Hundreds of well-off Japanese and other nationals are turning to China’s burgeoning human organ transplant industry, paying tens of thousands of pounds for livers and kidneys, which in some cases have been harvested from executed prisoners and sold to hospitals. When Kenichiro Hokamura’s kidneys failed, he faced a choice: wait for a transplant or go online to check out rumours of organs for sale. As a native of Japan, where just 40 human organs for transplant have been donated since 1997, the businessman, 62, says it was no contest. ‘There are 100 people waiting in this prefecture alone. I would have died before getting a donor.’ Still, he was astonished by just how easy it was. Ten days after contacting a Japanese broker in China two months ago, he was lying on an operating table in a Shanghai hospital receiving a new kidney. ‘It was so fast, I was scared,’ he says. The ‘e-donor’ was an executed man; the price: 6.8m yen (about £33,000). Beijing does not reveal how many people it executes, but analysts estimate as many as 8,000 people are killed each year. Reports of Chinese authorities removing organs from executed prisoners have been circulating […]

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