Article: Woman sues Japan gov’t over forced sterilization under eugenics law

“A woman with visual impairment filed a lawsuit Friday against the Japanese government, demanding it pay 33 million yen ($307,000) in damages for forcing her to undergo sterilization in 1977 under the now-defunct eugenics protection law.

“I want the state to apologize. I wanted to have a third child,” Chieko Muto, 71, a resident of the central Japan city of Hamamatsu, told reporters after filing the suit with the Hamamatsu branch of the Shizuoka District Court.

Muto has argued she endured significant mental distress, and that the 1948 law was unconstitutional.”

This court case is unique as a previous lawsuit on the same issue was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. In such a situation the victim of the eugenics law may not be very confident in winning the lawsuit (ie. the end process). However, the lawsuit itself (the process) is very beneficial in publicizing human rights issues in Japan.