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Danish-Japanese Fertility Planning and Access to Reproductive Technologies

01.03.2019  02:32

IVF can become part of life planning through clinical, social and cultural innovation

Denmark and Japan share societal challenges of an increasing elderly population and low birth rates, challenging future sustainability of our societies and social welfare model. Increasing birth rates and number of children by individuals and couples in childbearing age is part of the solution, including quality interventions increasing the successful procreation for people experiencing difficulties in reproduction or are childless.

Cooperating on sexual health, family planning and access to reproductive technologies, the Royal Danish Embassy brought together innovators, clinicians, patient- and semen/egg donor associations and policymakers to share experiences and inform collaborative frameworks for increased awareness, reproductive interventions and citizen welfare for a successful Japanese procreative future.

As part of the bilateral strategic partnership and public-private cooperation in health and life sciences, the Royal Danish Embassy shared how the ‘making of Danish IVF has become the making of Denmark’. With approximately eight percent (~8%) of children born in Denmark every year conceived using reproductive medicine, in a country of only 5.75 million people, most Danes know or are in family with a person either born following, or undergone fertility treatment. IVF is thus an integral part of being Danish, well accepted clinically, socially and politically, contributing to the future sustainability and welfare of Denmark.

As an innovator and service provider in reproductive technology, Origio, part of CooperSurgical, offered positive clinical practices on the quality of IVF technologies and reproductive genetics, leading to a discussion on the status of IVF in Japan by Keio University. Key donor insights were shared by Japan Egg Donor Association, allowing European perspectives on semen and egg donation, contextualising legal and ethical considerations by European Sperm Bank.

The Japan Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) remains very active in reproductive health. Increased knowledge about sexual health, family planning and access to reproductive technologies is part of the solution, and the Japanese government recognise the role of the medical practice, public health and social welfare policies to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing infertility.

Denmark is committed to continue our cooperation with Japan, sharing the social and cultural history of IVF technology, transforming reproductive health to become equally the rights of the individual as well as a political objective, in the name of citizen and societal prosperity, legitimised by legislation, professionalised by medical standards, and socialised through public welfare.

Danish-Japanese Fertility Planning and Access to Reproductive Technologies, February 28th 2019. Tokyo, Japan 

Mr. Joakim Steen Barron-Mikkelsen, Economic Diplomacy in Health, Royal Danish Embassy, Tokyo, Japan