Japan Prime Minister Abe apologises to forced sterilisation victims
Prime Minister Abe
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday offered an apology to people who were subjected to forced sterilisation under a scrapped eugenics law after the nation’s parliament enacted a new law to provide them with compensation.
Abe, who has been in the middle of his European tour, said in a statement that his government “is reflecting on the matter seriously and deeply apologises” to the victims.
Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party has been in power during most of the postwar period.
The eugenics law, effective from 1948 to 1996, authorised the sterilisation of those with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and hereditary disorders to prevent the birth of “inferior’’ offspring.
The number of victims stands at an estimated 25,000 and some 16,500 of them were operated on without their consent.
The new law offers an apology to victims and provides 3.2 million yen (28,600 dollars) in state redress.
“For 20 years, I’ve been urging the government to deal with the issue, but they have done nothing. I’m angry,” a woman in her 70s told Kyodo.
`The woman, who was sterilised at the age of 16, wants Abe to apologise in person and urged the government to provide compensation that reflects each victim’s long suffering,” she said. (dpa/NAN)