What Actions Japan Can Take Against Organ Harvesting

Key points in this article:

  • The vast majority of China’s transplant organs are taken from prisoners
  • What actions Japan can take in response to China’s organ harvesting
  • Someone is killed for every organ involved in transplant tourism from Japan

China is harvesting organs from Falun Gong members, Uighurs and Christians.

The number of annual transplants is estimated to be between 60,000 and 100,000, which is three times greater than in the U.S. But it is not only the numbers that are truly astonishing: it is the speed. In the U.S. waiting lists extend from several months to years, whereas in China a few days to weeks of waiting will suffice.


The Majority of China’s Organs Come From “Prisoners”

China used to claim that the unusually high number and speed for organ availability all came from donors, but now they have admitted that most of these organs come from prisoners.

The question though is, “who are these prisoners?” Because they can’t all be criminals. In fact they are probably counting Falun Gong and Uighurs in concentration camps as “prisoners”. Otherwise it would be impossible to have so many organs available. There is a high chance that China is harvesting organs from these prisoners of conscience who were convicted for their beliefs and ideas.

One decade-long study of computer analyzing “donated” organs with the genetic make-up of Falun Gong and Uighur people proved that China is extracting organs from these innocent humans “on-demand”.


A Human Rights Lawyer On Organ Harvesting Visits Japan

On the 23rd of March, Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, CM, who has been working on the organ-harvesting problem for many years, lectured in Japan.

It all began in 2006 when Matas received a request to investigate a case where a Falun Gong practitioner had his organs forcibly removed, was killed and had his body incinerated.

Matas is from a Jewish background, and he lost his grandfather in the Holocaust. He felt that it was his duty to fight against human rights infringements. Ever since, he has been shaping global opinion trends by travelling the world to raise awareness on this problem.

One of his recent activities was to open a people’s tribunal in Britain on this situation. The chairman was Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who formerly held a position at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Matas himself testified at this court.

The jury included an American international criminal law specialist, and human rights lawyers from Malaysia and India. They will read through stacks of documents and testimonies before coming to a decision after June.

With this court case they had an unprecedented interim judgment, which stated that, “The Tribunal’s members are all certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practised for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”

Details of the proceedings can be read here.


What Actions Japan Can Take Against Organ Harvesting

So what can Japan do against China’s organ harvesting?

In his lecture, Matas proposed an action plan. The plan is already in action in other countries, and it is perfectly possible should the Japanese Diet put their minds to it.

Here is a section of the action plan:

Countries like Israel and Taiwan forbid transplantation tourism: that is, going overseas to receive transplants. It serves to prevent extra killings of prisoners of conscience. Japan has a law that forbids organ trading and brokering, but this only applies within the state’s borders. Japan should legislate a law preventing her citizens from going overseas and unconsciously have a hand in China’s crimes.

The U.S. Congress, European Parliament and the Parliament of the Czech Republic have passed a resolution against organ harvesting. The U.S. Congress has even openly presented their anxieties about China extracting organs from prisoners of conscience, and demanded China release these prisoners, including Falun Gong members.

The Parliament of Australia, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, has published a detailed report on organ harvesting and proposed countermeasures. Japan should create a similar report and counterstrategy.

Japan should legislate a law to freeze the assets belonging to China’s high authorities, like the Magnitsky Act.

If someone in Japan is involved in transplant tourism, it should be compulsory for medical practitioners to immediately inform the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. That way we can get a grasp of how many transplants are being conducted, and make a counterstrategy accordingly.


One Prisoner Killed For Every Transplant Tourist From Japan

An especially important point in the above plan is transplant tourism.

The Japanese people do not know that China is extracting organs, such as livers, kidneys and hearts, from prisoners of conscience while they are still alive. That is why people are travelling to China to benefit from the short waiting list. These patients unknowingly have a hand in the killings of the prisoners.

The problem is that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has setup an insurance scheme to cover transplant tourism. They are not only turning a blind eye to China’s national crimes; they are using tax revenue to endorse it. This is unethical.

“We need to request the Diet to investigate how much transplant tourism is going on,” says Hideaki Kase, Chairman of the SGM Network in Japan, who attended Matas’ lecture. “After that we want to adopt measures to prohibit transplant tourism.” The persecution of Falun Gong and Uighurs is unforgivable in the name of the Japanese people who fought for race equality in WWII, he added.

Organ harvesting is the quintessential symbol of a materialist country that views her own people as mere “things”. Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, gave a speech calling for a strong alliance between states that respect religious faith. In early March, he slammed China for harvesting organs from Falun Gong members in his speech in Hong Kong.

Japan must not remain silent and watch as China infringes upon the rights of our fellow humans. And they must never take a hand in those crimes through providing insurance schemes for transplantation tourism. Japan urgently needs to legislate a prohibition on transplant tourism and demand China release their prisoners of conscience.


David Matas CM

International Human Rights Lawyer

Born in Canada, he served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the United National General Assembly, Director of the International Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development, and member of the CBA Committee on the Constitution. He was nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and for the 2017 Gandhi Peace Prize.

What Actions Japan Can Take Against Organ Harvesting
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