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Human cloning in Japan and Korea


I have uploaded the paper, "The Ethics of Human Cloning and the Sprout of Human Life," in Heiner Roetz (ed.), Cross-Cultural Issues in Bioethics: The Example of Human Cloning, published from Rodopi this year. This is probably the first paper in English that deals with the process of legislation of human cloning in Japan, and the ethical issues raised by the discussions. You will understand that the situation is very complicated.

In Japan, the transfer of a human somatic clone embryo into the uterus of a woman has been prohibited by the law established in 2000. However, the making of a human somatic clone embryo was not prohibited by the law, and instead the government established a guideline that prohibited the production of a human somatic clone embryo.

But just after that, the government started a discussion, in their Commision of Bioethics, about whether to lift the prohibition or not. After a series of fierce debates, the commision suddenly decided, in 2004, to approve the production of a human somatic clone embryo, with a certain period of moratorium.

It is very interesting that this was the year when ES cells were reported to be successfully produced from human somatic clone embryos by a Korean scientist. (Later, it became known that this was a forgery.) I suspect that there must have been some connections between the Korean "success" and Japanese government's decision to approve research on human somatic clone embryos with some restrictions.

By the way, in this paper I analysed the notion of "the sprout (or bud) of human life" used in the law. The final version of the law includes this term when refering to a human embryo. It is interesting to know the reason why this concept came to be included. I don't know who first started to use this term, but I suspect this term might have been invented by the influence of the German Embryo Protection Law. Or it might be a remnant of the traditional Japanese concept of life (See my paper "Concept of Inochi (life)").

Comparative studies should be done on this topic in terms of not only ethics but various social sciences and philosophy of life.

Photo: Lighthouse, Sakai, Osaka

 -- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org

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hy masahiro, van you maybe give us more information, what actually cloning is?? is it to make a patch of a DNA, and then?? would interest me, thanks , do you think of working further on this subject, it´s very very interesting. arash

Wikipedia's information is helpful.

thanks masahiro, I know get an idea how it works, seems not the way I fought. thanks a lot, arash

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