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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 29 - August 4  > 84 radioactive ‘black rain’ victims in court recognized as atomic bomb sufferers
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2020 July 29 - August 4 TOP3 [PEACE]

84 radioactive ‘black rain’ victims in court recognized as atomic bomb sufferers

July 30, 2020

The Hiroshima District Court on July 29 issued a ruling that 84 plaintiffs be certified as A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha), acknowledging that they were exposed to radioactive “black rain” that came down after the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

In the court battle, the 84 plaintiffs claimed that their applications for the Hibakusha certificate were unjustly rejected on the grounds that they lived outside the government-set “black rain” area. In 2015, they sued the Hiroshima Prefectural and Hiroshima City governments which rejected their applications, demanding the cancellation of the rejection of their applications. Certified A-bomb survivors can receive various government support such as medical care.

The Hiroshima District Court ruling acknowledges that the plaintiffs were exposed to atomic bomb black rain. It points out that they suffered from radiation not only through external exposure by getting wet with the rain and touching contaminated objects but also through internal exposure by drinking polluted water and eating contaminated foods. The ruling orders that all the plaintiffs be given a "Hibakusha" certificate.

After the ruling, the plaintiffs and their lawyers’ group held a rally in Hiroshima City. When a lawyer announced, “No one was left out in the court recognition. It’s a total victory,” applause broke out. One of the plaintiffs, a 79-year-old woman, said, “I’m so happy. My heart is filled with joy.” Calling on the defendants to refrain from appealing to a higher court, she said, “I don’t know how many more years I can live, but I definitely want a Hibakusha certificate.”

Commenting of the ruling, Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nippon Hidankyo) Secretary General Kido Sueichi said that the government should immediately take measures so that the plaintiffs will be able to receive Hibakusha certificates. He stressed that the defendants should not appeal to a higher court as the plaintiffs are now all in old age.

Past related articles:
> Hibakusha exposed to ‘black rain’ file lawsuit seeking official certificate [November 5, 2015]
> Give relief to all Hibakusha affected by ‘black rain’ [June 10, 2011]
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