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Government gives up fighting against court ruling in support of Hibakusha


The government on June 5 decided to forgo appeals against the high court rulings that the statefs rejection of atomic bombed survivorsf (Hibakushafs) request for recognition of their illnesses as caused by exposure to atomic bomb radiation was inappropriate.


The reason the government gave for the decision was that early certification of Hibakusha suffering from A-bomb diseases is necessary due to aging Hibakushafs health conditions.


Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo is expected to confirm the decision early next week.


The Sendai High Court on May 28 dismissed the governmentfs appeal against a lower court decision acknowledging two Hibakusha as suffering from A-bomb related diseases. On May 30, the Osaka High Court also supported another lower court ruling that recognized all nine plaintiffs as having A-bomb-caused illnesses.


Health Minister Masuzoe Yoichi on June 5 met with the plaintiffs and said, gWe have taken those two court decisions very seriously.h


He also stated that the government will decide next week on how to respond to the request for revision of the current criteria to certify Hibakushafs health issues as caused by A-bomb radiation exposure.


The plaintiffs submitted to the minister about 200,000 signatures calling for a drastic revision of the current criteria.


At a press conference after the meeting, Miyahara Tetsuro, secretary-general of the group of plaintiffsf lawyers, stated that the meeting was a major step forward toward an overall settlement of the case.                          - Akahata, June 6, 2008


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