Human embryo stem cell research is now a step closer to becoming legal in Japan.
The Council for Science and Technology (CST), Japan's main science policy-making body, are expected to submit a proposal to the government in favour of research on human embryonic stem cells around the end of March.
The use of embryos for research is expected to be allowed, subject to conditions. First, that only embryos less than two weeks old are used. Second, that no money is paid to donors, and third, that research is limited to surplus embryos used in fertility treatment.
Prospective stem cell researchers will first have to get their plans endorsed by their own institution, and then apply for government approval.