Japan banned human cloning in 2001, but has permitted researchers to use human embryos that aren't produced by cloning.
The recommendations, approved Friday, would let researchers produce and use cloned human embryos, but only for basic research, said Tomohiko Arai, an official at the Cabinet's Council for Science and Technology Policy. The cloning won't be allowed for use in treating human patients.
Many scientists back human embryo cloning to obtain stem cells that can be used to reproduce damaged body tissues or organs. Stem cells are the building blocks from which all organs are formed.
The council, headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will now ask the ministries to come up with specific guidelines, said Arai, who declined to speculate on how long that might take.
Britain and South Korea allow therapeutic cloning. The United States prohibits any kind of embryo cloning and has lobbied strongly against it.
I'm sure this decision will create all inds of problems.