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Pharmaceutical company Linepharma International plans to seek approval for Japan’s first abortion pill next month following successful trials in the country, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

Linepharma, which received its pharmaceutical license in Japan in July, will seek approval for a combination of two drugs called mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate pregnancy, the paper said. Approval for the drug combination could be forthcoming within a year, Yomiuri said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

About 140,000 abortions were carried out in Japan in 2020, according to the newspaper, all via surgical procedures. By contrast, medication-induced abortion was introduced in France in 1988 and is available in more than 70 countries, the report said.

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