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Voluntary Lawmakers Launch Study Group on Further Organ Transplantation; Measures discussed to tackle organ rejection


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The headquarters of the Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo

Volunteer lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Japan Innovation Party on Wednesday launched a study group aimed at examining policies to promote organ transplantation. The group began discussions about addressing issues such as transplant facilities that repeatedly refused organ donations from brain-dead individuals due to staffing shortages, for example.

During the opening meeting, lawmakers from both parties discussed the issue. Hiromi Mitsubayashi, an LDP member of the House of Representatives, expressed concern, saying: “I feel a sense of crisis. The number of organs is decreasing, even as the number of organ donors increases [per capita] is one-tenth of that in South Korea.”

Satoshi Umemura, a JIP member of the House of Councilors, said: “We need to fundamentally overhaul the transplant system.”

During the meeting, JIP members presented LDP members with a draft amendment to the Organ Transplantation Law, intended to increase the number of organ transplants. The proposal requires that, when brain death is possible, medical institutions must report patient information to the Japan Organ Transplant Network (JOT) – the Japanese Organization for the Coordination of Organ Transplants.

The draft also emphasizes strengthening regulations to prevent anyone from traveling abroad to undergo transplants, for example involving organs suspected of being trafficked.

The working group has scheduled regular hearings with experts on these topics and will propose solutions to both sides.

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