November 30, 2022

Woman sues Japanese government over forced sterilisation laws

A Japanese woman is suing the government for her forced sterilization under the country’s old eugenics laws.

A Japanese woman is suing the government for her forced sterilization under the country’s old eugenics laws.

The claimant – a woman in her sixties from the Miyagi Prefecture, whose name was not disclosed to the media – was sterilized as a teenager on account of mental disability. She has filed a suit for 11 million yen in damages, saying the state failed to legislate for relief measures once the so-called Eugenics Protection Law was repealed.

The Japanese government has not apologised or provided compensation for the approximately 25,000 people who were sterilised under the law. Approximately 16500 of them are believed to have been sterilised without consent.    

In 2016, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women recommended that Japan adopt “specific measures aimed at providing all victims of forced sterilisations with assistance to access legal remedies and provide them with compensation and rehabilitative services”.

The Eugenic Protection Law, in place from 1948 to 1996, authorised the sterilisation of people with mental disabilities and illness or hereditary disorders to prevent births of “inferior” offspring. It also allowed for forced abortions. 

Woman sues Japanese government over forced sterilisation laws
Xavier Symons
Creative commons
https://www.bioedge.org/images/2008images/Japanese_flag.jpg