Key laws and policies
- Law Concerning Regulation Relating to Human Cloning Techniques and Other Similar Techniques (June 2001)
Although there is no legal regulation for ART, the academic society regulates ART via "guidelines."
The preamble to the 2001 cloning law speaks about "preservation of human dignity, safety for human life and body, and maintenance of social order."
The 2001 cloning law prohibits:
- Human reproductive cloning
- Inheritable genetic modification
- The transfer of "a human-animal amphimictic embryo, a human-animal hybrid embryo or a human-animal chimeric embryo into a uterus of a human or an animal"
Permitted and regulated practices
Japan is listed alongside the United States as one of the most active countries in the world regarding use of assisted reproduction. (See http://www.eshre.eu/Guidelines-and-Legal/ART-fact-sheet.aspx.)
Despite the absence of laws, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has long prohibited surrogacy in its guidelines. There appears to be no law directly addressing the practice.
The Supreme Court ruled that the birth mother or birth parents (birth mother and husband) are the legal parents of a child.
In 2013, the Nation's first egg bank was established. Egg donation is non-commercial, and donors must meet strict criteria. (See http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/05/03/national/nations-first-egg-bank-deluged-with-donors/#.VOkDuS5KVGs.)
Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
PGD is covered by guidelines, not legislation.
In June 2014, it was reported that the Liberal Democratic Party had compiled a bill on assisted reproductive technologies that would allow donations of sperm and ova from third parties and also conditionally allow surrogate births. However, the prospect of its acceptance was questioned, noting opposition from others (within the same party) to all forms of surrogacy. (See http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2014/06/15/editorials/plan-surrogate-births/#.VOj-qC5KVGs.)
A report from 2008 on the use of assisted reproduction in Japan is available here: http://www.jsog.or.jp/english/img/art%20registry%20of%20japan%202008.pdf.
See generally Japan Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: http://www.jsog.or.jp/english/.
- Shigeo Miyagawa, "Report from Japan: Surrogacy Contracts in the Supreme Court of Japan," The Court (May 11, 2007).
- Genetic-Medicine-Related Societies, "Guidelines for Genetic Testing."