On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at eugenics laws and forcible sterilization in both Japan and the U.S. – two countries with a surprisingly recent legacy of sterilizing people against their will.
In Japan, a postwar eugenics law in force until 1996 cleared the way for the government to sterilize 25,000 people deemed unfit to reproduce. In the U.S., 32 states passed laws allowing authorities to sterilize people without their consent - and as many as 60,000 people were forcibly sterilized, some as late as the 1970s.
Hundreds of the victims of these policies are still alive, and in many cases are still waiting for apologies and compensation from the governments that took away their ability to reproduce.
Joining the program:
- Sumiko Otsubo, Japanese history professor at Metropolitan State University
- Kristin Roebuck, assistant professor of history at Cornell University
- John Railey, a North Carolina-based journalist
- Alexandra Stern, professor of American culture, University of Michigan
Assistant producers: Kris Croonen, Jiayi Shi
Supervising producer: Yanqi Xu
Visual editor: Maggie Duncan