for Nursing & Cultural Studies at Chiba University Graduate School of Nursing.