The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday handed an eight-month prison sentence to an executive at a nonprofit group for mediating organ transplants in Belarus without Japanese government approval.
Hiromichi Kikuchi, 63, director of the Tokyo-based organization for patients with intractable diseases, was found guilty of violating the organ transplant law by facilitating unauthorized organ transplants overseas. The group was fined ¥1 million ($6,700). Prosecutors had sought a year in prison and ¥1 million in fines.
Presiding Judge Yoshiro Baba said cases such as this undermined the fundamental fairness of opportunities for receiving organ transplants. He also added that while Japanese citizens are not banned from receiving organ transplants overseas, there needs to be further discussion on the appropriate implementation of such procedures both domestically and abroad.