More Documents On Involuntary Sterilizations Found

More documents on involuntary sterilizations found

Japan's health ministry has discovered more documents identifying people who were involuntarily sterilized under the country's now-defunct Eugenic Protection Law.

Ministry officials on Wednesday attended a meeting of the governing coalition's taskforce on the issue. They said documents identifying 1,603 people had been found at hospitals, facilities for people with disabilities, and municipal offices.

Records identifying 3,033 people had already been located at the offices of 27 prefectural governments.

An estimated 16,500 people in Japan underwent involuntary sterilization because of mental and other disabilities between 1948 and 1996. The eugenics law came into effect after World War Two with the goal of curbing the postwar baby boom.

The taskforce is proposing issuing an apology and making a lump-sum payment to them.

The group also favors plans to publicize the measure without directly informing the people identified in the documents to protect their privacy.

Compensation lawsuits are underway at courts across Japan.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say people identified by the records should be notified directly because some of them may not be aware that they had been sterilized.