March 14th 2019
Regarding the issue of infertility surgery under the former Eugenic Protection Act, the working team of the ruling party and the bipartisan coalition agreed to the proposal to make a lump sum of 3.2 million yen for those who had surgery. Now that the bailout bill is in full swing, the ruling and opposition parties are to submit to the current Diet in the form of legislative legislation.
The ruling party’s working group agreed to a bill to pay 3.2 million yen to those who received surgery for the bill to rescue those who had been subjected to infertility under the former Eugenics Protection Act. The bill was finalized, with the acceptance of the bipartisan legislators’ association.
In the bill, first of all, “we,” which means the country and legislative bodies, say “We will reflect on the truth and sincerely apologize”.
The target of relief was about 25,000 people who had surgery for mental disorders and hereditary diseases including cases in which they agreed, who had surgery by an accredited body consisting of specialists If recognized, we will uniformly pay 3.2 million yen.
The claim is made to the prefecture, and the claim deadline is five years from the enforcement of the law, and the bill also investigates whether the country has enacted the former Eugenics Protection Act.
The bill also included a “deep apology” in its preamble for the physical and mental suffering inflicted on the victims, but it failed to assign specific blame by employing “we” as the subject of the sentence. The victims have been calling for a clear apology from the “state.”
“The word ‘we’ strongly signals that it includes the Diet and the government,” said Norihisa Tamura, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who dealt with the issue as the head of a task force also involving its coalition partner the Komeito party.
The lawmakers plan to submit the bill to the Diet in April and seek its passage within the month. They have been considering redress ahead of court rulings in the series of lawsuits filed against the state since January, with the highest compensation demand exceeding ¥35 million.
A lawyers’ group involved in the suits immediately reacted with disappointment.
“I don’t think this bill can be said to squarely face up to the suffering (of the victims),” Koji Niisato, a co-leader of the group, said at a news conference, noting that the plaintiffs will continue with their lawsuits.
Kikuo Kojima, a plaintiff who was forced to undergo sterilization surgery nearly 60 years ago, said angrily of the content of the bill, “It’s not that I want money, but isn’t this appalling?”
“A surgical knife cut my body and I could not have children throughout my life. I couldn’t talk about the surgery to anyone around me and I lied to my wife. Only ¥3.2 million for all these things,” the 77-year-old said.
As remaining sterilization records only identify 3,000 victims, a panel will be set up in the summer under the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to certify those who do not possess documentation but can show evidence such as operative scars.
A ministry official said it is unclear when the payments would start.
The ruling and opposition parties will submit to the current parliament next month after proceedings within the party.