Egg donation in Japan is relatively new. Prior to 2015, only 24 cases of babies born through egg donation had been identified. The donors were all friends or relatives. These do not account for the cases of Japanese parents going to the US or other countries for egg donation. However, in 2015, there were at least 2 cases that were documented of Japanese egg donors in Japan who were strangers to the recipient couples. Currently, a draft bill in Japan has been approved allowing for strangers to act as donors as long as the sperm donor is the husband. However, this bill has not been passed by the Japanese parliament yet.
According to the Japanese Institution for Standardizing Assisted Reproductive Technology, the resulting children, are entitled to find out the name and address of their donors when they reach the age of 15. Also, Japanese egg donors must be under 35 and already have had children. They do not receive compensation.
Due to the fact that donations are not anonymous and that Japanese egg donors do not receive compensation, it might prove more difficult in Japan to attract large numbers of egg donors. At the same time, Japan’s population is dropping as people are waiting longer to get married and have children. Even though the government is continuously searching for new ways to encourage couples to procreate, there is no clear legal framework for egg donation(or surrogacy) in Japan. It has been reported that many Japanese women do not tell anyone that they go overseas for egg donation or surrogacy.
Some Japanese prospective parents also go to underground Japanese egg donor and surrogacy agencies. While these agencies are not prohibited, they are not exactly legal either.
We will have to watch closely to see if the draft bill is approved.