From The Mainichi Shimbun
September 25 2022
NAGOYA – A hearing-impaired couple in their 70s from Nagoya City will sue the government for a total of approximately 30 million yen, claiming that they were sterilized under the former Eugenic Protection Law (1948-96), which was unconstitutional.
They are planning to file additional lawsuits in various locations on April 26.
Keiko Nagashima (pseudonym) married Keiichi, a senior student at a school for the deaf, in 1975. She wanted to have children, but her mother vehemently opposed the idea, saying, “It would be very difficult if we had a deaf child.”
Keiichi was also persuaded by those around him, and without being able to discuss the issue with his wife, he was forced to undergo sterilization around May of the same year.
Since then, when he saw families with children, he became envious of them.
However, the couple “sealed off” the subject and never spoke about it openly.
We had no choice but to give up on our dream of having children. We just endured and endured, Keiko recalls.
In 2018, she learned on the news that people who had also been forced to undergo sterilization were complaining about the damage.
Encouraged by her friends and supporters, Keiko applied in February 2008 for a lump-sum payment of 3.2 million yen under the Victims Relief Law. In October of the same year, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare approved the payment.
Even so, there was a major turning point for the couple, who said they had never thought about filing a lawsuit and did not have the courage to go that far.