Human papillomavirus infection and cervical cancer prevention in Japan and Korea

Vaccine. 2008 Aug 19;26 Suppl 12:M30-42. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.05.006.


Cervical cancer is a common cancer among women in Japan and Korea. Implementation of national cervical cancer screening programs has led to a reduction in the incidence of cervical cancer in both countries. However, over the past decade, there has been a recent marked increase in cervical cancer incidence among young women in Japan. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in the majority of cervical cancers, and HPV-16 and 18 are the two most common types. The next most frequent HPV types in cervical cancer are 52, 58 and 33 for Japan and 52, 58, and 33 for Korea, varying slightly when compared to the worldwide distribution. Screening coverage for both countries remains a challenge. Current coverage is reported at 24% in Japan, with the lowest coverage in young Japanese women, and 41% in Korea. Cytology remains the predominant screening method. HPV DNA testing is widely used to triage women with abnormal cytology in Korea. HPV vaccines have been licensed in Korea, but not yet in Japan. In both countries cost is a substantial impediment to implementation and no national programs are currently planned or in place. Therefore, increased disease awareness and utilization of screening is the first priority for controlling cervical cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / mortality
  • Carcinoma in Situ / prevention & control*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Human papillomavirus 16 / isolation & purification
  • Human papillomavirus 18 / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Mass Screening*
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaccination
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines