Junko Mihara Campaigns against Cancer
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tokyo -- Freshman House of Councillors lawmaker Junko Mihara gave a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan this afternoon in which this well-known former singer and race car driver explained what led her to become a politician.
The answer was straightforward: Mihara is a survivor of cervical cancer who is determined to all but eliminate the disease from Japan.
"I want my suffering to end with me," she declared.
Cervical cancer is caused by a virus carried by women. About 15,000 new cases occur each year and the lives of about 3,500 of Japanese women are lost annually.
Tragically, almost all of those lives could be saved if those women had received a readily-available vaccine that costs about 50,000 yen (US$600) per individual to administer.
In Mihara's case, although she survived the cancer, her uterus had to be removed. This means that she can never have children.
Mihara's main goal is to have the government cover the costs of having young women vaccinated. She points out that the costs of such an endeavor are not prohibitive, especially in light of some of the more wasteful welfare measures being contemplated by the DPJ government.
When asked about tobacco and other forms of cancer, Mihara affirmed her interest in fighting that battle as well, noting that she aimed for a "tobacco-free Japan."
"I'm not afraid to fight anybody," she declared.
On other matters, Mihara states that she is a political conservative who will promote Japanese traditions, culture, and community values. She expressed her humble appreciation to those men who had fought and died for the nation in past wars.
It is in this context that she became a politician under the banner of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party.
"I never considered joining any other party," she said.
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