Japan has a rapidly increasingly number of syphilis patients, including among young women, prompting the health ministry to launch a special research team to find out ways to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted infection.
According to data based on reports filed by hospitals across Japan, the number of syphilis patients totaled 4,259 as of early December, up 77 percent from 2,412 in the corresponding period a year earlier, and more than seven-fold from a decade ago.
The infection is believed to have spread mainly through heterosexual intercourse. But the number of mother-to-child transmissions, which has been very rare in Japan, is also on the rise.
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)