'A woman who had her reproductive capacity removed under Japan’s Eugenic Protection Law plans to sue the government, demanding an apology and compensation. About 84,000 people were sterilized using the notorious legislation, which was only abolished in 1996.
“What she experienced was nothing but inhumanity and a disregard for human rights,” said the sister-in-law of the woman, who plans to file the first-ever lawsuit of this type in the Sendai District Court in January, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. “Somebody should speak up to redress such suffering because the victims are getting older.”
The 1948 law was aimed at “preventing the birth of inferior offspring” and nominally intended to limit the births of children of rape victims, and those with life-threatening diseases. However, it was frequently cited to administer forced sterilizations on those with genetic disorders, psychiatric illnesses and other disabilities.
The case of the plaintiff, whose name has not been publicized, is particularly egregious. She suffered brain damage in early childhood due to the anesthesia gone wrong, and her family says that they suffer no known genetic defects.
While in most cases, family approval was necessary, the local prefecture panel that ruled on such cases could also make a unilateral decision. 16,000 people are thought to have been sterilized without consent in post-war Japan, most while under state oversight in psychiatric and disability care homes and hospitals.'
Read more: Disabled woman to sue Japan over ‘inhumane’ eugenics law under which thousands were sterilized
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