Japan police to question man on China organ transplants

Japanese police plan to question a man on suspicion of illegally brokering organ transplant operations in China for Japanese patients, reports said Wednesday.

Police plan to grill Hiroyuki Nagase, 52, on suspicion of violating Japan’s organ transplant law, which bans the brokering of organ transplants for profit, the Yomiuri Shimbun and other media reported.

A police spokesman declined to comment, but the health ministry confirmed it had received inquiries from the police linked to the case.

“They have told me that there was information that Mr. Nagase might be deported to Japan, and that they wanted to know which case would be illegal organ trading,” said Yoichi Hiratsuka, an official at the health ministry.

Nagase, who headed the China International Organ Transplant Centre in the northeast city of Shenyang, was arrested last year by the Chinese police for allegedly brokering human transplant operations on the Internet.

But the Chinese authorities changed the charge to false advertising when he was indicted, the Yomiuri said.

On October 30, a court in Shenyang sentenced Nagase to 14 months in prison, including time already served in custody, followed by deportation, it said.

Nagase, who flew back to Tokyo on Tuesday, told the Yomiuri that it was not illegal to broker organ transplants for profit in China and he was only doing what other doctors also did.

There is a severe shortage of organ donors in Japan and hundreds of patients go abroad each year for transplants.

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