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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8  > JCP chair denounces government proposal for settlement of drug-induced hepatitis lawsuits
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2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP chair denounces government proposal for settlement of drug-induced hepatitis lawsuits

December 21, 2007
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference on December 20 denounced the government rejection of uniform relief for all victims infected with hepatitis C through tainted blood products by saying, “This proposal is very cold-hearted and unreasonable.”

“Sticking to the policy of drawing a line for eligibility among victims, the government now intends to shift the responsibility for the settlement of the lawsuit onto the plaintiffs by increasing the amount of money it offers,” Shii said.

Pointing out that the plaintiffs are fighting for their dignity at the risk of their lives, Shii showed his heartfelt respect for their decision to reject the government proposal and end to the court-mediated settlement negotiations. “Despite their hardship, the plaintiffs have made a courageous decision, with the strong determination to continue the struggle until achieving uniform relief for all patients,” Shii said.

Shii condemned the Fukuda government for persisting on limiting which victims will be eligible for compensation. “With much hardship and anxiety, the plaintiffs suffering from hepatitis C are longing for the earliest possible settlement. The Fukuda government totally lacks understanding of their feelings. This shows that the government slogan, “security and hope,” is just an empty phrase. The prime minister is not qualified to head the government,” Shii said.

Shii said that the JCP will continue to make efforts to achieve uniform relief for all victims, a just demand, as early as possible and that the JCP will bring it up in Diet discussions as a major issue.

Earlier in the day, the JCP chair met with representatives of the hepatitis C plaintiffs.

Ideta Taeko, a Kyushu lawsuit plaintiff, said in tears, “What we want is not money but equal relief to all victims,” and asked the JCP to continue to support their struggle.

JCP House of Councilors member Koike Akira expressed his respect for the plaintiffs’ struggle and said, “Your call for relief to all victims has moral values that will help to prevent future drug-induced diseases.” He promised to continue to discuss this issue at Diet committee meetings.
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