News On Japan

Study Shows Interferon-based Treatment of Hep C in Japan Reduced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Occurence

May 10 ( - Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is responsible for 90% of primary liver cancers worldwide. It is most often diagnosed in people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol or have long-term liver disease from hepatitis B or C infections.

HBV and HCV are responsible for chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and cancer, in millions of people globally. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 58 million people were infected with HCV in 2021, while the CDC says there are 1.5 million new HCV cases every year.

In the United States, liver cancer rates rose dramatically over the past several decades, although the trend has leveled off recently. This year, the ACS projects there will be 41,210 cases of liver cancers (27,980 men and 13,230 women) and 29,380 deaths.

In 2016 the WHO launched a global hepatitis strategy with the goal of reducing new hepatitis infections by 90% and deaths by 65% by 2030.

Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of HCC in Japan, which led researchers from the International University of Health and Welfare in Tokyo to evaluated patient response to antiviral therapy and its effect on the number of HCC cases in Japan.

In their introduction, Yamagiwa and colleagues reference “molecular clock analysis” that shows that hepatitis C virus infections started in the late 19th century, spread in the 1930s and have been decreasing since the mid-1990s. Hepatitis C infection took off in the Japan in the early 20th century when the use of unsterilized needles to treat schistosomiasis spread the virus. Later contaminated blood products were responsible for more infections.

Against this backdrop, Yamagiwa’s team performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies on antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C and the risk of HCC occurrence in the Japanese population. ...continue reading


or as long as Shohei Ohtani plays for the Dodgers -- which will be at least for the next decade -- May 17 will be known as “Shohei Ohtani Day” in Los Angeles County. (MLB)

Two residents of Sapporo who died earlier this month likely succumbed to food poisoning caused by mistakenly consuming toxic autumn crocus, according to the Sapporo City Health Department. The department confirmed on May 17 that the deaths were indeed due to poisoning from this plant.

A revised Civil Code introducing 'joint custody' for children after divorce has been passed by the Diet. This marks the first time in 77 years that Japan has reviewed the approach to post-divorce custody.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested three leaders of the political group 'Tsubasa Party' on suspicion of violating the Public Offices Election Act by disrupting the speeches of other candidates during a House of Representatives by-election in Tokyo's 15th district. Investigators view this as a "challenge to democracy" and plan to pursue a thorough investigation.

An event allowing visitors to experience life in 2050 has launched in Tokyo, including an elevator which enables transportation to space via a cable extending from a satellite to Earth.



A next-generation vertical take-off and landing aircraft took to the skies of Tokyo for the first time on Friday. (NHK)

An event allowing visitors to experience life in 2050 has launched in Tokyo, including an elevator which enables transportation to space via a cable extending from a satellite to Earth.

The supercomputer 'Fugaku' has achieved the world’s top ranking in two categories for the ninth consecutive term.

A potentially new bee species has been identified by staff at the Tochigi Prefectural Museum, sparking a call for more specimens on social media after initially collecting only six.

A two-headed snake, a rare curiosity, was discovered in the mountains of Kitakyushu City in Fukuoka Prefecture.

To keep pace with the intense international competition in space development, the Japanese government has launched the necessary Space Strategy Fund to accelerate Japan's space exploration activities.

In preparation for SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024, exhibitions were held on the weekend across various locations in Tokyo highlighting sustainable technology for the future.

The renovation of a bridge on the Tomei Expressway, which has been in use for over fifty years, has successfully utilized virtual space simulation to reduce both the number of workers and working hours.