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Japan’s bishops apologize for their silence when government segregated those with leprosy

July 19, 2019

» Continue to this story on Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan

CWN Editor's Note: For several decades after a cure was found, the Japanese government continued to segregate—and in some cases, forcibly sterilize—those affected by Hansen’s disease (leprosy). A court recently ordered the Japanese government to pay damages to survivors. “Japan’s bishops did not oppose the isolation and destruction of patients, did not support patients’ rights to compensation and restoration, did not recognize that our failure added to their suffering, and did not stand with those whose rights needed protection,” the bishops said in their statement. “Words do not suffice to express the deep remorse we feel for adding to the suffering of those patients and their families.”

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