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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 2 - 8  > Young activists gather online to increase public support for legislation providing state compensation to civilian war victims
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2020 December 2 - 8 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Young activists gather online to increase public support for legislation providing state compensation to civilian war victims

December 8, 2020

On December 8, 1941, Japan launched its war against the United States and Great Britain, the so-called Pacific War. With the 79th anniversary of the war launch approaching, an online event was hosted by young activists seeking to increase public awareness of the need for legislation which provides relief for civilian war victims.

These young people are backing a campaign for new legislation by a nationwide liaison council for air raid victims. With the establishment of a law, the liaison council aims to realize its demands which include the provision of a lump sum benefit for civilian victims of air raids and the construction of a national memorial facility.

In the virtual event, Kiriyama Kanon, a junior at Meijigakuin University, pointed out that since the end of the war, while recompensing the former imperial Japanese military personnel generously, the national government has refused to compensate civilian victims for their damages. She stressed, “To leave this problem unresolved means allowing the government to not take responsibility for damages caused by the government’s act. This will have a negative impact not only on our immediate future but also on future generations.”

Fukushima Hiroki, the head of a civil group “history for Peace” which works to pass down experiences from the war, referred to the late Hoshino Hiroshi who was the president of a Tokyo air raid victims’ organization. He said that Hoshino criticized the national government for showing no intention to offer an apology and adequate compensation as well as to conduct a survey of air raid victims. Fukushima said, “I believe Hoshino’s aspiration is to create a legal framework to support civilian war victims. So, I’ll do my utmost to achieve this.”

Keio University sophomore Takahashi Yuta serves as a co-head of an antinuke youth group in Hiroshima. He said, “The UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, after its entry into force this coming year, will work to commit nations to never cause victims from the use of nuclear arms. Likewise, the implementation of a law offering relief to civilian victims will help to make our government abide by the constitutional oath renouncing war.”

Past related article:
> Civilian war victims and ex-Korean war criminals: Gov’t should swiftly compensate for damages [August 13, 2020]

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