A year has passed since the revised Organ Transplant Law took effect in July 2010. Now anyone, even children, can be organ donors if the next of kin consent. The changes have raised the number of donors but many patients are still waiting to receive organs.

The recent arrest of Dr. Toshinobu Horiuchi, 55, who allegedly engaged in illegal organ trading, indicates how desperate donor searches can be. Horiuchi, who was undergoing dialysis, reportedly paid a yakuza to obtain a 21-year-old man’s kidney. Horiuchi further faked adopting the donor to legally proceed with the transplant.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.