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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 June 13 - 19  > Tunnel workers agree with government to settle lawsuits over work-related lung disease
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2007 June 13 - 19 [LABOR]

Tunnel workers agree with government to settle lawsuits over work-related lung disease

June 19, 2007
Former tunnel workers suffering from pneumoconiosis due to their work at tunnel construction sites on June 18 reached an agreement with the government to strengthen preventive measures against the lung disease.

This agreement paves the way for settlement of lawsuits filed by 969 former tunnel workers and bereaved family members pending at 14 high courts and district courts nationwide.

Under the agreement, the government is obliged to revise the current regulations to prevent pneumoconiosis and require ventilation of tunnel construction sites within this year. It is also required to consider making it mandatory to provide workers with special masks, measure the density of mine dust at their workplaces, and shorten working hours. The government agreed to ask plaintiffs for their opinions in order to adopt and implement new measures.

The plaintiffs in return promised to renounce their claim for a total 3.2 billion yen in compensation for their suffering.

Before the ceremony of signing the agreement, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo expressed his sympathy and condolences to 20 representatives of plaintiffs and their lawyers at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence.
- Akahata, June 19, 2007
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