Japan: Defunct Forced Sterilization Law Ruled Unconstitutional

Japan: Defunct Forced Sterilization Law Ruled Unconstitutional
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The Facts

  • On Wednesday, the Japanese Supreme Court found that the 1948 eugenics law under which thousands of people who had inheritable disabilities were forcibly sterilized violated the constitution, ordering the government to pay damages to 11 surviving victims.

  • The justices unanimously found that the legislation was in breach of articles 13 and 14 of the Japanese constitution, which protect people against unwanted physically invasive procedures and the right to equality.

The Spin

Conservative narrative

Besides those forcibly sterilized under Japan's eugenics law, some 60K women reportedly had been forced to have abortions due to hereditary illnesses. Based on the idea of the superiority of the Yamato bloodline, this law devastated countless lives. This dark chapter highlights the severe human cost of such discriminatory policies.

Progressive narrative

The devastating impact of the eugenics law on Japanese people isn't only limited to the past. The stigma from this history now curbs women's reproductive rights in the country. Today, women seeking sterilization face onerous and unreasonable conditions, such as needing spousal consent and having prior children.

Metaculus Prediction

Public figures in this story

Establishment split



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