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JCP calls for a total ban on asbestos and relief for victims

Following a series of revelations of deaths from skin tumor and lung cancer believed to be caused by asbestos, the Japanese Communist Party has called on the government to ban production and use as well as to take relief measures for asbestos victims.

On July 14, JCP House of Representatives members Yoshii Hidekatsu and Kokuta Keiji, and a JCP House of Councilors member Inoue Satoshi delivered a letter of request to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hosoda Hiroyuki.

The JCP called on the government to immediately begin a nationwide survey of deaths and diseases suspected of being caused by asbestos. It says the need now is to place a total ban on the manufacture and use of asbestos products.

Concerning asbestos victims, the JCP called for a new scheme to be established for the relief of asbestos diseases-related workers, their family members, and residents of areas where asbestos was used.

Yoshii said to Hosoda, "The JCP team on asbestos conducted surveys at Kubota Corporation and Nichias Corporation, and found that the major stumbling block to taking effective measures against asbestos is the slow progress in unraveling the full picture of damages."

Hosoda said, "Taking into consideration the (JCP) representations, the government will begin serious and active efforts to deal with this problem. We will ask government offices concerned to keep in touch with you." -- Akahata, July 15, 2005

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