Japanese woman sues government over forced sterilization

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 - 16:27


A Japanese woman who was forcibly sterilized in the 1970s at the age of 15 is suing the government in the first case of its kind.

The unnamed woman is one of 25,000 people who underwent the procedure under a now-defunct eugenics law.

The victims were sterilised because they were found to be mentally ill or have conditions such as leprosy.

About 16,500 of them were allegedly operated on without consent.

Some were as young as nine at the time.

The woman, who is now in her 60s, took legal action after learning she had been sterilized in 1972 after a diagnosis of "hereditary feeble-mindedness".

She had developed mental problems after having surgery for a cleft palate as a baby, Japanese media report.

Due to side-effects from the sterilisation, she later had to have her ovaries removed.

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