September 22 2022
OSAKA – The Osaka District Court on Thursday dismissed a damages lawsuit filed against the government by a couple with disabilities over forced sterilization conducted under the now-defunct eugenic protection law.
The ruling came even after Osaka and Tokyo high courts ordered the government to pay damages in similar suits on forced sterilization in February and March, respectively.
The district court in western Japan found the now-defunct law unconstitutional but rejected the couple’s petition, saying it was filed too late.
Japan has a 20-year statute of limitations for damages claims, but there was a period in which the rule did not apply because of difficulties gaining information needed to file such a lawsuit due to discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities intensified by the government, the court said.
The couple filed their lawsuit too late, nearly two years after the first lawsuit of its kind was brought to court and eased the difficulties in January 2018, the court added.