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Japan bans human cloning

Nature Biotechnologyvolume 18page366 (2000) | Download Citation


Japan's Science and Technology Agency (Tokyo) has released draft legislation that prohibits the use of cloning techniques for human reproductive purposes. It also bars implantation of chimeric embryos—consisting of human and animal cells—into human or animal uteri for reproductive purposes. However, because of the potential medical applications—particularly those related to stem cell research—the use of these techniques in human embryo research would not be regulated by law but instead by means of guidelines. Offenders will be subject to heavy penalties, such as a prison sentence that would “reflect the severity of human cloning as a criminal act,” according to an official from the agency. The draft legislation has been approved by the cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and is therefore almost certain to be enacted as law during the current parliamentary session ending in June.


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