RAU Lecturer Astghik Hovhannisyan Participated in the XXX International Congress on Historiography and Source Studies of Asia and Africa
On June 19-21, 2019 Japanese Language instructor at Russian-Armenian University Astghik Hovhannisyan participated in the XXX International Congress on Historiography and Source Studies of Asia and Africa at St. Petersburg University, Russia.
The Congress embraced 20 panels and gathered about 400 participants from Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Israel etc.
The focus of her research was ‘Non-consensual Sterilizations in Japan: Learning from Kanagawa Prefectural Archives’, which she presented at the Congress panel ‘Historiography and Source Studies of Japan’.
Between 1948 and 1996, under the National Eugenic Law about 25,000 people were sterilized, including many of those who did not give consent. The vast majority of the patients were women and girls. There even were cases when the patients were only 9 or 10 years old. The National Eugenic Law applied to people suffering from mental retardation, disability, genetic disease and other conditions that portrayed them as "inferior" contributions to the Japanese gene pool.
She claims that the research topic is still relevant given that currently 15 people are pursuing lawsuits against the Japanese government. “For many years, the details of sterilization and their motivation were not known to the public, as the prefectural archives were closed. However, last year the archives became accessible and having analyzed the documents from the Kanagawa prefecture, I managed to reconstruct the process of sterilizations, including doctors’ statements”, she explained.