A cross-party group of lawmakers was established Tuesday to discuss compensation for victims of forced sterilization, a practice that continued for decades in postwar Japan under the now-defunct Eugenic Protection Law.
Coupled with a recent rise in momentum within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito for setting up task forces to look into the matter, the long-delayed step heralds a move toward redressing victims of the 1948 law, which wasn't scrapped until 1996.
The topic fast attracted the attention of the nation's lawmakers when a Miyagi Prefecture woman in her 60s filed a lawsuit against the state in January seeking ¥11 million in damages. The woman, who underwent sterilization at the age of 15, argues that the law infringed upon her reproductive rights and human equality. Discussions about a possible marriage fell apart due to her infertility, according to her lawyer.