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It has been 20 years since the government legalized organ transplants from brain-dead donors, and seven years since the law was revised to allow children to donate organs and families to approve organ donations of loved ones unilaterally.

But while the transplant rate in Japan has increased sixfold since 2010, it is still relatively low. According to a May 12 article in the Yomiuri Shimbun, only 64 took place in 2016 for all organs. The Japan Organ Transplant Network (JOTN) says that as of April there were 593 patients waiting for hearts, 321 for livers and 11,965 for kidneys.

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