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State, Sterilization, and Reproductive Rights: Japan as Occupier and Occupied

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Abstract

May 11, 2001 marked an important step toward protecting individual reproductive rights in Japan. On that day, after a legal struggle that began in 1998, the Kumamoto District Court ruled that the segregation of Hansen’s disease patients in state-run sanatoriums, which had gone on for over half a century, was unconstitutional. The lawsuit was in large part due to the need for a clear statement of state responsibility in a serious infringement of human rights–the violation of individuals’ reproductive rights through sterilization and abortion, mostly forced upon them in state sanatoriums.1 In one example, the head of a plaintiff’s group in western Japan, aged 82, acted to hold the state responsible for his forced sterilization. Hospitalized at 23 years of age in 1941, he married a woman at the facility and she became pregnant in 1943. When the pregnancy was discovered, she was forced to have an abortion and he was sterilized.2

Keywords

  • Birth Control
  • Japanese Government
  • Government Section
  • Prewar Period
  • Forced Sterilization

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© 2015 Maho Toyoda

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Toyoda, M. (2015). State, Sterilization, and Reproductive Rights: Japan as Occupier and Occupied. In: de Matos, C., Caprio, M.E. (eds) Japan as the Occupier and the Occupied. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137408112_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137408112_3

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-68115-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-40811-2

  • eBook Packages: Palgrave History CollectionHistory (R0)