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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 28 - April 3  > Tokyo High Court recognizes six Hibakusha as A-bomb disease patients
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2018 March 28 - April 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo High Court recognizes six Hibakusha as A-bomb disease patients

March 28 and 29, 2018
The Tokyo High Court on March 27 ruled that the national government should officially recognize six persons as A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) with atomic bomb-induced diseases.

Prior to the latest ruling, the lower court decision stated that the six Hibakusha, along with eleven other Hibakusha, should be granted the government recognition as suffering from A-bomb-related diseases. However, the state appealed against this decision, claiming that the six Hibakusha’s illnesses were caused by their lifestyles.

The high court ruling rejected the government claim and judged that the A-bomb radiation exposure caused the six plaintiffs’ diseases such as a cerebral infraction and Basedow’s disease.

One of the six, a 76-year-old woman, said, “I am so happy. I would like to thank all the people who supported us. As we suffer health damages due to the war which the government started, the government should be held responsible for our illnesses.”

Following the high court ruling, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) and four other organizations published statements urging the government not to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court and to drastically improve the state system certifying hibakusha as A-bomb disease patients.

On March 28, Hidankyo and three organizations involved in the court battle made representations to the Welfare Ministry to demand that the government accept the high court ruling and make the A-bomb disease recognition program more beneficial to sufferers. The participants of the action criticized the government for being reluctant to provide support for patients.

After the representations, Nakagawa Shigenori, secretary general of a national network of lawyers supporting A-bomb disease recognition lawsuits, said that the government should stop prolonging the court battle, and proposed a protest action to send to the Welfare Ministry fax messages until April 11, the deadline to lodge an appeal.

Past related articles:
> Hiroshima district court rejects Hibakusha’s demand for recognition as A-bomb disease patients [November 29, 2017]
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