(Minghui.org) The brother of Ushio Sugawara’s friend was in grave need of a liver in 2007 to sustain his life. He quickly found a match in a Chinese hospital. Sugawara, who helped purchase albumin for the operation, delivered the much needed solution to China for the surgery. There, he was shocked to find the bloody truth of where the organ came from.
Sugawara used to be a member of the Sixth Yamaguchi-gumi—Japan’s largest crime syndicate. He left the gang in 2015 and is now a well-known economic commentator in Japan. He has published a dozen books and often criticized the Chinese Communist Party for its unethical practices.
In an interview with The Epoch Times on June 20, 2022, Sugawara revealed what he learned about the forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners, while trying to help his friend’s brother receive an organ transplant in China in 2007.
Below is the translation of his interview.
Reporter: Mr. Sugawara, can you please tell me more about what happened?
Sugawara: In 2007, my friend’s brother had a liver condition that kept worsening. The doctor said he didn’t have much time left and the only way to save his life was to have an organ transplant. Back then, one could only do liver transplant in the U.S., France or China. But the waiting time in the U.S. and France was very long and the price was high. There was also very strict legal restrictions. As a result, he chose to go to China for the transplant.
The Beijing Armed Police General Hospital was accepting Japanese patients, as well as those from Saudi Arabia and Germany. A Chinese doctor at the hospital said they could find the donor soon and the cost would be 30 million yen (about $255,000).
In August 2007, the doctor said they found a match and the surgery could take place at anytime. But before the surgery, it was found that the hospital-provided albumin protein needed for the surgery wasn’t up to par. I was asked to buy the solution in Japan and deliver it to China. That’s how I got to know what was going on.
I managed to buy the albumin in Japan. But because it’s categorized as drug, I needed a permit for the export. On the Japanese side, I used my connections to take it out of customs. I then followed the instruction of the intermediate agent who brokered the organ transplant to enter China from Dalian City, Liaoning Province and take the designated flight to Beijing.
In Beijing, I encountered some trouble. Although a high-ranking military officer came to receive me, the airport personnel stopped me after finding the albumin solution in my checked luggage. They claimed that I couldn’t take it out of the airport without a permit.
The airport police, public security officers and military officers worked for different systems. None of them was willing to back down. The argument lasted several hours. In the end, with the involvement of a public official, I was allowed to leave the airport.
I gave the albumin solution to the hospital and visited my friend’s brother one day before the surgery.
The doctor, who studied in Japan before and was fluent in Japanese, told me that the donor was in the next room and asked whether I wanted to take a look. He lifted the curtain and I saw a young man lying in bed. They said he was 21. Because they gave him a shot of anesthetic, he wasn’t responsive.
He told me that the donor was a very bad person, a criminal who was sentenced to death. Because he would die sooner or later, he could make some contribution by donating his organs before death. The doctor said to me, “He is very young and has very healthy liver.”
I asked the doctor what the young man did that resulted in a death sentence. He said he was a member of a terrorist organization. I kept asking what exactly did he do. The doctor said he was a “Falun Gong.”
In the end, the surgery failed and my friend’s brother died during the surgery.
Reporter: What did the young man look like when you saw him?
Sugawara: He was lying there. His hands and feet were all wrapped with bandage. They cut the tendon in his hands and feet the day before. The doctor said it was to prevent him from running away. In addition, people would curl up when they are afraid and it would affect the quality of the organ during the extraction. That’s why they performed a tendonectomy on him.
Reporter: So he was still alive before the transplant?
Sugawara: Of course. When I saw him, he was still alive. But he would die after they removed his organ. They said the success rate was the highest if the organ harvesting happened at the same time as the transplant. In terms of what they did to his body, I don’t know.
Reporter: How long did it take them to find the donor?
Sugawara: My friend’s brother first went to China for an examination and then returned to Japan. The Chinese side found the match a month later.
Reporter: Who was the agent?
Sugawara: He worked as a medical intermediary. Since 2007, many wealthy Chinese came to Japan in groups for medical tourism. He was also involved in that. He is of Chinese ethnicity and has studied in Japan. He has a wide network of connections and befriended many famous Japanese doctors.
Reporter: The Beijing Armed Police General Hospital is actively engaged in organ transplant?
Sugawara: Yes. According to their own introduction, many wealthy people in Europe, the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries all go there for organ transplants. I saw some westerners there. For Japanese, my friend’s brother was the only one there. But I heard many Japanese did go there for organ transplants.
There is a specific place for the patients to stay before the surgery, and I think it must be a hotel nearby. The doctors performed frequent physical examinations of the patients before the transplant surgeries.
Reporter: Did the Chinese Communist Party officials get involved?
Sugawara: Of course. I was told that without the involvement of the officials, there would be no way for the hospital to do organ transplants and many things wouldn’t have happened.
When I was at the airport, I exited through a VIP lane and underground tunnel, usually used by high-ranking officials. I didn’t see any other cars there. In addition to the one high-ranking official who came to receive me, there were four armed military officers. The military cars cleared the way for us, as we drove from the airport to the downtown area in Beijing.
I didn’t know the level of the official, but I think he must have some power. When he came, his car, a black Lexus, parked right next to the plane and then the custom officials went there to stamp my passport. We then left through the exit that said “VIP only.”
I exchanged business cards with that official. But because it has been so long, I lost it.
Reporter: Did the mainstream media in Japan know about this?
Sugawara: They knew about it, but they refused to report on it, because they still wanted to do business in China.
Some reporters from a major Japanese media were also there when I went to that hospital. They wanted to do some interview about organ transplant, but were rejected by the hospital. When I was having lunch with the agent, one reporter was also present.
This is very cruel. Even when I talk about it now, I still feel it’s so cruel. We spent 30 million yen, but still lost two lives. It’s not good for anybody.
But those Chinese involved in it believed they were doing the right thing. They were all brainwashed. Even the Chinese doctor who I spoke to didn’t believe they did anything wrong, because the people they killed were “death row prisoners.” They all think that way. They are all brainwashed. It’s truly a very brutal thing.