The Promise of Good Health; Are We Jumping Off the Cliff in the U.S.?
In the United States, many legislators and public health officials are busy trying to make vaccines de facto compulsory—either by removing parental/personal choice given by existing vaccine exemptions or by imposing undue quarantines and fines on those who do not comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) vaccine edicts. Officials in California are seeking to override medical opinion about fitness for vaccination, while those in New York are mandating the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine for 6-12-month-old infants for whom its safety and effectiveness “have not been established.”
American children would be better served if these officials—before imposing questionable and draconian measures—studied child health outcomes in Japan. With a population of 127 million, Japan has the healthiest children and the very highest “healthy life expectancy” in the world—and the least vaccinated children of any developed country. The U.S., in contrast, has the developed world’s most aggressive vaccination schedule in number and timing, starting at pregnancy, at birth and in the first two years of life. Does this make U.S. children healthier? The clear answer is no. The U.S. has the very highest infant mortality rate of all industrialized countries, with more American children dying at birth and in their first year than in any other comparable nation—and more than half of those who survive develop at least one chronic illness. Analysis of real-world infant mortality and health results shows that U.S. vaccine policy does not add up to a win for American children.
Japan and the U.S.; Two Different Vaccine Policies
In 1994, Japan transitioned away from mandated vaccination in public health centers to voluntary vaccination in doctors’ offices, guided by “the concept that it is better that vaccinations are performed by children’s family doctors who are familiar with their health conditions.” The country created two categories of non-compulsory vaccines: “routine” vaccines that the government covers and “strongly recommends” but does not mandate, and additional “voluntary” vaccines, generally paid for out-of-pocket. Unlike in the U.S., Japan has no vaccine requirements for children entering preschool or elementary school.
Japan also banned the MMR vaccine in the same time frame, due to thousands of serious injuriesover a four-year period—producing an injury rate of one in 900 children that was “over 2,000 times higher than the expected rate.” It initially offered separate measles and rubella vaccines following its abandonment of the MMR vaccine; Japan now recommends a combined measles-rubella (MR) vaccine for routine use but still shuns the MMR. The mumps vaccine is in the “voluntary” category.
Here are key differences between the Japanese and U.S. vaccine programs:
- Japan has no vaccine mandates, instead recommending vaccines that (as discussed above) are either “routine” (covered by insurance) or “voluntary” (self-pay).
- Japan does not vaccinate newborns with the hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, unless the mother is hepatitis B positive.
- Japan does not vaccinate pregnant mothers with the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.
- Japan does not give flu shots to pregnant mothers or to six-month-old infants.
- Japan does not give the MMR vaccine, instead recommending an MR vaccine.
- Japan does not require the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
No other developed country administers as many vaccine doses in the first two years of life.
In contrast, the U.S. vaccine schedule (see Table 1) prescribes routine vaccination during pregnancy, calls for the first HepB vaccine dose within 24 hours of birth—even though 99.9% of pregnant women, upon testing, are hepatitis B negative, and follows up with 20 to 22 vaccine doses in the first year alone. No other developed country administers as many vaccine doses in the first two years of life.
The HepB vaccine injects a newborn with a 250-microgram load of aluminum, a neurotoxic and immune-toxic adjuvant used to provoke an immune response. There are no studies to back up the safety of exposing infants to such high levels of the injected metal. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) upper limit for aluminum in intravenous (IV) fluids for newborns is far lower at five micrograms per kilogram per day (mcg/kg/day)—and even at these levels, researchers have documented the potential for impaired neurologic development. For an average newborn weighing 7.5 pounds, the HepB vaccine has over 15 times more aluminum than the FDA’s upper limit for IV solutions.
Unlike Japan, the U.S. administers flu and Tdap vaccines to pregnant women (during any trimester) and babies receive flu shots at six months of age, continuing every single year thereafter. Manufacturers have never tested the safety of flu shots administered during pregnancy, and the FDA has never formally licensed any vaccines “specifically for use during pregnancy to protect the infant.”
U.S. vaccine proponents claim the U.S. vaccine schedule is similar to schedules in other developed countries, but this claim is inaccurate upon scrutiny. Most other countries do not recommend vaccination during pregnancy, and very few vaccinate on the first day of life. This is important because the number, type and timing of exposure to vaccines can greatly influence their adverse impact on developing fetuses and newborns, who are particularly vulnerable to toxic exposures and early immune activation. Studies show that activation of pregnant women’s immune systems can cause developmental problems in their offspring. Why are pregnant women in the U.S. advised to protect their developing fetuses by avoiding alcohol and mercury-containing tuna fish, but actively prompted to receive immune-activating Tdap and flu vaccines, which still contain mercury (in multi-dose vials) and other untested substances?
