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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 15 - 21  > JCP in Diet calls for early settlement of asbestos cases
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2014 October 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP in Diet calls for early settlement of asbestos cases

October 17, 2014
Two Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Councilors on October 16 at House meetings demanded that the government make a political decision to move toward an early settlement of asbestos lawsuits and offer an apology to victims.

These moves came out following the recent Supreme Court ruling on two lawsuits in which the court for the first time acknowledged the state’s responsibility for health damages caused by asbestos exposure.

The two lawsuits were filed in 2006 by 89 former workers at asbestos factories in Osaka’s Sennann area. In their court battle, the plaintiffs claimed that they suffered from asbestos-related diseases as the state neglected its duty to take proper preventive measures, and demanded compensation for damages.

JCP lawmaker Yamashita Yoshiki at an Upper House Cabinet Committee meeting cited the fact that 14 of the 89 plaintiffs have died since the cases were brought to court eight years ago. He urged Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide to settle the cases early by obtaining a clear government political decision.

Stating that he will take into account the top court ruling seriously, Suga left the decision of early settlement up to the welfare ministry.

In the meanwhile, JCP Upper House member Koike Akira in his question time at a House welfare committee meeting noted that Welfare Minister Shiozaki Yasuhisa in his comment on the Supreme Court decision apologized for the cases. Koike requested that the minister meet the plaintiffs and directly offer them an apology.

Shiozaki avoided giving an answer on the spot to Koike’s request while expressing his intention for an early settlement.


Later on the same day in the Dietmembers’ Office building, the plaintiffs and their lawyers petitioned the welfare ministry for a state apology and an early settlement of the cases.

Past related articles:
> Top Court: state responsible for workers’ illnesses caused by asbestos [October 10, 2014]
> High court orders state to compensate asbestos-damaged workers [December 26, 2013]
> Court orders state to compensate for asbestos-induced health claims [March 29, 2012]
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