Is it possible that the Japanese abortion industry actually encourages policies that have led to a surge in AIDS infections? As I quoted last year, many Japanese view abortion as a primary method of birth control:

It is common knowledge that abortion has long been one of the most popular forms of birth control in Japan, largely because it's such an enormous money-spinner for those who perform the procedure that they have fought tooth-and-nail to prevent proliferation of alternative means.

Perhaps that's why Japanese appear reluctant to use condoms?

Among women, Sato is one of the careful ones. The 23-year-old Tokyoite has unprotected sex with multiple partners, but at least she occasionally gets herself tested for HIV.

"I know about the risks of disease, but usually the guys I'm with refuse to use a condom _ so we just end up having sex without one," said Sato, who would give only her last name as she waited for her blood to be drawn at a health center.

The risky behavior also extends far beyond youth: Older men often consort with part-time prostitutes of high-school age, businessmen go abroad on "sex tours" thinly disguised as company trips, and the country's enormous sex industry offers services condom-free for higher prices.



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