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A recent study concludes Japan has extremely low confidence in vaccines. We examine the history of vaccination in Japan over the past 150 years to assess this study's claim of vaccine hesitancy. We find the conclusion misleading. Japan, as elsewhere, presents a mixed history of vaccine acceptance and resistance, public harm from vaccines, and social mobilization for and against them. Today, recommended routine vaccines are universally accepted. Since the 1970s, however, the mobilization of vaccine-injured victims (similar to protests and litigation by victims of pollution and food contamination) has generated significant public and official hesitancy toward some new vaccines.