Tokyo's Hibakusha join concerted application for their recognition as having A-bomb diseases

Five A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) living in Tokyo on December 9 applied for their recognition as Hibakusha with A-bomb-related diseases at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as part of the national concerted application organized by the Japan Confederation of A & H Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Hidankyo).

Hibakusha's nationwide action was in protest against the government's restrictive recognition system. The five Hibakusha are part of the 111-applicant group organized for the third action following the first group of July 9 and the second group of September 6. The total number of Hibakusha joining this concerted application reached 250.

The five Hibakusha, all bombed in Hiroshima, have cancer and other diseases apparently caused by the atomic bombing. One of them, a 75-year-old man who was exposed to radiation 600 meters away from the hypocenter, said at the metropolitan government office, "Hibakusha are aging and we don't know how much longer we can live. Please accept our applications before we die."

In its statement issued on December 6, Hidankyo criticized the government for rejecting most of the applications of the first two groups. It pointed out that the government, which approves of the U.S. nuclear weapons strategy, tries to belittle the A-bombs victims as much as possible.

The Hidankyo says it will file an objection to the government's decision and bring the case to court early next year. (end)