Disability Eugenics Forced Sterilization Japan

Tokyo District Court rejects 77 year old man’s compensation claim over forced sterilization

On June 30, the Tokyo District Court rejected the claim of a a man in his 70s demanding compensation for being forced to undergo sterilization under the now defunct Eugenic Protection Law. The Tokyo District Court ruled that "the right to claim damages has already disappeared,"

By Barrier Free Japan with extracts translated from NHK & Jiji

June 30 2020

TOKYO – On June 30, the Tokyo District Court dismissed the claim of a a man in his 70s demanding compensation for being forced to undergo sterilization under the now defunct Eugenic Protection Law. The Tokyo District Court ruled that “the right to claim damages has already disappeared,”

A 77-year-old man in Tokyo who appealed under the pseudonym ‘Kita Saburo ‘ said that he was forced to undergo sterilization under the old eugenics protection law in 1957 when he was 14 years old. He was claiming 30 million yen in damages.

The 77-year-old plaintiff is set to challenge the day’s ruling.

The man filed the lawsuit in May 2018 seeking 30 million yen in damages and the government’s publication of its apology, after becoming aware through a media report of the fact that the law sterilized him without consent. He was forced to have surgery at an antenatal hospital in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, at age 14.

During the hearing, the main issue was whether or not the period called the “rejection period”, which would make it impossible to seek compensation 20 years after the event, has passed.

In a ruling on June 30th, the Tokyo District Court Presiding Justice Masaharu Ito said of the disqualification period that: “The operation was performed in 1957 and the right to claim damages has already disappeared. Even if there is room for delay, the problem of the Eugenic Protection Act was in a situation where it could be understood socially until the 1960s, or until 1996, when the law was abolished at the latest,” he said.

Kita said, “I didn’t think the judgment would make me so painful. It’s funny that I can’t claim compensation in 20 years. I’m 77 years old and I have a little life left, but I don’t want to waste this life I want to win this trial with all my feelings.”

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