February 22 2022
OSAKA – Osaka High Court overturned a lower court ruling Tuesday, ordering the Japanese government to pay a total of 27.5 million yen in damages over forced sterilization under the now-defunct eugenic protection law.
Presiding Judge Teruyoshi Ota found that the provisions of forced sterilization stipulated in the former law were unconstitutional.
This is the first high court ruling in suits seeking state compensation for the forced sterilization. It is also the first ruling that has recognized state responsibility for compensation over the matter. Plaintiffs had lost in all six lawsuits filed with district courts.
The day’s verdict may affect future rulings in the other suits.
The Osaka suit was filed by three plaintiffs–a woman in her 70s with intellectual disability in the Kinki western region, a woman in her 70s and her husband in his 80s in Osaka Prefecture in Kinki, both with hearing impairments. They demanded that the government pay 55 million yen in damages in total.