Hibakusha take action to be recognized as having A-bomb-related diseases

Atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) on November 12 staged a 5-hour sit-in in front of the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry in protest against the government refusal to relax its criteria for recognizing Hibakusha as having diseases caused by the A-bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

Protesters also called for the victory of Hibakusha's concerted lawsuits demanding that the government recognize them as Hibakusha with A-bomb-related illnesses.

About 150 plaintiffs, lawyers, supporters, and other Hibakusha took part in the protest. Some of them joined the action after they listened to the 3rd court hearing at the Tokyo District Court.

Family members of two deceased plaintiffs displayed their photographs, and demonstrators put paper cranes in front of their photos. Otsuka Sayoko, a bereaved wife of one of the Hibakusha, expressed her regret stating, "My husband was saying, 'I must not die until I win in court.'"

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors members Koike Akira and Inoue Miyo gave support to the protesters. (end)

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