mcloudyn.png
Monday November 11th, 2019 11:14PM

Japan apologizes to forcibly sterilized people, vows redress

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's government apologized Wednesday to tens of thousands of people who were forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law which was designed to "prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants," and promised to pay them compensation.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga offered "sincere remorse and a heartfelt apology" to the victims. It came after the parliament earlier Wednesday enacted legislation to provide redress, including 3.2 million yen ($28,600) in compensation for each victim.

An estimated 25,000 people were sterilized without consent under the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law, which remained in place until 1996. The law allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.

The redress legislation acknowledges that many people were forced to have operations to remove their reproductive organs or were given radiation treatment to be sterilized, causing them tremendous mental and physical pain.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a statement, said the problem should never be repeated. "We will do all we can to achieve a society where no one is discriminated against, whether they have illnesses or handicaps, and live together while respecting each other's personality and individuality," he said.

The government had until recently maintained that the sterilizations were legal at the time.

The apology and the redress law follow a series of lawsuits by victims who have come forward recently after breaking decades of silence. That prompted lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to draft a compensation package to make amends.

The plaintiffs are seeking about 30 million yen each ($268,000) in legal actions that are spreading around the country, saying the government's implementation of the law violated the victims' right to self-determination, reproductive health and equality. They say the government redress measures are too small.

"Looking back at what we have suffered as victims, I don't think what's in the law is sufficient," said a 76-year-old plaintiff in Tokyo who uses the pseudonym Saburo Kita. "I'd rather want my life back." Kita said he was sterilized in 1957 at age 14 when he lived in an orphanage. He broke the secret to his wife just before she died several years ago, saying he regretted she couldn't have children because of him.

In addition to the forced sterilizations, more than 8,000 others were sterilized with consent, though likely under pressure, while nearly 60,000 women had abortions because of hereditary illnesses. However, the redress law does not cover those who had to abort their pregnancies, according to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

Among them were about 10,000 leprosy patients who had been confined in isolated institutions until 1996, when the leprosy prevention law was also abolished. The government has already offered compensation and an apology to them for its forced isolation policy.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Personal Finance
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US WWII bomb detonated in Germany, causing widespread damage
The detonation of an American World War II bomb in the southern German city of Regensburg early Wednesday has caused widespread damage to nearby houses
11:23AM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Family of UK victim of Easter bombs pays tribute
The family of Lorraine Campbell, a British victim of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, has paid tribute to her
11:15AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Early goals help lift Bruins past Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7
Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly each had a goal and assist, Tuukka Rask had 32 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7
11:03AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
White presidential hopefuls face 'woke litmus test' on race
Race in America is being addressed directly by white candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president
9:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump threat to go to court on impeachment defies ruling
President Donald Trump says he'll go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court "if the partisan Dems" ever try to impeach him
9:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump says he'll go to Supreme Court if Dems try to impeach
President Donald Trump says he'll go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court "if the partisan Dems" ever try to impeach him
8:57AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Housing-strapped California debates density near job hubs
A controversial proposal to increase housing near transportation and job hubs faces a key test as California lawmakers search for solutions to the state's housing affordability crisis
1:19AM ( 10 hours ago )
Planned Parenthood: States should oppose Trump 'gag rule'
The president of Planned Parenthood says it's time for states with leaders who support abortion rights to go on the offensive against Trump administration attempts to restrict abortion that she says would reduce access to health care
12:56AM ( 10 hours ago )
White presidential candidates face 'woke litmus test'
Many white Democratic presidential candidates are speaking more candidly about systemic racism and white privilege
12:22AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Rights group denounces 'unfree and unfair' Egyptian vote
An international rights group says the referendum approved by Egyptian voters that would allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to extend his rule to 2030 was held in an "unfair and unfree" environment and has "no pretense to legitimacy."
10:37AM ( 53 minutes ago )
North Korea's Kim upbeat as he arrives for Putin summit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia a day before his much-anticipated summit with President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok
10:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
UK and Irish leaders attend funeral of journalist Lyra McKee
The leaders of Britain and Ireland will join hundreds of mourners at the funeral of Lyra McKee, the young journalist shot dead during rioting in Northern Ireland last week
10:18AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Stocks move sideways on Wall Street after record-setting day
U.S. stocks moved sideways in subdued trading a day after the S&P 500 index closed at a record high, beating the peak it set seven months earlier.
10:35AM ( 55 minutes ago )
UK begins search for new Bank of England governor
The British government has started its search for the successor to Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England
10:27AM ( 1 hour ago )
Occidental makes competing offer for Anadarko Petroleum
Occidental is making an offer of $76 per share in cash and stock for Anadarko that it says is an approximately 20% premium to Chevron's $33B deal
10:11AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Dems weigh contempt vote after White House defies subpoena
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee says the White House is how in "open defiance" of his panel after lawyers advised a former official to ignore a subpoena related to the committee's investigation of White House security clearances
3:16PM ( 20 hours ago )
US new-home sales climbed 4.5% in March
Sales of new US homes rose 4.5% in March; strongest pace since November 2017 as market recovers from last year's slump
11:34AM ( 23 hours ago )
Millennial Money: Are you robbing the Bank of Mom and Dad?
Are you hurting your parents' retirement by tapping the Bank of Mom and Dad?
11:23AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Personal Finance
US WWII bomb detonated in Germany, causing widespread damage
The detonation of an American World War II bomb in the southern German city of Regensburg early Wednesday has caused widespread damage to nearby houses
11:23AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Family of UK victim of Easter bombs pays tribute
The family of Lorraine Campbell, a British victim of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, has paid tribute to her
11:15AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Early goals help lift Bruins past Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7
Joakim Nordstrom and Sean Kuraly each had a goal and assist, Tuukka Rask had 32 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7
11:03AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Russia offers Ukrainians in conflict zones quick citizenship
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to expedite applications for Russian citizenship by Ukrainians living in separatist-held areas
11:02AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Trump's threat to go to court over impeachment defies ruling
President Donald Trump says he'll go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court "if the partisan Dems" ever try to impeach him
11:01AM ( 29 minutes ago )