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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 January 30 - February 5  > Issue of eugenics and disabled in modern Japanese society discussed in context of Nazi’s ‘T4 program’
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2019 January 30 - February 5 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Issue of eugenics and disabled in modern Japanese society discussed in context of Nazi’s ‘T4 program’

February 3, 2019
The nationwide organization consisting of disabled people and their supporters, Japan Association of Community Workshops for People with Disabilities (Kyosaren), on February 1 and 2 in Tokyo held an event to increase public awareness of the issue of eugenics and disabled in modern Japanese society in the context of the “Action T4” program carried out by Nazi Germany during WWII.

Regarding the T4 program, it is reported that more than 70,000 Germans with physical or mental disabilities were killed. This figure would be much higher if the number of people who were unrecorded is added.

At the event, along with a forum, an exhibition of photo panels of victims of the T4 Euthanasia Program, which was developed by the Nazis in line with its policy of “racial hygiene”, took place. The two-day event attracted roughly 480 visitors.

On the first day in the panel discussion, Kyosaren executive director Fujii Katsunori, who visited Germany to conduct a study of the T4 program, and a Kyodo News reporter who joined Fujii’s study trip appeared as panelists.

Fujii said that the Nazi regime introduced the forced sterilization policy under its eugenics philosophy which argued that disabled people should not have children. This policy escalated into the T4 euthanasia killing plan, resulting in the Holocaust, Fujii pointed out. He added that physicians and nurses involved in the T4 program gradually lost their sense of justice.

The Kyodo News reporter said that when he visited one of the four mass killing centers, he was shocked at seeing traces of the well-organized slaughter system.

Fujii pointed out that in Germany, a deep regret for the barbarous acts committed by the Nazi’s eugenic policy has been accepted among the general public. Touching on the issue of the forced sterilization policy in Japan under the former Eugenic Protection Act, Fujii said that measures taken to rectify the situation will determine the direction of Japan’s disability policy.

Past related articles:
> More than 100 deaf included among victims of forced eugenic sterilization [October 17, 2018]
> Forced sterilization victims sue gov't [May 18, 2018]

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