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Japanese Perspectives on Third Party Reproduction

February 22, 2011 - 4:15pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor


Yukari SembaVisiting Researcher, J. F. Oberlin University, Institute of Aging and Human Development, & Visiting Scholar, IUC, FSI, Stanford UniversityIn August 2010 sensationalized reports appeared in the Japanese media that Seiko Noda, a liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, had become pregnant at age 49 using donated eggs from another woman. The use of third party reproduction (donor insemination, IVF using donated eggs or embryos, and surrogacy) remains highly controversial in Japan for ethical and legal reasons. Japan has no laws regarding third party reproduction. These medical technologies are regulated by guidelines issued by the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JSOG), but the guidelines are not legally binding. IVF using donated eggs/embryos and surrogacy are prohibited by the guidelines. However, many cases are known in which Japanese infertile couples wishing to utilize these prohibited technologies have either traveled overseas for that purpose or enlisted the help of local medical professionals willing to ignore the JSOG guidelines. Some of such couples face difficulties when their actions later come to light. In this presentation, Semba will give an overview of the history of third party reproduction in Japan and present governmental and other Japanese perspectives on the use of such reproductive echnologies.

Free and open to the public.

Event Sponsor: 
Center for East Asian Studies
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