Governments around the world are increasingly interested in finding disease early s0 that it can be treated for less money and more effectively, as explained by IARC. This general approach perhaps explains part of a somewhat garbled message about ongoing planning in Japan for asbestos-related lung disease screenings. According to an April 26, 2014 online article in The Japan news:
“The Environment Ministry will launch a model project for detection of lung diseases caused by asbestos in fiscal 2015 in collaboration with municipalities that are conducting lung cancer screening, informed sources said Saturday.
The ministry will ask municipalities that used to host asbestos-related plants to take part in the project, and is preparing to include related costs in its budget request for the fiscal year, which begins in April 2015, the sources said. At present, the production and use of asbestos are completely banned because the material can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma when inhaled.
Following reports of health problems among workers at plants that handled asbestos, and residents nearby, the ministry started health surveys on residents in fiscal 2006. The surveys were conducted in cooperation with the local governments of seven regions where such plants were located, including Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture.”