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Text of PM Abe's statement on compensation law for forced sterilization victims

TOKYO -- The following is a provisional translation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's statement regarding the April 24 passage of a bill to compensate victims forcibly sterilized under the eugenic protection law, in effect from 1948 to 1996.

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Today, a law regarding provision of lump-sum compensation to people sterilized under the former eugenic protection law has been passed.

Based on the law enacted in 1948 and on its continued existence until sections regarding sterilization surgeries were repealed in 1996, many people were forced to undergo sterilization procedures that deprived them of the ability to have offspring for the reason that they had a specific illness or disability. This inflicted enormous physical and emotional suffering upon them.

The government sincerely reflects on and deeply apologizes for this from the standpoint of the body that enforced the former eugenic protection law.

Under the law passed this day, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has been assigned the duty of paying lump-sum compensation amounts (to victims). Based on proper attention to the process leading to this law's enactment and its goals, the government undertakes to widely inform the Japanese people about the law's content and aims, and put all its effort into realizing the payment of this one-time compensation.

Furthermore, to never repeat the situation, the government will make utmost efforts to realize a society in which people can coexist, regardless of disease or disability.

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