Written with extracts from The Kobe Shimbun
September 28th 2018
Two pairs of couples in Hyogo prefecture who have hearing impairment and seek damages totaling 44 million yen under the former eugenic protection law (1948-96) filed a lawsuit in the Kobe district court on the 28th. The two couples who interviewed in sign language, say they suffered a deprived of natural right to birth and raising children talked about the thought that tried as “trial that such discrimination is absolutely not permitted”. According to the defense group, the lawsuit over the old law is filed by the deaf people in the country nationwide.
Among the plaintiffs, Kimiko Kobayashi (86) of Akashi City got pregnant shortly after marrying her husband (86), but was taken to a hospital by her mother and was ordered have to surgery to abort. At the same time, sterilization surgery, unknown to Kobayashi and her husband, sterilisation surgery was also performed.
“I have been living with a lonely feeling by seeing children and,” says Ms. Kikiko. The husband said, “It was painful, it was painful all the time.” Sadness does not disappear and the two say, “As I become more age old, I feel even more sad that the children and grandchildren who encourage old people are not lacking.”
The other plaintiff was a couple in their 70s living in the prefecture, and the husband was forced to undergo surgery immediately before the wedding ceremony. Both parents consulted secretly, and nothing was heard from the attending physician.
The husband says, “I was made to have a body that can not make a child due to hearing impairment, I have been deprived of human rights, seeking an apology from the country that any person should not be deprived.” My wife also appealed “It was sad that we were able to decide important things (of ourselves) without knowing.”
Some of the plaintiffs were strongly opposed by relatives “insulate if suing”. Even so, I decided to do something without discrimination. And it is said to make early relief to people who are not able to raise their voice while receiving similar damage.
The complaint pointed out that the former law “infringed the self-determination rights on reproductive rights guaranteed by the Constitution.” In 2004, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare of the time admitted the mistakes of the old law and mentioned the necessity of measures to restore the damage, even after that, he insists that “it was illegal to leave without any relief system”.