The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, said on October 26, 2012, that it saw the lowest number of abortions carried out in Japan in the last year. The ministry began keeping the records since 1955.
Japanese Law states that all abortions which take place in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy must be reported to the local government. The ministry said that in the yea 2011, the total number of abortions carried out across the nation amounted to 202,106.
The ministry also revealed that 44,000 abortions were carried out in women who were aged between 20-24. About 20,000 women were aged under 20 and around 400 women were aged under 15. It also said that the number of abortions carried out on minors in 2012, was the lowest on record.
A spokesperson from the ministry said that the reduction in the number of abortions might be due to sex education and better understanding of contraception. When the figures were classified according to prefecture, the highest number of abortions were reported in Tottori, which is the least populated prefecture in Japan followed by Kumamoto and Kochi. The ministry said that the lowest number of terminations was reported in Nara Prefecture in 2011. Abortions can be carried out by doctors approved by the prefectural government.