A Japanese government panel decided to permit human embryos to be cloned for research, a controversial process that has set off international debate, media reports said.
Supporters of medical cloning say so-called therapeutic cloning studies have huge potential for treating diseases and saving lives. But the issue is contentious, and opponents fear such research could lead to the cloning of human beings.
However, news agency Kyodo said, the panel's decision will not permit cloning for basic research until proper conditions are met, for instance, the creation of a government system to evaluate research.
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