Japan initially recommended the HPV vaccine but stopped doing so in 2013 after serious health problems prompted numerous lawsuits. Japanese researchers have since confirmed a temporal relationship between HPV vaccination and recipients’ development of symptoms. U.S. regulators have ignored these and similar reports and not only continue to aggressively promote and even mandate the formerly optional HPV vaccine beginning in preadolescence but are now pushing it in adulthood. The Merck-manufactured HPV vaccine received fast-tracked approval from the FDA despite half of all clinical trial subjects reporting serious medical conditions within seven months.
Best and Worst: Two Different Infant Mortality Results
The CDC views infant mortality as one of the most important indicators of a society’s overall health. The agency should take note of Japan’s rate, which, at 2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, is the second lowest in the world, second only to the Principality of Monaco. In comparison, almost three times as many American infants die (5.8 per 1,000 live births), despite massive per capita spending on health care for children (see Table 2). U.S. infant mortality ranks behind 55 other countries and is worse than the rate in Latvia, Slovakia or Cuba.
To reiterate, the U.S. has the most aggressive vaccine schedule of developed countries (administering the most vaccines the earliest). If vaccines save lives, why are American children “dying at a faster rate, and…dying younger” compared to children in 19 other wealthy countries—translating into a “57 percent greater risk of death before reaching adulthood”? Japanese children, who receive the fewest vaccines—with no government mandates for vaccination—grow up to enjoy “long and vigorous” lives. International infant mortality and health statistics and their correlation to vaccination protocols show results that government and health officials are ignoring at our children’s great peril.
Among the 20 countries with the world’s best infant mortality outcomes, only three countries (Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore) automatically administer the HepB vaccine to all newborns—governed by the rationale that hepatitis B infection is highly endemic in these countries. Most of the other 17 top-ranking countries—including Japan—give the HepB vaccine at birth only if the mother is hepatitis B positive (Table 1). The U.S., with its disgraceful #56 infant mortality ranking, gives the HepB vaccine to all four million babies born annually despite a low incidence of hepatitis B.
Is the U.S. Sacrificing Children’s Health for Profits?
Merck, the MMR vaccine’s manufacturer, is in court over MMR-related fraud. Whistleblowers allege the pharmaceutical giant rigged its efficacy data for the vaccine’s mumps component to ensure its continued market monopoly. The whistleblower evidence has given rise to two separate court cases. In addition, a CDC whistleblower has alleged the MMR vaccine increases autism risks in some children. Others have reported that the potential risk of permanent injury from the MMR vaccine dwarfs the risks of getting measles.
Why do the FDA and CDC continue to endorse the problematic MMR vaccine despite Merck’s implication in fraud over the vaccine’s safety and efficacy? Why do U.S. legislators and government officials not demand a better alternative, as Japan did over two decades ago? Why are U.S. cities and states forcing Merck’s MMR vaccine on American children? Is the U.S. government protecting children, or Merck? Why are U.S. officials ignoring Japan’s exemplary model, which proves that the most measured vaccination program in the industrialized world and “first-class sanitation and levels of nutrition” can produce optimal child health outcomes that are leading the world?
A central tenet of a free and democratic society is the freedom to make informed decisions about medical interventions that carry serious potential risks. This includes the right to be apprised of benefits and risks—and the ability to say no. The Nuremberg Code of ethics established the necessity of informed consent without “any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion.” Forcing the MMR vaccine, or any other vaccine, on those who are uninformed or who do not consent represents nothing less than medical tyranny.
Child suicide in Japan: the leading cause of death in children
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates. A World Health Organization report shows it is actually 60 per cent higher than the global average (Lu, 2015). The country counts an average of 70 daily suicides and alarmingly children are also affected by this problem (ibid.). Since 2014, suicide has become Japan’s leading cause of death in children aged 10-19 (Oi, 2015) and the rate of child suicide keeps rising despite the decreasing overall suicide rate (Whitman, 2015)!
The main reasons for child suicide are school-related issues such as demanding school work or bullying. These problems lead children to depression. Kenzo Denda, a professor at Hokkaido University, reports that in Japan 1 in 12 primary school students and 1 in 4 secondary school students suffer from depression, which causes many of them to commit suicide (Lu, 2015). We see a spike in suicides in September when children go back to school after the summer holidays; Japanese children are actually more likely to kill themselves on 1st September than on any other day. The spike in suicides repeats in April when students go back to school to start a new academic year (Oi, 2015). School-related issues and the children inclination to suicide are actually part of Japanese culture.
How are children affected? The group culture and pressure to perform.
