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'I want my life back': Sterilisation victims seek justice

11 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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Shame on the politicians and bureaucrats who authorized this in 1950,s.

The government has urged the court to dismiss the case

And even more shame on Abe,s govt for urging the courts to dismiss and sweep this away in 2018.

Nothing at all has changed in the govt attitude. Just freaking unbelievable.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The testimonies are just heart breaking.

And thinking such a law was still in place during our lifetime !

The victims should seek international coverage. That's the kind of publicity the government would really really hate !

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This law law became defunct in 1996, over twenty years ago. Why are people only coming forward with law suits now? Get on the gravy train.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

"I've picked up the gauntlet," Michiko told AFP. "But to be honest, I feel so empty asking myself 'why do we have to fight despite this clear human rights violation'?"

I could speculate with some accuracy, but my comment will be deleted here...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"The government has urged the court to dismiss the case."

Michiko asks, "But to be honest, I feel so empty asking myself 'why do we have to fight despite this clear human rights violation'?"

Forced steriliization was a human rights violation, and a gross one. It was a crime against humanity. So why is the government so shrill in dismissing the cases of people like Michiko? Don't these people in government have a shred conscience? An once of compassion? A smidgen of remorse? The answer is either they don't or maybe some do but keep it to themselves.

There is an unfortunate pattern in all of this: covering up and brushing aside official Japanese crimes against humanity. This ought to scare everyone.

Remember that the evil eugenics law was on the books until 1996.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The LDP seems to have quite a lot to hide.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan was not the only country to sterilize the disabled, the practice was common throughout the industrialized world until WW2. Hitler’s concentration camps were the most extreme example of eugenics, which until that time was widely-practiced “science.”

The greatest scientific minds, and the most politically progressive politicians of the early 20th century were supporters of eugenics theory. Prior to the rise of Hitler’s Germany, sterilizations were most widely performed in America. Euthanasia was the next step up, and though ”free-thinkers” of the era were supportive of the practice, religious Americans were not, so that step was not taken.

Eugenics died when the concentration camps were liberated, everywhere except Japan it seems.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan's health ministry acknowledges that around 16,500 people were forcibly sterilised under the law, which came into force in 1949.

Wasn't Japan under US occupational control at that time, a force for good...then I remembered some US states still have forced sterilization laws in effect today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Eugenics died when the concentration camps were liberated, everywhere except Japan it seems.

Not so, it seems. There were forced sterilizations in the USA until 1981, although the numbers tailed off after the 1930s. (Laws and procedures varied by state.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And how reprehensible are the doctors who performed these operations knowing the full circumstances?

Shameful!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think people really need to keep their lines of thought clear on this one. For example:

She had learning disabilities caused by an accident involving anaesthesia during an operation as an infant. It was a condition she could not have passed on, but she was sterilised anyway.

This is better described as a misapplication of the law based on a mistake of fact (as to whether her disability is inheritable) rather than an objection against the merits of the law itself.

And if you want to argue that people with inheritable disabilities should never suffer a restriction on their ability to reproduce, the cold question is WHY. As a group, people with inheritable disabilities are much more likely to produce a disabled child, which is a burden on the state, on the child and likely beyond the disabled parents' own ability to contain.

Genetic diversity is not a reason to refuse to admit that some kinds of "diversity" are objectively bad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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