Sapporo court rules defunct eugenics law unconstitutional but denies damages

Japan Times -- Jan 16
A Sapporo court on Friday ruled as unconstitutional the now-defunct eugenics protection law that mandated the government stop people with disabilities from having children, but it rejected a claim for damages sought by a man in Sapporo.

Kikuo Kojima, a 79-year-old from Sapporo, is the first such plaintiff to have disclosed his name. He had filed a damages suit seeking ¥11 million for being sterilized against his will under the obsolete law, but the Sapporo District Court rejected his claim.

In handing down the ruling, Judge Takashi Hirose said there is no room to “justify” the law that infringed on a person’s decision over whether or not to have children.

It was the third ruling to declare the obsolete law unconstitutional, following those of the Sendai District Court in May 2019 and the Osaka District Court in November.

Along with the Sendai and Osaka courts, the Sapporo court also rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for compensation, citing the statute of limitations that expired 20 years after the surgery.

Friday’s ruling was the fourth in a series of similar lawsuits regarding the forced sterilization of people with intellectual disabilities filed with nine district courts and their branches across Japan. - Japan Times

旧優生保護法(1948~96年)下で不妊手術を強制されたのは憲法違反だとして、札幌市の小島喜久夫(こじま・きくお)さん(79)が国に1100万円の損害賠償を求めた訴訟の判決で、札幌地裁は15日、旧法を違憲と判断した。違憲性を認めた判決は仙台、大阪各地裁に続き3例目。賠償請求は、手術から提訴までに20年の「除斥期間」が過ぎて権利が消滅したとして棄却した。原告側は控訴する方針。 - Kyodo