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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 14 - 27  > Gov't gives up on appealing 'black rain' court ruling
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2021 July 14 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov't gives up on appealing 'black rain' court ruling

July 27, 2021

The Suga government, regarding the so-called "black rain" lawsuit, announced on July 26 that it has decided not to appeal the Hiroshima High Court ruling that recognizes 84 residents as "Hibakusha" who were exposed to radioactive "black rain" after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 76 years ago. Their long-standing efforts have finally moved the government to change its position of intransigence.

Head of the plaintiffs' group Takano Masaaki, 83, said, "I'm very glad to hear that the government abandoned the case. We've been fighting in court since 2015 and 19 plaintiffs have died since then. We, the 84 plaintiffs, are spokespersons for all 'black rain' victims. Our main purpose is overall relief for all the victims."

Asked for comments on the government decision to not challenge the high court ruling, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on the same day said that the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, and the Social Democratic Party had jointly made a representation to the Welfare Ministry to not appeal the lower court ruling to the Supreme Court.

Koike said, "The government has the responsibility to give relief to individuals for war damage, and this is the spirit of the Hibakusha Support Law." Citing that the Hiroshima High Court determined that the present support measures minimizing the negative health effects caused by A-bomb black rain are illegal, Koike said that the court judgement based on scientific evidence is irrefutable, adding, "It is necessary to drastically revise the current Hibakusha aid measures."

He said, "As the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons recently came into effect, the international community is moving forward toward supporting radiation victims, including Hibakusha. Relief for Hibakusha and calls for no more Hibakushas are a world trend now. The JCP will urge the Japanese government to act in line with this global trend."

Upon hearing the government decision to drop the case, Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) Secretary General Kido Sueichi said, "The high court ruled that as long as plaintiffs' health problems and diseases are not proven to be caused by the A-bomb, their disorders should be diagnosed to be caused by 'black rain'. This court ruling is the same as what Nihon Hidankyo has long demanded."

Co-leader of the plaintiffs' support group Makino Kazumi said, "It is a matter of course for the government to not appeal the high court ruling to the top court. The government should issue Hibakusha certificates to the plaintiffs in their old age without further delay. In order to have the current Hibakusha aid measures correspond to the court decision, the plaintiffs, their lawyers, and our support group will continue to push for appropriate measures."

Past related articles:
> Gov’t appeals A-bomb ‘black rain’ court ruling [August 13, 2020]
> 84 radioactive ‘black rain’ victims in court recognized as atomic bomb sufferers [July 30, 2020]
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