We're happy to announce the fourth Sci-Tech Asia Virtual Seminar! All welcome!
DATE: Jan 25, 2021
TIME: 11:00-12:30 P.M. GMT
Making sense of Japan’s new ART legislation. Why it took almost 20 years for Japan to approve its first law regarding assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
On December 4, 2020, the Diet, Japan’s Parliament, finally issued a law that recognizes married (heteronormative) couples who had children through donated eggs and/or sperm as legal parents. This is the first law concerning assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Japan. The new law gives legal recognition to married couples who have children using donated eggs and sperm, but it leaves many other issues on the table waiting further deliberation. The need to implement legislation regarding ART was first brought to the attention of Japanese society in 2003—almost 20 years ago—when the first draft of the current law was prepared by a special committee formed for that purpose. This committee recommended that non-commercial sperm donation and egg donation should be allowed under certain conditions and that both commercial and non-commercial surrogacy should be banned. The new law follows some of these recommendations, but it does not recognize the children’s right to have access to the identity of the egg or sperm donors. Why it took almost 20 years for Japan to issue its first law regulating the practice of ART? This talk provides an answer to this question by looking at changes in Japanese society and societal attitudes towards ART in the past 20 years.
About the Author:
Azumi TSUGE is Professor of Sociology at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. Her research on reproductive medicine and technology in Japan draws on interdisciplinary perspectives from Medical Anthropology, STS, Bioethics, and Gender Studies. Her recent research projects include “Sociological Study of Women's Decision-Making Processes on their Experiences of Pregnancy and Prenatal Tests” and “The Gender Analysis on New Reproductive Technology and the Interrelationship Between the Medical Technologies and Society”. She is one of the most well known sociologists of ART in Japan and has a vast publication record in Japanese. Selected publications in English include: "Considering the Social Background of Prenatal Tests in Japan"; The Meiji Gakuin Sociology and Social Welfare Review, 2015, 145: 137-164; and “Life After Experiences of Infertility Treatment: Akirameru The First Step for Empowering,” East Asian Science, Technology and Society, 2009, 2 (3): 381-400. Her latest publication is a groundbreaking comparison of ART registries in East Asia with sociologists Chia-Ling Wu and Jung-Ok Ha: “Data Reporting as Care Infrastructure: Assembling ART Registries in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea,” East Asian Science, Technology and Society, 2020, 14: 35–59.