Evolution of Recombinant DNA Guidelines in Japan
I would like to describe here a brief history of the regulation of recombinant DNA technology in Japan, Since the recombinant DNA guidelines are based on our experiences on rDNA researches on the one hand, and philosophical as well as social considerations on the other, I shall start from overviewing evolution of rDNA research guidelines in Japan as well as mechanisms and factors in Japan which had influenced or had to be taken into account in formulating rDNA guidelines. I am in a sense qualified to attempt the overview, because I have participated in the initial drafting of the guidelines for rDNA experiments issued in 1979 by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (MESC), and by the Science and Technology Agency (STA), and have proposed subsequent amendments of the guidelines as the chairman of the Committee on Genetic Manipulation (CGM) which is supported by a League of 17 Biomedical Societies in Japan. I have also involved in the formulation of industrial rDNA guidelines as the chairman of the committee on recombinant DNA technology advising MITI (the Ministry of International Trade and Industry). Since 1983 until the end of the last March, I have been the President of the Molecular Biology Society of Japan. Nevertheless, since I am not a regulative official, my talk will represent purely personal views and comments on the evolution of rDNA guidelines in Japan.
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