Riko Muranaka

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Riko Muranaka (村中 璃子, Muranaka Riko), medical doctor and journalist, is a part time lecturer at the Kyoto University School of Medicine (Japan)[1], and has been awarded the 2017 John Maddox Prize for her efforts to counter the hoaxes and misinformation related to vaccination against the human papilloma virus in her country, where vaccination coverage has fallen to 1% as a result of misinformation and unjustified fear according to WHO for the alleged adverse effects of this vaccine.[2][3]

In 2016, She was sued for slander.[4] As a result, She lost a deal with regular columns and books.[5]


She received an M.A. in sociology from Hitotsubashi University and an M.D. from Hokkaido University School of Medicine. She has not disclosed a specific hospital career or specialty department, even her birthday. She says, In 2014, she was known as a journalist for writing an article about the Ebola fever. In February 2018, she published her first book.[6]

She is lectures part-time at the Kyoto University School of Medicine in Japan. She lives in Germany in 2019.[1]


In 2016, Shuichi Ikeda, a neurologist at Shinshu University (Japan) was reported. It was televised to mention the side effects of HPV vaccine in his mouse experiments.[4]

Muranaka criticized in a business magazine Wedge that Ikeda's experiments was "fabrication". But, there was no cheating in the university's survey. It is a true experiment. And it was pointed out that Ikeda's research results were exaggerated.[1]

Ikeda quit working at the university and sued Muranaka for slander.[4] As a result, She also lost a deal with regular columns and books.[5]

In March 2019, Tokyo court ruled that she and Wedge lost. Muranaka said she would appeal. She says that "I need to win a lawsuit for science". Heidi Larson, a director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says “I think what is important is that media coverage does not distort the point and imply Dr. Ikeda’s science won: It was Dr. Muranaka’s manners and language that lost”.[4]

Delivery Ceremony of the John Maddox Prize[edit]

Ceremony held on November 30, 2017
Sense About Science John Maddox Price 2017 5.jpg
Sense About Science John Maddox Price 2017 6.jpg

At the award ceremony of the John Maddox Prize, Riko Murunaka's speech highlighted the circumstances that, according to the award winner, could have given rise to the distinction received.[7]

And, at the award ceremony, Muranaka described that "dig out" the wombs. In her explanation, a doctor at Hokkaido University says "dig out". But, The Hokkaido University Obstetrics and Gynecologists (WIND) explained for honor that it was "take" (mean: remove) rather than "dig out". Because WIND respects women.[8]

Vaccination against human papillomavirus[edit]

The WHO has evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV) concluding that it is extremely safe and that it is not related to the adverse effects attributed to it.[9][10]

At 2016, 79 out of almost 200 countries have HPV vaccine programs for girls and adolescents.[11]

However, Japan stopped recommending vaccination despite the fact that its own technical committees found no relationship with the alleged adverse effects falsely attributed to this vaccine, and as a consequence, vaccination coverage fell to levels close to zero, not seen in no other country.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Court ruling highlights the threat of vaccine misinformation". Nature. 568 (7750): 5. 2 April 2019. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-01031-x.
  2. ^ Ian Sample (30 November 2017). "Doctor wins 2017 John Maddox prize for countering HPV vaccine misinformation". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Women's health champion, Dr Riko Muranaka, awarded the 2017 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science". Nature. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Normile, Dennis (27 March 2019). "Japanese court rules against journalist in HPV vaccine defamation case". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aax4915.
  5. ^ a b Normile, Dennis (30 November 2017). "Q&A: Japanese physician snares prize for battling antivaccine campaigners". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aar6325.
  6. ^ Muranaka, Riko. "Profile". Riko Muranaka Website. Riko Muranaka. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  7. ^ Muranaka, Riko (9 December 2017). "A Hundred Thousand Wombs". Note (Self Published). piece of cake Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  8. ^ "村中璃子氏のブログ中の医師の発言内容について" (PDF) (in Japanese). WIND. 3 March 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Meeting of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, 7–8 June 2017" (PDF). Weekly epidemiological record. World Health Organization. 2017 (28): 393–402. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Human papillomavirus vaccines: WHO position paper, May 2017" (PDF). Weekly epidemiological record. World Health Organization. 2017 (19): 241–268. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  11. ^ Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases Report 2019 (PDF) (Report). ICO/IARC HPV Information Centre. 22 July 2019. p. 260-264. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  12. ^ Hanley SJ, Yoshioka E, Ito Y, Kishi R (June 2015). "HPV vaccination crisis in Japan". Lancet. 385 (9987): 2571. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)61152-7. PMID 26122153.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

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