3 Japanese Sue Govt over Forced Sterilization

Society

Tokyo, May 17 (Jiji Press)--Three Japanese people in their 70s sued the central government on Thursday over sterilization operations conducted on them without their consent under the now-defunct 1948 eugenic protection law.

They are seeking damages totaling some 79 million yen, claiming that the sterilization deprived them of the freedom to have children, breached their constitutionally guaranteed right to self-determination and inflicted physical and emotional distress on them.

The lawsuits were filed with district courts in Tokyo, Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, and Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture.

The law in question allowed sterilization operations to be conducted on people with hereditary diseases or psychological disorders, as well as leprosy sufferers. In 1996, it was revamped into the maternal health law, with eugenics-based discriminatory provisions removed.

The plaintiffs are each seeking the payment of 11 million to 38.5 million yen in damages, pointing to the government's failure to implement relief measures and take legislative action.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press