The Japanese government is expected to approve a new law later this month, banning human reproductive cloning but permitting research into therapeutic cloning, which uses cloned human embryos. Such experiments will be subject to strict guidelines, prohibiting the reimplantation into the womb of any human embryo clones.
The law has been drawn up by the Science and Technology Agency (STA), after consultations with an expert panel. The new bill does justice to both science and ethics by prohibiting human cloning without preventing the possible opportunities that may emerge from stem cell and human embryo research, say STA officials. But the limitations of the bill's legal restrictions have surprised some observers in Tokyo, who say that the country's government and medical community have greatly influenced the final shape of the draft law.
Motoya Katsuki, a member of the cloning and human embryo research expert panels, fears that the new regulatory framework is clumsy and may lack credibility in the eyes of the public.
Sources and References
Japan's cloning ban will still allow stem cell experiments