A journey of hope: an institutional perspective of Japanese outbound reproductive tourism

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Abstract

As one of the most medically advanced nations in the world, it is observed that more Japanese couples are travelling abroad for Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). At present, at least one in six Japanese couples suffer from infertility and requires the use of ART. However, the usage of ART has raised several ethical questions. Notably, Japanese society objects to the use of donor eggs and surrogacy. Thus, reproductive tourism that offers prohibited procedures in another country becomes a viable alternative. Drawing upon institutional theory, specifically regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive pillars, this paper demonstrates that the emerging phenomenon of outbound reproductive tourism from Japan can be seen as an outcome of the interplay of institutional forces. A conceptual model of reproductive tourism is also proposed to advance the existing nebulous understanding of the phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-67
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • assisted-reproductive technology
  • institutional theory
  • medical tourism
  • Reproductive tourism
  • travel motivation

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