- Masahiro Morioka
CIAS, Osaka Prefecture University,
Gakuencho, Sakai, Osaka, 599-8531 Japan
International Network for Life Studies
Some years ago a researcher fused the nucleus of human somatic cell into a de-nucleated animal egg following the somatic cell cloning technique. The Japanese mass media reported this incident as an example of unethical research, and the researcher apologized to the academic society. This research will be accepted under the new law (just as it is in some other countries), but it may include some grave ethical problems. We have never had intensive discussions concerning this topic. The law passed the Diet without long term serious discussions including bioethics researchers who have had doubts over human cloning research. The driving force was the ethos, "catch up with the USA in the field of biotechnology!" and no one has stopped this tide surrounding Kasumigaseki*, the "nucleus" of Japanese politics.
*The Tokyo district where the government ministries are located.