In Japan, group culture is important. This practice means that everyone has to be part of a group, follow the rules and have the same opinion as the other members. This means that every person who is different or doesn’t comply with the rules will be excluded and become the target of bullies. This is also a reason why some watch but don’t react; if you are not one of the bullies, you could become the next victim. This also applies to teachers who sometimes know what is going on but turn a blind eye or even participate in the bullying in order to avoid trouble.
Group culture is also linked to school pressure, as students are always expected to perform and get the highest scores, and those with difficulties don’t receive any support, they just have to go along with the rest of the class. This aspect of the Japanese culture can explain, at least in part, the problems children face at school and which can lead them to want to end their life (Oi, 2015).
The perception of suicide in Japan
Compared to westerners, Japanese people are more likely to opt for suicide when faced with a difficult situation. In Japan, suicide has a different meaning and is not perceived in the same way as in the West. Unlike in Christian countries, in Japan suicide is not considered as a sin. It is seen as a way of taking responsibility and asking for forgiveness. Suicide is deep-rooted in the country’s history; we can recall the Samurai who would do Seppuku (1) to clear their name or the Kamikaze pilots during WW2 (Wingfield-Hayes, 2015).
Since 2012, Japan has been taking the issue of suicide really seriously and the government has put measures in place, aimed at reducing the suicide rate by 20% by 2025 (Lu, 2015). These measures seem to be bearing fruits as the overall suicide rate is declining. However, they are focused on adults and are not appropriate for children. The truth is that while Japan is looking for an effective way to reduce suicide among children, the child suicide rate is ever increasing. Japan can try to reduce the suicide rate with political measures but it is a historical
practice, linked to how society evolves within the school system, and so unless people change their ways of thinking, the problem will remain.
Children think they only have the choice of either going to school or committing suicide, and because they can’t stand going back to school, some children choose the latter. Charities want them to know that there are alternatives and advise them to stay at home (Lu, 2015). The children who were allowed to stay at home by their parents were able to escape this situation. Nanae had the support of her mother when she stopped going to school for a year. Now she has gone back to studying and is singing in a band. She managed to go through this hardship by talking about her problems on the internet. She is in turn trying to help other children, victims of bullying, by writing a blog about what she went through (Wright, 2015). It is currently the only solution offered to children in this kind of situation: stop going to school and try to build yourselves back up. However, this is of course only a temporary solution; children have the right to go to school and they should use this right without fear or embarrassment. The government is trying to implement strategies aiming to increase discussion about mental health issues in the county. We can only hope that this will help people affected by these issues, including children.
(1) Ritual suicide by disembowelment performed by Samuraï to die with honour rather than be captured by the enemies or when they had brought shame to themselves.
In 4 years it’s only gotten worse.
Suicide now leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan
Suicide has become the leading cause of death among children aged 10 to 14 in Japan for the first time in the postwar period, an analysis of government demographic data has shown.
While the total number of people across the country who kill themselves has declined remarkably in recent years, statistics released by the health ministry for 2017 showed that 100 children in that particular age group took their own lives, accounting for 22.9 percent of all deaths in their generation.
Cancer came second for the age bracket, at 22.7 percent, followed by accidents at 11.7 percent.
Among Japanese nationals, the overall number of suicides peaked in 2003 at more than 32,000 before declining to 20,465 in 2017. However, the number of suicides per 100,000 people among those aged 10 to 19 remains flat.
Among those between 15 and 39, meanwhile, suicide has been the dominant cause of death since 2012. About half of those who killed themselves were in their 20s.
Individual factors prompting children aged 10 to 14 to kill themselves have not been sufficiently clarified, according to the white paper from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on preventing suicide and other documents.
Many of those involved in cases of suicide had not previously attempted to kill themselves, making it harder for people around them to recognize the signs, the documents said.
A recent trend in Japan in which suicides by children surge just after holidays, such as the spring and summer vacations, has become a major social issue.
Junko Sakanaka, a school counselor and member of a government panel tasked with the prevention of suicide, has said it is a “serious situation” for suicide to be the leading cause of death among those aged 10 to 14.
“To prevent children from taking their own lives, we need to grasp the more detailed, actual conditions. Now, we adults are being questioned on the extent to which we can recognize (children’s) distress signals, which are hard to perceive,” she said.
In July 2017, the government adopted a suicide prevention plan, which included a focus on measures to prevent youth suicides.
It has strengthened counseling online, while schools are also giving lectures to students on how to seek help when they have concerns.
Is Japan turning a blind eye to paedophilia?
By Ciaran Varley
BBC – Stacey Dooley
Warning: Contains content you may find disturbing
There’s a street in Tokyo known as “JK alley”, or “schoolgirl alley”, from the Japanese Joshi Kosei, meaning high school girl.
