Viagra Versus The Pill & Fingerprinting

Viagra

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The Health Ministry has recently given the go-ahead for Viagra to be manufactured and imported to Japan. Viagra should be on sale in Japan by this spring (1999). It will only be legally sold through a doctor and will probably not be covered by health insurance.


From the time the application was made to the time that it was given the "green light" was six months! Despite the fact that at least 130 people in the USA and at least one person in Japan have died as a result of taking the drug. The Ministry said that the decision was made rapidly in order to better educate Japanese men on the correct use of the drug, even though it will now probably be sold on the black market, without any guidance on correct usage. One must wonder what is really behind this decision. I am not someone who sees a sinister motive for everything the Japanese bureaucracy do, but only six months? It must be a new record for a non-essential drug. Even drugs that will help save lives do not usually get such speedy action. Perhaps there are one or two bureaucrats who are in need of this new "wonder" drug for men?


As a man, I would not belittle the effects of impotency on men afflicted with the problem, nor disagree with the sale of this new drug, which will give "new life" to many men. However, the sense of  "fair play" doesn't seem to exist in the Health Ministry, bureaucrats vocabulary.

The Pill

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The pill has been a controversial subject for many years in Japan. The Health Ministry has refused to grant permission for the sale of it, citing more time is needed to study the harmful effects it could have on women.


Exactly what these harmful effects are, remain a mystery. Are they worried about the possible side effects, increased risks of cancer, if taken over a long period of time, and so on, or are they worried that Japanese women will suddenly shrug of all their morals and become "loose and fancy free"? How much time do they need ? An application for the sale of the pill was made in 1965 !


 Some foreign male apologists for the Ministry cite such limp excuses as, "they are thinking of Japanese women's health". Who are they trying to kid, letting a woman have an abortion is healthier than taking the Pill, according to that person.


Other views such as, "America has a very high incidence of out of wedlock births, especially amount teenagers, since the Pill was first introduced nearly 40 years ago". Amazing reasoning. Firstly, how can the Pill be to blame for the rising birthrate among females taking the Pill? Surely the main reason for taking it is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and secondly the Pill success rate is around 99%, the argument these people make is therefore, to put it kindly, "trash".


Other male foreigners, with an agenda or a hate of independent women, believe it is not in the woman's best interest to let her have a choice to use the Pill. 


To all foreigners who hold such views, I have only this to say to you. Go back to your own country and spout that same nonsense, I am sure the females in your country will really appreciate you for caring so much, about their welfare. With normal, sane and level headed people though, to not give Japanese women the right to choose for themselves, after educating them on the possible harmful side effects of the Pill is completely wrong.


The Japanese government is desperate to reverse the downward trend in the birthrate. Perhaps, keeping the Pill from women, is one of the ways that they hope will solve the problem. Giving women the right to take the Pill is even more important that letting men take Viagra. 


The abortion rate in Japan is perhaps the highest for any industrialized nation, surely, nobody can say this is a healthy state of affairs. Isn't it time for the bureaucracy to really start caring about the people for whom they are charged to protect, and not just about themselves and their own mean spirited beliefs and redundant values. 

Who knows, in the future the Pill may be released onto the market in Japan, or possibly not. It is still a mans world in Japan, after all.
Your views on this very important subject would be most welcome. Especially, women from any country, let me know what you think! Japanese bureaucrats, doctors from any country your input would be a bonus.

Update On This Issue !


Is it Really true ?
The pill may be given the green light for release on to the Japanese market by June this year (1999).


This has been speeded up, it is suspected, because of the governments quick release of Viagra and the public anger that this has caused. Many people, quite rightly believe that the only reason for the government ban on the pill was because of the medical institutions pressure to keep the very profitable abortion business, unchanged.


Also, the governments desire to force more women to have babies, to help ease the declining birth rate and as a means to control women's activities. 
Let us all hope that this is the final chapter on this long drawn out battle, and that the government will not back down, as they have a want to do.


I personally hope that those psuedo religious male foreigners, who supported the Japanese stance on banning the pill in Japan, will return to their homeland and preach about the evils of the pill to their own womenfolk, and at the same time they should preach about the evils of Viagra, which they have been strangely quiet about, thus far.


One last request to them, please don't return back to Japan, you embarrass, the long term foreign residents living in Japan.

Fingerprinting


March 5th 1999
Fingerprinting has been a contentious issue since the law was enacted in 1952. The law has treated foreign residents like criminals since this time. The NPA (National Police Agency) is still dead set against abolishing this law, believing that foreigners pose a national security risk. I have mentioned this in other sections, because to me, this is such an absurd idea, that I am still constantly reminded of this poor view of gaijin (foreigners). I really have nothing against the Japanese police, indeed I have often gone out drinking with members of the Shinjuku special forces squad (who deal with riots and such).


In the near future this law may be scrapped, according to a draft proposal, due to be submitted to the Diet next week. the revision would not require residents who have lived in Japan for over one year and are over 16 years old to be fingerprinted. They would instead sign the alien registration card and submit information regarding their family members to their local town hall.


It is unclear whether foreigners living in Japan for one year or less would have to be fingerprinted, and I doubt very much that the NPA will destroy those fingerprint records that they are already holding.


Another proposal is to extend the current five year visa to seven years, for long term residents such as myself.


I really do hope that the NPA use their common sense and do not try to block this new amendment, which shows some promise of presenting Japan to be a more enlightened country than it's past record of xenophobia has proved.

    

Some related facts

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About 77.2% of Japanese married couples use condoms. Compared with
about 10.2% around the world.
One important reason for this high usage is the fact that it is one of the only methods for birth control,
permitted by the "all wise" Ministry of "Health".





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