Press Release

17 January 2012

UNFPA Joins the 'Hellosmile' Global Project to Prevent Cervical Cancer



UNITED NATIONS, New York—UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has joined Tokyo FM Radio and other Japanese partners, including the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; Sanrio (Japan), maker of the popular 'Hello Kitty' products: UNIQLO, the global clothing company; and Japan Airlines in the Hellosmile Project—a worldwide effort to prevent cervical cancer.

Although preventable and treatable, cervical cancer continues to be a major killer of women. Caused by sexually transmitted infections with human papillomavirus (HPV), the disease kills more than 270,000 women every year, most of whom live in developing countries. In Japan, the disease still kills 2,500 women every year.

As part of its work on reproductive health, UNFPA supports national governments and non-governmental organizations around the world to scale up measures to screen and prevent cervical cancer.

The Hellosmile Project features a rare, one-of-a-kind profile view of the iconic Hello Kitty character to draw attention to the campaign’s important messages. In addition, T-shirts featuring the special Hello Kitty design are sold at UNIQLO stores around the world, with a portion of proceeds going to support UNFPA’s work to prevent cervical cancer.

 The expected collaboration with UNFPA in 2012 includes seminars and music concerts with Tokyo FM and Sanrio, a launching ceremony of a Japan Airlines flight featuring Hellosmile logo, and other activities.


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.


For more information, please contact:
Omar Gharzeddine, +1 212 297 5028,
or visit