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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 25 - 31  > Eugenics still not a thing of the past
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2018 July 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]
column 

Eugenics still not a thing of the past

July 26, 2018

Akahata ‘current’ column

Two years have passed, but a mass murder in Kanagawa’s Sagamihara City is still vivid in the memories of many Japanese. The murderer, Uematsu Satoshi, took the precious lives of persons who lived in a facility for disabled people named Tsukui Yamayuri En. This was a hate crime against people with disabilities. It made the disabled, their families, and persons concerned across the country extremely concerned that they might be targeted with similar hatred.

Uematsu said that he was inspired by Hitler’s thoughts, which suggests that his crime was motivated by the argument promoting eugenics. Uematsu sent the Speaker of the House of Representatives a letter claiming that in order to boost the economy, persons with multiple disabilities should be euthanized. In the letter, he also insisted that the disabled bring nothing but unhappiness to all.

In today's society, people are urged to be more productive, increase efficiency, and have a performance-based mindset. To regard persons with a low level of whatever ability as “inferior” will lead to the promotion of eugenic ideas that disregard human dignity.

“Same-sex couples do not produce children. In other words, they lack productivity. It is questionable whether they deserve public support from taxpayers’ money.” This is what Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Sugita Mio wrote in her article that was published recently in a monthly magazine. She threw abusive words at LGBT couples and opposed providing public assistance to them.

Deciding whether to have a child is a personal matter and any intervention in this personal decision by outsiders is an infringement of the right to free choice. What Sugita did was to associate this right with productivity and use it as a yardstick for eligibility to obtain public support, which is similar to arguments made by promoters of eugenics.

Bank-Mikkelsen, a Danish resistance fighter against Nazi Germany, advocated the idea of normalization. He called for a society where disabled persons can live a life just as able-bodied persons do. People today can learn a lot from him in order to refute the philosophy behind eugenics.

Past related articles:
> Sexist LDP lawmaker should apologize or resign: JCP Koike [July 24, 2018]
> Discrimination against the disabled must be overcome [July 29, 2016]
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