There, teenagers in school uniform sell their time to passers-by, while their minders hover in the background.
Men pay to hold hands, go for a walk or have a cup of coffee with the girls. Some even pay to sleep on a girl’s lap.
This is all legitimate, above board and legal.
Japan is also home to 300 “JK cafes”, where adult men pay to hang out with underage girls (the age of consent in Japan is 18).
In the new BBC Three documentary, Young Sex For Sale in Japan, Stacey Dooley visits a JK cafe in Tokyo.
“In this bar, £35 will get you forty minutes with a girl of your choice and unlimited booze,” she says.
In some cafes, men can also pay for “walking dates” – time with the girls away from the cafe. What happens in that time is up to the girls and their clients.
One customer shows Stacey his favourite girl, a 17-year-old with long, light brown hair and a thick fringe. He likes her “because she’s good at talking dirty, but she pretends to be pure”.
Another customer tells Stacey, “the age gap thing for some people is off-putting but, in Japan, maybe it’s our culture – our attitude is quite different”.
It’s estimated that nearly 5000 genuine schoolgirls work in these (legal) cafes in Japan.
Until 2014 child pornography was legal to own in Japan. The law has changed, but the sexualisation of minors continues.
“Chaku Ero”, which means “erotically clothed” is a kind of soft porn – it doesn’t involve nudity, but it can get very, very close and is often overtly sexual.
Stacey asks a Chaku Ero producer (who wanted to remain anonymous) how young the girls in his shoots are.
“My youngest was six years old,” he says. “We filmed her in her bathing costume playing with some toys. Her mum was standing behind the camera holding her favourite toy so she would face the camera.”
He makes much more money filming children than older girls. The DVD of the six-year-old made him “four million (£28,500) or five million yen (£35,500),” he says. “The senior high school girls will make about one million (£7000)”.
When Stacey asks how he would feel if someone had shot his own 16-year-old daughter the way he shot that six-year-old girl, he pauses.
“I would force both of us to commit a joint suicide,” he says.
“Are you serious?” Stacey asks him.
As long as Chaku Ero photos don’t show the child’s naked genitals, buttocks or chest, it isn’t categorised as child pornography.
But, according to Kazuko Ito, a Human Rights Lawyer who is trying to challenge this definition, “Chaku Ero is child pornography. That’s the reality.”
Owning child pornography became illegal in Japan in June 2014. In the 12 months between July 2015 and July 2016, there were 37 cases sent to public prosecutors on grounds of owning this material.
In the UK, in 2015 and 2016, there were more than 5000 arrests for possession, with 481 found guilty.
Why is there such a massive gulf?
Under Japanese law, when they find an abusive image, they need to identify the child, confirm they are underage and, in order for an investigation to proceed, the victim has to bring charges. Arrests will only be made if the evidence against the perpetrator can guarantee a conviction, so it’s a lot tougher to prosecute than in the UK.
Perhaps one thing that Westerners may notice is a different attitude to young girls. As Stacey says, “one of the things that slaps you in the face when you arrive in Japan is their obsession with everything cute”.
She believes there is an issue that goes “much deeper than child porn”.
Domestic sales of manga comics topped over £2 billion in Japan in 2015.
“Lolicon” (short for “Lolita complex”) is the Japanese term for manga and anime featuring sexually explicit images of children. It can involve extreme violence, rape and incest.
Comics with these types of abusive images have been banned in the UK.
The Japanese Government tried to ban these images too, but artists and publishers resisted on the grounds of free speech. Dan Kanemitsu is one of those who argues against the ban. He’s spent 20 years translating Japanese manga.
“There is a child being harmed, on the one hand, and then there is a depiction of a child being harmed. There is a big difference between the two,” he says.
He disagrees with the idea that this kind of material could normalise the sexual abuse of children in Japan and even argues that the comics provide a “venting mechanism” for those with paedophilic fantasies.
Either way, steps are being taken to change things.
The head of the juvenile section at Japan’s National Police Agency says that JK cafes will no longer be able to have girls under eighteen serving customers (but that doesn’t mean they won’t still be dressed as schoolgirls).
With laws around around Chaku Ero, JK cafes and sexually explicit manga continuing to inhabit a grey area, you have to ask, is Japan turning a blind eye to paedophilia?
Watch Stacey Dooley Investigates: Young Sex For Sale in Japan on iPlayer.
If you have been affected with issues raised in this article, help and advice is available here.
Note: This last article is from BBC., a notorious left leaning, read: dishonest outlet. If you trust it and are interested, you can read the full article here ..