Experiments in eugenics in Japan asking for investigations and compensation
Article from the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun translated the new York times.
Recently clarified the situation with the forced sterilization operations, which were conducted in Japan in accordance with the previously existing «law on eugenic protection» from 1948.
According to statistics, at least sixteen thousand men and women underwent the operation without their consent. It was a policy of violating human dignity. The government should as soon as possible to examine the situation and proceed with the payment of financial compensation.
EUGENICS — the Doctrine of hereditary human health and ways to improve it, methods of influence on the hereditary qualities of future generations for their improvement. The doctrine was intended to deal with the phenomenon of degeneration in the human gene pool.
In January of this year, a woman aged about 60 years, first filed a lawsuit in the circuit court of the city of Sendai, demanding an apology and monetary compensation from the government.
The woman has a mental disorder, at the age of 15 years the hospital was forcibly underwent surgery for tubal ligation so she can’t get pregnant. After that, due to complaints of abdominal pain she had to remove the ovaries.
«This law infringes the right to an independent decision about the birth of children, and violates the basic human rights» — here are some comments about the «law on eugenic protection» representatives from the women.
This claim entails a number of complex issues. Why was a system of compensation to victims of such operations? The government to which these issues are addressed must answer them upright.
The act in 1996 was changed to «law on the protection of motherhood», but its effect is not a thing of the past. Many people fear discrimination and live, not daring to tell about what happened to them.
«No talent for raising children», «unable to maintain hygiene during menstruation.» Such conclusion the doctors wrote in the directions for the operation, and then the inspection committees of the respective prefectures passed the decision on necessity of operation. The government of the prefectures of Hokkaido and Miyagi studied the materials of such committees and published their contents.
The government should speed up sequential reading of such documents in all prefectures of the country.
Similar operations also took place in countries such as Sweden and Germany. After it became known about their conduct, the government of both countries apologized and began to pay cash compensation.
The victim of forced sterilization
In 1998, the UN Committee gave the Japanese guidelines for the payment of compensation to victims. However, Japanese government did not apologize on the pretext that «while these operations were legitimate.» So indifferent positions, the elected government, lack of understanding of the situation in which the victim’s operations.
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In the Parliament held the inter-party factional meetings and there have been attempts to seek compensation by a law approved by individual members of Parliament. It is also necessary to hear the testimony of the victims. You may want to draw on the experience, when the government, after losing the case on a policy of isolation, based on the «law on the prevention of leprosy», provided the payment of cash compensation, rejecting the appeal against the decision of the court.
The victim’s operations grow old, so time remains. I wish measures were taken as soon as possible.
Surprisingly, in the brochures of municipal authorities of 1950-ies there is even such descriptions as the following: «the Number of people who were subjected to eugenic operation, has exceeded a thousand people», «Outstanding achievement, leadership across the country». According to the Ministry of health and social welfare (former title), which stimulated the increase in the number of operations, the Prefecture even competed.
Why «sort of lives» held by the state, lasted for twenty years? On society for allowing such a policy have a responsibility to face this negative side of history.
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The most famous of the state program of forced sterilization was the program of the Third Reich. One of the first legislative acts by Adolf Hitler after coming to power was the «Law on preventing the birth of offspring with hereditary diseases», adopted in July 1933 and based on the recommendations of scientists engaged in eugenics.
Over 200 eugenic courts were created specifically to control the execution of this law. According to the law, the decision on forced sterilization were accepted by the special court, consisting of two psychiatrists and one judge. Sterilization was performed through vasectomy and tubal ligation.
From 1934 to 1945, forcibly sterilized 300 000 — 400 000 people (according to other estimates, from 200,000 to half a million), suffering from dementia, schizophrenia, affective disorders, epilepsy, hereditary deafness and blindness, the Huntington’s disease, severe deformities, and severe alcoholism.
Approximately 60% of sterilized men who had psychiatric diagnoses. According to German law, all doctors in the Reich were required to report those patients who were recognized as mentally retarded, mentally ill (including schizophrenia and manic depression), epileptics, blind, deaf or physically mutilated, and monetary fines threatened those who reported them.
The majority of sterilization procedures was carried out in Germany in the prewar years, from 1934 to 1937.