The Complete Collection of Reprinted Materials of the Eugenic Protection Act
第1回配本 2019年12月刊 本体75,000円＋税 ISBN978-4-86617-082-4
第2回配本 2020年5月刊 本体75,000円＋税 ISBN978-4-86617-086-2
第6巻 1979～1996年＋付録〈国家賠償事件 判決〉
Have you heard of the law called the Eugenic Protection Act in Japan?
It existed from 1948, (while Japan was still under US military occupation) until 1996.
Japanese national and local governments judged whether people were qualified to have children or not, and sometimes forced them to be sterilized. Such incredible suppression of human rights occurred until the early 1990’s. There are about 25000 victims of this enforced surgery.
The establishment of the Eugenic Protection Act was based on Kokumin Yuuseihou: the National Eugenic Act that provided for the involuntary sterilization of disabled persons in 1940, during WWⅡ. This National Eugenic Act was based on the Sterilization Act of the Nazis in 1933. Moreover the Nazis Sterilization Act was influenced by the Eugenic Sterilization Acts in 32 states in the USA, established from 1907 to 1923.
The Eugenic Protection Act in Japan has another very important aspect, when we consider the reason why such a discriminatory law remained for such a long time; that is the article about abortion.
Before WWⅡthe Japanese imperial Government prohibited abortion, as it needed plenty of soldiers to fight. The people were even prohibited from using contraception.
After losing the war, Japan lost many colonies and occupied territories, therefore most Japanese people suffered from starvation and poverty. The Japanese government decided to change their policy to limit the population, and abortion became legal.
However, in the 1970’s and 1980’s,the Japanese government of that period tried to change the aspects of the Eugenic Protection Act that made obtaining an abortion stricter, and adding new text for making abortion easier, if a woman was found to be carrying a child with disabilities. At that time Japanese women, and physically and mentally challenged people, protested actively against the government’s proposal.
Even now we Japanese are still subject to eugenic ideas, and women do not have the right to choose to have a voluntary abortion without the consent of a male partner.
Moreover, new reproductive technologies enable doctors to discover prenatal disabilities more easily, and in such cases women are often coerced into aborting the child.
This time we at Rikka Press have gathered and reprinted many articles about the Eugenic Protection Act all over the country. For example; articles about the so called involuntary eugenic surgery for poor people; about the detailed family pedigree of the physically and mentally challenged persons, and about the examination conference for applying the cases for sterilization, etc.
You can learn many historical facts about the Eugenic Protection Act, and the full history of this law from these materials in this series.
edited and reprinted in 2019-2020,
150,000 Yen (total all volumes),
with commentary and edited by Yoko Matsubara,
edited and published by Rikka-Press.