Japan's cloning regulations took an unexpected turn in April when draft legislation prohibiting the use of cloning techniques for human reproductive purposes failed to pass Parliament, despite having gained initial approval from the cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the main opposition party, rejected the new bill because it considers it to be full of loopholes that could “effectively open a back door for human cloning research.” Although the draft legislation bans the reimplantation of human clones, chimeras, and hybrid embryos into human or animal uteri, some forms of nuclear transfer would be regulated only by means of guidelines because of their potential applications for human embryo and stem-cell research (Nat. Biotechnol. 18, 366). The DPJ argues that the new law should cover all reproductive techniques, as is the case with human cloning regulations in the UK and France.