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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 9 - 15  > Hibakusha demands government apology and recognition of all plaintiffs with A-bomb related diseases
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2008 April 9 - 15 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

Hibakusha demands government apology and recognition of all plaintiffs with A-bomb related diseases

April 10, 2008
Representatives of the nation’s atomic bomb survivors on April 9 held a meeting with Health Ministry officials to discuss the issue of government recognition that diseases of Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) are related to exposure to radiation from the atomic bombings.

Representatives of the Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Sufferers' Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), the group of plaintiffs in lawsuits demanding government recognition of Hibakusha with A-bomb diseases and the group of lawyers for the plaintiffs attended the fourth meeting with the Health Ministry.

In the meeting, the Hibakusha representatives for the first time presented the terms for settling the lawsuit and demanded that the government offer the 305 Hibakusha (plaintiffs) an apology for abandoning so many Hibakusha, recognize all applicants as having A-bomb-related diseases, and pay them settlement money to cover lawsuit costs. No amount of settlement money was presented.

At a news conference held after the meeting on the same day, the group of lawyers for the plaintiffs said, “The Health Ministry promised to examine the terms.”

Concerning 16 plaintiffs who were recognized the previous day as patients with A-bomb-related diseases in the examination under the newly established criteria, the lawyers’ group revealed that the Health Ministry had recognized them as A-bomb disease patients after repealing its previous rejection of their applications.

Yasuhara Yukihiko, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that the new criteria for recognition are still far from what Hibakush want and that they will continue to develop the movement for further improvement in the criteria and for a settlement of lawsuits.

Yamamoto Hidenori, leader of the plaintiffs’ group, said, “We want the health minister to offer us an apology and admit that the government policy for dealing with the issues of Hibakusha was wrong.”
- Akahata, April 10, 2008
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