Parliament must fulfill its responsibility: JCP Seko on leprosy suit ruling

A court ruled on May 11 that the incarceration of leprosy patients in isolation centers is a human rights violation and ordered the government to pay 1.82 billion yen (about 15 million dollars) in compensation to former leprosy patients.

Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) is an infectious disease causing painful white patches to appear on the skin and destroying the nerves.

In the ruling, the Kumamoto District Court said that it was obvious in 1960 that the law stipulating the isolation of patients was unconstitutional and that it is appropriate to admit that the Diet failed to revise or scrap such a stipulation.

Seko Yukiko, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives who has worked for the rights of former leprosy patients said that the Diet must fulfill its responsibility in compliance with the ruling. She also called on the Diet to start moving towards an overall settlement of the question as the legislature's duty. The government must not appeal to a higher court, she added. (end)