Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 25 - 31  > Construction workers begin court battle to win compensation for health damage from asbestos
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 March 25 - 31 [LABOR]

Construction workers begin court battle to win compensation for health damage from asbestos

March 25, 2020

Construction workers who developed ill-health due to exposure to asbestos filed damage lawsuits on March 24 against the state and asbestos product manufacturers with several district courts, including Sapporo, Saitama, Yokohama, Kyoto, and Fukuoka.

In Kanagawa Prefecture, 24 builders and believed families launched their court battle at the Yokohama District Court to seek the payment of 886 million yen from the national government and 21 asbestos makers. The chief of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Nishimura Takao, at a press conference held after the filing said that in similar legal battles in the past, the national government lost eleven times in a row, but it has yet to take a step to provide relief to asbestos victims. He urged the government to set up a program to provide financial support for asbestos-affected people.

Tai Masaru, a lawyer with the plaintiffs’ legal team, said that seven victims passed away before the lawsuit was filed and their families joined the suit in their stead. He stressed that there is no time to waste.

In the lawsuit filed with the Saitama District Court, 43 construction workers and bereaved families seek to push the national government and 20 construction material makers to pay 38.5 million yen in damages to each plaintiff.

After the filing, the plaintiffs held a press conference in Saitama City. One of them, a construction worker who was diagnosed as having lung cancer, criticized the manufacturers for having sold asbestos products while knowing the health risks. He said, “Our lives were deemed less important than their economic interests. I want the state and the makers to apologize to us sincerely without delay.”

Past related articles:
> Workers suffering from exposure to asbestos win 370 million yen in compensation [October 28, 2017]
> District court rejects asbestos victims’ demand for damages [May 26, 2012]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved