Victims of the eugenics law
from 1948 through the late 1990s, thousands of japanese who were mentally or physically handicapped were forcibly sterilized under Japan's eugenics laws
Against the backdrop of Japan’s rapid population growth right after the war, the Eugenic Protection Law was put into force in 1948 with the aim of preventing births of eugenically inferior offspring. It allowed doctors to carry out sterilization of people who had mental disabilities or illnesses and hereditary diseases even without their and their relatives’ consent if the doctors determined that such sterilization was necessary for the public interest and if the local review panel approved their opinion. A Health and Welfare Ministry notice in 1953 said that sterilization surgery approved by a eugenics protection review board could be carried out even if the subjects of the operation opposed it — allowing for the use of physical restraints, anesthesia and deception to get them to accept the surgery.
As criticism mounted that it discriminated against people with disabilities, the law was revised into the Maternal Protection Law in 1996 by eliminating the discriminatory clauses, including the provision for forced sterilization.