Japan - April 2023
Health ministry approves nation’s first abortion pill
Japan’s Health Ministry on 28 April formally approved an abortion pill for the first time, providing women with an alternative to surgery. The approval marks a major step forward for reproductive rights in the country. However, challenges remain in accessing safe abortions, with debates revolving around cost and consent requirements. Abortions are not covered by public health insurance, and many hospitals still require a partner’s consent, which rights activists argue continues to deny women the right to bodily autonomy.
Attempted attack on Prime Minister raises security concerns
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was targeted by an explosive device on 15 April at a public local election campaign event. Kishida was unharmed and no casualties were reported, with a suspect quickly arrested at the scene. Despite the rarity of violent crimes in Japan, the incident has raised concerns on how to better protect politicians and public figures, following the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July 2022.