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
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.
In 1996, the law was renamed as the Maternity
Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
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.
Germany and Sweden also had similar sterilization
measures, but have since apologised to victims and provided compensation.