Air pollution victims surround Toyota office

About 600 victims of car exhaust and other public pollution assembled in Tokyo on June 10 from throughout the country to surround Toyota Motor Corporation's Tokyo Office, as part of the 30th concerted action June 9-10.

They made representations to Japan's biggest car maker demanding that a new compensation system be established at car makers' expense for victims of pollution caused by vehicles.

Ishikawa Makiko, 49, a plaintiff in the Tokyo air pollution lawsuit, said, "I was stricken with asthma, reaching the brink of death 20 years ago. What does the management think of their responsibility for selling automobiles that pollute the air?"

Lawyer Nishimura Takao on the plaintiffs' bench said, "Toyota is trying to keep prosperity to itself, without fulfilling any responsibility to its market in Japan. We will work to get Toyota take responsibility."

Judgment of the lawsuit calling on Toyota and six other automobile manufactures to take responsibility is due in 2006. - Akahata June 11, 2005

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