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Tuesday, December 06, 2016, 15:30 - 16:30


"Libel lawsuit caused by HPV vaccine pseudoscience"

Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English.



Japanese women's health is "increasingly at risk," medical doctor and journalist Riko Muranaka warns, citing the government’s reluctance to support the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as an effective means to protect against cervical cancer.

The health ministry added the vaccine to the national immunization program in April 2013 but two months later suspended "proactive" recommendations for it amid a flurry of reports on alleged adverse reactions including spasms and pains, which provoked negative media coverage and public opinion toward the inoculation.

Although a task force set up by the ministry has concluded no causal link exists between the vaccine and the professed symptoms, HPV vaccination rates have plunged below 1 % from about 70%. Roughly 9,300 cases of cervical cancer are annually reported in Japan resulting in about 3,000 deaths. Muranaka says most of these tragedies could be prevented by the vaccine as its efficacy and safety has been proven and its use is recommended by the World Health Organization and medical societies.

She will explain this issue to the Club at a pivotal point in her crusade -- a couple of hours after attending a trial at the Tokyo District Court in which she was sued for libel by a medical professor. He claimed in March that signs of brain disorder were discovered in HPV-vaccinated mice, in an experiment commissioned by the health ministry. Muranaka, a former WHO professional, wrote in a magazine that the professor's findings had been manipulated. The university, where the professor worked, concluded later that the data were inconclusive and the ministry said his "inappropriate" presentation "caused misunderstanding to society."

Nonetheless the antivaccine movement is persisting. In July, 63 women filed lawsuits with several district courts against the government and vaccine manufacturers, demanding 945 million yen in damages for alleged side effects they suffered after taking HPV vaccines.

"I would like to explain why this (libel) lawsuit is unjust, how it relates to the class action lawsuit," Muranaka says, "and how it influences the lives and health of woman in Japan as well as in the world."


Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee


 Riko Muranaka                             Eiji Fujimoto

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