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A group of Japanese 10 year olds sitting at there school desks.

TOKYO -- The Japanese Society for Hygiene, which was active in promoting eugenic policies under the now-defunct eugenic protection law, has decided to retract its proposal made 66 years ago to the government for the use of forced sterilization operations as a means of population control, judging that the move was discriminatory.

It will be the first official admission of a mistake by an academic society among several, such as those for psychiatric medicine or social sciences, which supported sterilization operations against people with mental or physical disabilities that were deemed very serious or hereditary. As many as 25,000 people are believed to have received such surgeries under the 1948-1996 law that is now deemed inhuman, and multiple political parties are putting together a plan to compensate those victims.

Chairman Takemi Otsuki of the society, who also serves as professor of hygiene at Kawasaki Medical School, explains that the society reached the decision as measures have been taken to support the victims of forced sterilization operations. "We want to play a new role to stem the decline in the number... see more