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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 25 - 31  > H-bomb test victims file suit seeking seamen's compensation
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2020 March 25 - 31 [LABOR]

H-bomb test victims file suit seeking seamen's compensation

March 31, 2020

Former fishermen of Japanese fishing boats who had been exposed to radiation from U.S. H-bomb tests in 1954 at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific along with bereaved families filed a lawsuit on March 30 with the Kochi District Court, demanding recognition of eligibility for seamen's compensation.

A total of 14 plaintiffs claim the decision made by the Japan Health Insurance Association rejecting their application for seamen's compensation to be illegal. They demand the retraction of this administrative decision.

At a press conference held after the filing, the wife of a deceased crewmember of the tuna fishing boat "Hime Maru" said, "My husband used to say that he would fight for his crewmates who died of leukemia and who are struggling with illnesses possibly caused by their radiation exposure. Respecting his wish, I will continue to fight this legal battle."

On the same day, a supporters' group was inaugurated in Kochi City. Kira Tomihiko, an advisor to the group and a Japanese Communist Party member of the Kochi Prefectural Assembly, said, "This is a battle to get their lives and dignity back." Kira appealed for wide support by saying, "Victory in this battle will lead the world in obtaining relief for people who have been adversely affected by the use or testing of nuclear weapons as stipulated in Article 6 of the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty."

Past related articles:
> High court shuts its ears to ex-fishermen affected by US H-bomb tests [December 13, 2019]
> Court dismisses demand for state compensation from ex-fishermen exposed to 1954 US hydrogen bomb test [July 21, 2018]
> Ex-fishermen in Kochi apply for workers compensation for radiation exposure from Bikini Atoll H-bomb test [February 27, 2016]
> Victims of 1954 US H-bomb test will apply for seamen’s compensation [January 13, 2016]
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