Sailor Moon is once again saving Japan, not from evil entities, but from a real-world problem that affects millions of people worldwide: sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs).
The Japanese government will be giving away Sailor Moon condoms in their effort to raise awareness about STIs. According to SoraNews24, a Tokyo-based news site, the Japanese ministry of health and labor collaborated with the creator of the cutesy magical girl—Naoko Takeuchi— and HIV-awareness organization Act Against AIDS. It will be produced by Okamoto LoversLab, a division of condom maker Okamoto Condoms.
The free condoms come in a heart-shaped package with a "smiling, super-deformed version of Sailor Moon, accompanied by her mentor cat Luna" drawn by Takeuchi. SoraNews24 says there are no details on whether the condoms themselves are decorated with artwork similar to Okamoto’s ukiyo-e woodblock print condoms.
But the news site adds that the condom manufacturer's long-established reputation for quality products promises a good job when it comes to the deed.
|Photo Credit: Anime News Network and @ForegoneGem via Twitter|
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has been conducting activities to spread correct knowledge and preventive measures about STDs. With the new initiative, the Sailor Moon creators say they "hope you will take this opportunity to deepen your understanding of sexually transmitted diseases."
The condoms were handed out last Saturday at the Mark Is Fukuoka Momochi shopping complex in Fukuoka City. Another batch will be distributed at the Alice Garden event space in downtown Hiroshima City.
|Photo Credit: archnoi1 via 123RF.com|
Japan's initiative comes after the WHO expressed its alarm at the lack of progress in addressing STD and STI cases.
According to UN health organization, there were over 376 million new cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, and syphilis registered around the world in 2016 (the latest year for which such data is available).
Japan particularly saw a dramatic surge in syphilis cases in 2017—decades after the common STD was eradicated in the country—with the reported number of patients topping 5,000 for the first time in 44 years, according to the Japan Times.