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Over 1,000 claims for work-related accident compensation pending every year


   The Labor Insurance Appeal Committee that examines workersf appeals against the authorityfs decisions denying recognition of work-related accidents has left more than 1,000 cases unsettled every year due to the shortage of officials in charge of the examination procedure.


   This was revealed by the Japan Center for Health and Safety of Working People made up of labor unions and civic groups.


   With intensified labor demands and increased job stress, the number of such appeals has drastically increased by 1.4 times in five years (510 cases in 2006 compared to 369 in 2001).


   However, the number of commissioners in the Labor Insurance Appeal Committee has remained the same over the past 11 years.


   Unable to settle all cases within a year, the committee has had no choice other than carrying over more than 1,000 cases every year since 2002.


   As a result, it takes longer periods of time for the committee to make decisions, thus obstructing early relief of work-related accident victims or bereaved families. There is a case that has been pending for six years and five cases pending for five years.


   The time used for open examinations is so short (only 30 minutes) that the committee cannot conduct adequate examinations. Out of 346 cases that the committee made decisions on in 2006, 329 appeals were turned down.


   Hosaka Tadashi of the Japan Center for Health and Safety of Working People said, gThe committee deprives accident sufferers or bereaved families of their right to be relieved. The committee must increase the number of commissioners. At the same time, we demand a drastic review of the examination system.h

- Akahata, September 6, 2007




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