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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 24 - March 1  > Ex-fishermen in Kochi apply for workers compensation for radiation exposure from Bikini Atoll H-bomb test
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2016 February 24 - March 1 TOP3 [LABOR]

Ex-fishermen in Kochi apply for workers compensation for radiation exposure from Bikini Atoll H-bomb test

February 27, 2016
Former fishermen and bereaved families on February 26 applied for seamen’s compensation, claiming their cancer and other health issues to be work-related caused by exposure to radiation from the 1954 U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

The applicants are six former fishermen and four bereaved families in Kochi Prefecture. Accompanied by the president of a local deep-sea fishermen’s union and a Japanese Communist Party prefectural assemblyperson, they visited the Kochi branch of the Japan Health Insurance Association to file their applications.

The 1954 H-bomb test explosion caused exposure to radioactivity in more than 1,000 Japanese ships in total, of which 270 ships were Kochi-based.

Former crewmembers of the Shizuoka-based tuna fishing boat “Daigo Fukuryu Maru”, who were also victimized by the H-bomb test, have already become eligible for mariners’ accident compensation insurance. The Kochi victims, if approved, will be the first beneficiaries among Japanese fishermen then operating near the affected area other than those on board Daigo Fukuryu Maru.

A 65-year-old daughter of the late radio operator of the vessel “Dainana Dai Maru” whose homeport was Muroto City in Kochi said to the press, “After we, Japanese people, witnessed the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, I came to realize that my father’s death is not a past event but a thing that may happen to Fukushima people in the future. I will make every possible effort as a family member of nuclear victims to work to set a precedent for them.”

The secretary-general of a group working to support H-bomb sufferers and family members left behind said, “I want to help them become covered by seamen’s compensation during their lifetime, and I will continue my work to encourage victims not only in Kochi but also in other prefectures to apply for compensation.”

Past related articles:
> Victims of 1954 US H-bomb test will apply for seamen’s compensation [January 13, 2016]
> Materials on 473 Japanese ships affected by US H-bomb test at Bikini Atoll disclosed [September 20, 2014]
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