SENDAI--In what is believed to be the nation’s first such case, authorities here on July 26 disclosed an official record showing a 15-year-old girl was subjected to forced sterilization in 1972 due to her intellectual disability.

The Miyagi prefectural government released the document after the woman, now in her 60s and who lives in the prefecture, requested it last month.

“It must be the first disclosure in Japan of a record of an individual who underwent an eugenic sterilization operation,” said an official with a civic group, which calls itself the association demanding an apology for eugenic sterilization operations.

Authorities were allowed to compel people with mental disorders, hereditary diseases or Hansen’s disease, among other conditions, to have abortions or sterilizations under the Eugenic Protection Law, which came into force in 1948.

The controversial law was aimed at “preventing the birth of inferior offspring.” It was replaced by the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, which removed the provision based on eugenics.

According to a relative, she was forced to have the operation “at the age of 16 or 17” after she began attending a school for the disabled.

The official record shows that the sterilization was performed when she was actually 15, along with the date of the procedure, the name of the hospital where it took place and how much it cost.

The reason for performing the sterilization was listed as “hereditary intellectual disability.”

But the relative said none of her family members has similar disabilities.

After the sterilization, the woman suffered from gynecological ailments, the relative added.

The civic group estimates that about 16,500 cases of operations were performed across Japan against people with disabilities without gaining their consent.

The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women recommended in March 2016 that the Japanese government compensate the victims of forced sterilization. A similar recommendation was issued in 1996 by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.