Jo Johnson resigns from UK government, calls for another Brexit referendum

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris Johnson, resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Jo Johnson resigns from UK government, calls for another Brexit referendum

  • Johnson issued a damning critique of May’s “delusional” Brexit negotiation Friday
  • He is the 14th minister to have resigned from government since May held a misjudged snap election in June last year

LONDON: Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris Johnson, resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Friday, calling for another referendum to avoid the vassalage or chaos that he said her Brexit plans would unleash.
“Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War,” Johnson, a former Financial Times journalist who voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, said after resigning as junior transport minister.
Johnson issued a damning critique of May’s “delusional” Brexit negotiation and said the government had argued itself into a choice between vassalage and chaos, the worst failure of statecraft since the 1956 Suez crisis.
“To present the nation with a choice between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis,” he said in a statement.
“Given that the reality of Brexit has turned out to be so far from what was once promised, the democratic thing to do is to give the public the final say,” he added.
Johnson is the 14th minister to have resigned from government since May held a misjudged snap election in June last year.


Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

Updated 24 April 2019
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Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

  • An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996
  • The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time

TOKYO: Japan’s government apologized Wednesday to tens of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law and promised to pay compensation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he was offering “sincere remorse and heartfelt apology” to the victims.
His apology comes just after the parliament enactment earlier Wednesday of legislation to provide redress measures, including $28,600 (¥3.2 million) compensation for each victim.
An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996. The law was designed to “prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants” and allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
The redress legislation acknowledges that many people were forced to have operations to remove their reproductive organs or radiation treatment to get sterilized, causing them tremendous pain mentally and physically.
The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time.
The apology and the redress law follow a series of lawsuits by victims who came forward recently after breaking decades of silence. That prompted lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to draft a compensation package to make amends for the victims.
The plaintiffs are seeking about ¥30 million each ($268,000) in growing legal actions that are spreading around the country, saying the government’s implementation of the law violated the victims’ right to self-determination, reproductive health and equality. They say the government redress measures are too small for their suffering.
In addition to the forced sterilizations, more than 8,000 others were sterilized with consent, though likely under pressure, while nearly 60,000 women had abortions because of hereditary illnesses, according to Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Among them were about 10,000 leprosy patients who had been confined in isolated institutions until 1996, when the leprosy prevention law was also abolished. The government has already offered compensation and an apology to them for its forced isolation policy.