Japan apologises to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

  1. Japan’s government has issued an apology and awarded compensation under a redress legislation to thousands of people with disabilities who were forcibly sterilised under the now defunct Eugenics Protection Law.
  2. Eugenics Protection Law was enacted in 1948 and was in place until 1996. The law aimed to prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants. The law allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities.
  3. In 1996, the law was renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
  4. Japan’s government had until recently maintained that the sterilisations were legal at the time. The current redress legislation and apology comes after a series of lawsuits by victims seeking compensation from the government.
  5. Germany and Sweden also had similar sterilization measures, but have since apologised to victims and provided compensation.