Fight cancer! – Eat Rice!

Rice consumption may help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, a study has suggested.

Professor Ann Richardson of the University of Canterbury said more than 2800 Kiwis were diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and it was “very possible” dietary changes were associated with world cancer trends.

“Rapid increases in the incidence of bowel cancer in Japan and Hong Kong have been linked to dietary changes which have occurred in these countries over the last 50 years,” quoted her as saying.

Per capita, rice consumption declined by almost 50 per cent in Japan over the past 20 to 30 years.

Read the rest of the story: Eating rice may help fight cancer.

‘Morning after pill’ approved in Japan

The health ministry approved Japan’s first emergency contraceptive more than a decade after the so-called morning after drug debuted in Europe.

NorLevo will be sold in Japan beginning in May after it was approved by the ministry, the pill’s maker, Sosei Group Corp., said Wednesday.

The drug, used to prevent unwanted pregnancy, will be marketed by Aska Pharmaceutical Co., Sosei said. Its active ingredient, levonorgestrel, is listed as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization, the drugmaker said.

Access to the tablet may help reduce the abortion rate.

Read the rest of the story: ‘Morning after pill’ approved.

Japan’s New Data on Poverty Rate Released

Japan’s relative poverty rate as of 2007 stood at 15.7 percent, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry announced last October. This marks the first time the government has officially released its own data on the subject. Past rates were known only through surveys conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The public announcement of this data is a welcome end to the willful denial of previous administrations, but one demanding a response and action.

The 2007 relative poverty rate, up from 14.9 percent in the 2004 OECD survey, is the fourth-highest among OECD’s 30 member nations. With half the median income for all income earners in the nation serving as the dividing line, the relative poverty rate is likely to have worsened in the past few years, but we will never know until more recent data is forthcoming. For now, though, the reality is that 19 million Japanese are living below the poverty line, or nearly one in every six citizens.

Photo by: jamesfischer
Source: Japan Times