Has Japan declared a national emergency over a surge in mRNA vaccine-induced cancers?

By May 9, 2024 COVID-19, Health, Society

We came across several posts on X claiming that Japan has declared a national emergency due to a surge in mRNA vaccine-induced cancers.

The posts on X included a link to an article by Planet Today, dated 21 April 2024, which claims to be a website for breaking news on multiple topics including conspiracy theories and UFO and alien encounters. The article states that, according to an official Japanese study, there has been a “statistically significant” rise in aggressive forms of cancers in the country during 2020-2022 which coincided with the introduction of mRNA vaccines.

The article further delves into more details about the Japanese study and its findings, also referencing an article by Infowars – a website that often promotes conspiracy theories – which makes a similar claim about vaccines being linked to the surge in cancers during the pandemic. However, no further information is provided on the alleged national emergency declared in Japan.

What is the Japanese study about?

The articles by Planet Today and Infowars refer to a study conducted by Japanese researchers titled “Increased Age-Adjusted Cancer Mortality After the Third mRNA-Lipid Nanoparticle Vaccine Dose During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan”, which was published on 8 April 2024.

The study purported to analyse age-adjusted cancer mortality rates (AMRs) using publicly available national data throughout Japan’s COVID-19 pandemic period, spanning from 2020 to 2022.  Age-adjusted mortality rates are rates that have been standardised to account for differences in age distributions between the different study groups, ensuring that age differences do not bias the results.

According to the study, there was no significant excess mortality in 2020 (i.e. no notable difference in the actual number of deaths and expected number of deaths). However, the study observed excess cancer mortalities in 2021 and 2022, particularly after mass vaccinations. Therefore, the study attributed COVID-19 vaccinations as the likely reason for the increase in cancer death rates.

However, the study notes that its findings have not been clinically validated and states that further statistical studies according to vaccination status are required. Additionally, there is no indication that the study was endorsed by the Japanese government and the researchers disclosed that no financial support was received for the study.


Did mRNA vaccines cause an increase in cancer death rates during the pandemic?

According to a statement provided to Reuters by Professor Jeffrey Morris, a Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Director of the Biostatistics Division at the University of Pennsylvania, the Japanese study lacks data “splitting out cancer deaths by vaccination status, and [does] not show it is increased after vaccination, or higher in vaccinated than unvaccinated of same age/comorbidity status, or otherwise provide any epidemiological evidence that vaccines increased the risk of cancer mortality”.

Morris also added that the study does not prove an increase in cancer deaths in Japan or establish a causal link between mRNA vaccines and cancer, therefore failing to prove that mRNA vaccines are responsible for the alleged rise in cancer death rates in Japan. Conversely, he pointed out that age-adjusted cancer death rates actually declined from 2021 to 2022.

Did Japan declare a national emergency?

Contrary to the claims circulating on X, we were unable to find any official statements from the Japanese government declaring a national emergency due to a surge in mRNA vaccine-induced cancers.

In addition, a spokesperson from the Japanese health ministry had clarified in a statement that Japan did not declare a national emergency over an alleged explosion of cancer cases in the country.

Therefore, the claim that Japan has declared a national emergency due to a surge in mRNA vaccine-induced cancers is false.

How “official” is it?

Black Dot Research recently fact-checked a claim, similar to the present claim, alleging that Japan is banning mRNA vaccines due to “soaring sudden deaths.” However, we found no evidence of a vaccine ban in Japan.

Moreover, the claim similarly referenced an “official government study” as the basis for its assertions, which turned out to be a study funded by “Japanese Society for Vaccine-related Complications and the Volunteer Medical Association,” an entity that does not appear to be associated with the Japanese Government.

Hence, it is important not to automatically believe studies solely based on their labelling as “official government studies” without verifying their authenticity. This episode underscores the importance of critically evaluating the sources and funding behind studies, as well as seeking corroborating evidence before accepting claims at face value.

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