Who is Mitsutoki Shigeta?
He’s the millionaire son of wealthy Japanese telecom and insurance tycoon, Yasumitsu Shigeta.
Yasumitsu Shigeta founded publicly listed company Hikari Tsushin, which has almost 200 subsidiaries.
His son Mitsutoki is the eldest of three — and is reported to have business interests in Thailand and Cambodia.
Why does he want so many kids?
Mr Shigeta says his motives are pure. All he wants is a large family.
He has used sperm to have children with more than 11 surrogate mothers.
Asahi’s weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported in 2014 that the woman who introduced two surrogate mothers to Mr Shigeta allegedly wrote an email to the Japanese embassy saying “he wanted 10-15 children every year — it seems like he’s planning to make 100 or 1000 children”.
It said he didn’t want any girls — only boys — and that all their names included “Mitsu” from his name Mitsutoki.
Thai authorities have ruled out human trafficking and other criminal motives.
So why isn’t his story more widely known in Japan?
It wasn’t always the case — in 2014 Japanese tabloids aggressively pursued the story after the babies were discovered in a Bangkok unit.
“1000 baby birth plan — horrifying motivation. Inside a baby growing farm,” the headline from Shukan Bunshun read.
The reporting in Japan faded after 2014 allegedly, according to media reports, after defamation lawsuits and pressure were applied by his father’s company.
But there is also the feeling that Mr Shigeta has not done anything criminal, so the story is not worthy of prominence.
Others have speculated that out of respect to the children — who may become Japanese nationals — the media has kept his name private.
What happens to the kids now?
Mr Shigeta plans to raise the 13 children in Japan where he lives.
The Thai court found it would be in the children’s best interest to grow up with a biological parent.
“[He] has professional stability and an ample income to raise all the children,” the court said in a statement.