Japan court orders third forced sterilization payout

A district court in southwestern Japan has ordered the government to compensate two people who were forced to undergo sterilization under the now-defunct Eugenic Protection Law.

A 78-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman in Kumamoto Prefecture sued the government, saying that they were forced to undergo sterilization procedures more than 40 years ago on the grounds of disabilities.

The plaintiffs each demanded 33 million yen, or about 255,000 dollars.

Presiding Judge Nakatsuji Yuichiro of the Kumamoto District Court on Monday ordered the government to pay a total of about 170,000 dollars to the two plaintiffs, well below what they requested.

The plaintiffs have claimed the Eugenic Protection Law violated Japan's Constitution and was a grave human rights violation.

The government has argued that the plaintiffs no longer have a right to seek damages because they filed their suit more than 20 years after being sterilized.

Similar lawsuits have been filed at courts across Japan. The Kumamoto District Court became the third court to order the government to compensate the plaintiffs, following the high courts in Osaka and Tokyo.