Japan: Global Affairs Are a Bummer

Global Affairs Are a Bummer

Until recently Japan's two dozen known AIDS victims were either male homosexuals or hemophiliacs. Then came word that the first female patient had died on Jan. 20 of AIDS-related pneumonia in Kobe, a western coastal city on the island of Honshu. The victim, a prostitute, was unquestionably heterosexual. Fear rattled the country like an earthquake. Stock in condom manufacturers soared by as much as 500 points on the Tokyo exchange. A TV news special seeking to pinpoint the source of the problem, suggested darkly that foreign sailors frequenting Kobe's red-light district were to blame, and asked: "Can Kobe live down this...