Japan Court Finds Defunct Eugenics Law Unconstitutional

Society

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., May 28 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese district court ruled Tuesday that the now-defunct eugenic protection law was unconstitutional, in the first judicial decision on the constitutionality of the inhumane law.

But Sendai District Court Presiding Judge Motoyuki Nakashima stopped short of finding that the government is liable to pay compensation to the two women who filed the lawsuit over forced sterilization of them under the 1948 law.

The plaintiffs had sought a total of 71.50 million yen in damages.

Provisions in the law "trampled on individual dignities," Nakashima said. But he noted that "it cannot be said legislative action was clearly necessary."

The ruling is likely to have an impact on similar pending lawsuits at seven other district courts, observers said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press