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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 October 11 - 17  > Minamata victims condemn central government’s appeal against Osaka ruling
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2023 October 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Minamata victims condemn central government’s appeal against Osaka ruling

October 12 & 13, 2023
The central and Kumamoto prefectural governments on October 10 appealed against the epoch-making Osaka District Court ruling recognizing all 128 plaintiffs as patients with Minamata disease despite the state’s highly restrictive standards.

Chisso Corp., the chemical manufacturer responsible for causing the Minamata disease, filed an appeal six days earlier.

The Osaka District Court ruling was the first court decision in the second round “No More Minamatas” lawsuits fought in Kumamoto, Tokyo, Osaka and Niigata prefectures.

The plaintiffs and their legal team on the day held an online press conference. They condemned the defendants’ behavior as being unjust and disregarding the demand from Minamata victims for an early settlement. In the press conference, they expressed their determination to continue working hard until all Minamata victims obtain relief.

On the following day, they released a statement in protest against the appeal by the central government, the Kumamoto prefectural government, and Chisso Corporation. In the statement, they demanded the launch of negotiations for measures to provide relief to Minamata victims without delay.

The statement points out that the Osaka court ruling indicates the need to fundamentally revise the current policy regarding the support in place for Minamata victims as it contains various problems such as the strict criteria imposed to obtain official recognition as patients under the 2009 "special measures law on relief for Minamata disease victims". The statement states that the central government, the Kumamoto prefectural government, and Chisso have no courage and continue to refuse to admit to their failure. It also criticized Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Environment Minister Ito Shin’taro for deciding to challenge the Osaka court ruling without even meeting with the plaintiffs.

Past related article:
> Minamata disease patients win in Osaka court [September 28, 2023]
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