Polluting companies apologize for air pollution in Nagoya

In a formal out-of-court settlement over an air pollution lawsuit in
Nagoya, ten corporations which had been held responsible, for the first time
apologized to pollution victims on August 8.

Ten companies and the state accepted the recommendation for settlement by
the Nagoya High Court and the Nagoya District Court. The plaintiffs also
accepted the settlement which was their virtual victory after 12 years.

Chubu Electric Power Company, representing the ten corporations,
apologized for causing air pollution.

Akahata in its editorial on August 9 welcomed the settlement of the
lawsuit over air pollution caused by complex factors as a new step toward
regaining a blue sky. The editorial said as follows:

The plaintiffs sued not only the industrial companies for emitting
materials detrimental to health but also the state for not appropriately
controlling car-exhaust gas emissions on roads.

The preceding Nagoya District Court ruling severely criticized the state
for neglecting to take measures to prevent exhaust gas emissions. Land and
Transport Minister Ogi Chikage, however, continued to refuse to recognize
any causal relations between exhaust gas and damage to health.

To achieve an early settlement, the plaintiffs dropped their claims
against the state for compensation. Their keen wish is to regain a clear sky
as soon as possible. The central government as a defendant must now
earnestly fulfill its responsibility to control vehicular exhaust gases,
with a view to lessen health hazards and global warming. (end)