In the case of a plaintiff in Miyagi Prefecture, which was the forerunner of a lawsuit against the government by people who were forced to undergo sterilization under the former Eugenic Protection Law, the Sendai High Court in the second instance rejected the lawsuit following the first trial, arguing that the right to seek compensation has been lost due to the passage of time.
Five years ago, a woman in her 60s in Miyagi Prefecture who was forced to undergo sterilization under the former Eugenic Protection Law and has an intellectual disability filed a lawsuit in the Sendai District Court for the first time seeking compensation from the government, claiming that she was deprived of the right to bear and raise children, and a woman in her 5s later joined the plaintiffs.
In 70, the first court ruled that the former Eugenic Protection Law violated the Constitution, but rejected the lawsuit filed 1 years after the sterilization operation, saying that "the right to claim compensation has disappeared."
In a two-day ruling, Sendai High Court Presiding Judge Masako Ishiguri ruled that the law violated the Constitution, but said, "It can be said that it was difficult for the plaintiffs to claim compensation because the government promoted discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities, but it cannot be said that it was impossible to file a lawsuit at the stage when each operation was recognized." The appeal was dismissed on the grounds of the passage of time.
Court cases in which people who were forced to undergo sterilization under the former Eugenic Protection Law sue the government have spread nationwide in the wake of the plaintiffs' lawsuits, and since the Osaka High Court ordered the government to compensate for the first time last year, there have been seven judgments granting the lawsuits, but this is the first time that the High Court has not accepted the plaintiffs' suits.
Plaintiff: "I'm angry that the matter was done illegally"
After the verdict was handed down, Junko Iizuka, a plaintiff living in Miyagi Prefecture, who was interviewed, said, "It's unfortunate, I lost my energy when I heard the verdict," and said, "I'm angry about why the court doesn't do it properly and why they are doing this when it was done illegally."
Plaintiff's sister-in-law: "I want you to return the past four years."
My sister-in-law, who participated in the trial on behalf of the plaintiff in her 60s, said in an interview after the verdict, "If the presiding judge had dealt with it firmly, I don't think the verdict would have been like this.
Defense Team Leader: "We have no choice but to continue fighting until the end"
After the verdict was handed down, Koji Niisato, the head of the defense team, said, "I was clearly surprised by the verdict, and I feel that Sendai, which filed a lawsuit for the first time, saw the facts while the court in various regions broke through the issue of the period within which compensation can be claimed. The court's idea that the plaintiffs could have sued for a long time is a court of despair, as I wonder where it looked to hear the case. We just have to keep fighting until the end."
The supporters who gathered
After the verdict was handed down, the plaintiffs' lawyer held up a piece of paper with the words "Unjust Judgment" written on it in front of the court.
Supporters who gathered shouted in surprise and disappointment, and some collapsed from their knees.
Children and Family Agency "The government's liability for damages: recognized as denied"
The Children and Families Agency, which transferred jurisdiction under the former Eugenic Protection Law from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, commented on the Sendai High Court's ruling, "We recognize that the government's liability for damages has been denied.
Chief Cabinet Secretary: "Future Response: Consideration Based on the Results of Diet Discussions"
At an afternoon press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno stated, "We are working to steadily provide lump-sum payments to those who have undergone eugenic surgery, etc., and we will consider how to respond in the future based on the results of discussions in the Diet."
He then stated, "The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare each expressed sincere remorse and heartfelt apology for the enormous physical and mental suffering that many people have suffered, and this position of the Government has not changed even now."