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  • Human Rights Research Center

Japan’s Supreme Court Rules on Compensation for Forcible Sterilization of People with Disabilities

July 10, 2024

The plaintiffs, their lawyers and supporters hold the signs reading “Winning lawsuit” outside the Supreme Court after in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Japan’s Supreme Court, in a landmark decision Wednesday, ordered the government to pay compensation to dozens of victims who were forcibly sterilized in the 1950s to 1970s under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law that was designed to eliminate offsprings of people with handicaps. (Kyodo News via AP)


Cited article by Associated Press


HRRC expresses strong support for the recent ruling by Japan's Supreme Court, which orders the government to compensate disabled individuals who were forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct eugenics law. This landmark decision acknowledges the severe human rights violations endured by thousands of people and represents a significant step towards justice and reconciliation.


News Brief


The article further details how Japan's Supreme Court found the government liable for the damages inflicted upon disabled individuals who were sterilized without their consent under the Eugenic Protection Law, which was in effect from 1948 until 1996. The court's ruling mandates that the government provide financial compensation to the victims, recognizing the profound physical and psychological suffering caused by these coercive sterilization practices.


This decision follows years of advocacy by survivors and human rights organizations demanding accountability and reparations. In highlighting the broader implications of the ruling, the article notes that it not only addresses past injustices but also sets a precedent for how societies can confront and rectify historical human rights abuses. The court emphasized the importance of acknowledging and compensating for the harm done to the victims, thereby reaffirming the value of every individual's dignity and bodily autonomy. The decision also underscores the need for continued vigilance to ensure that such abuses are never repeated.

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