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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 June 19 - 25  > Hibakusha calls on gov’t for state compensation for A-bomb damage
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2024 June 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Hibakusha calls on gov’t for state compensation for A-bomb damage

June 22, 2024

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) on June 21 made a representation to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, demanding that the government provide state compensation to A-bomb victims for their injuries and illnesses.

Tanaka Terumi, a Nihon Hidankyo representative, in the representation to the ministry, said, “We have repeatedly demanded that the current aid measures for Hibakusha be upgraded to state compensation. We hope you will give us a positive answer this time.”

A second-generation A-bomb survivor requested that the government provide feedback on the results of medical examinations it conducts for Hibakusha descendants, including what diseases they are suffering from. A ministry official responded that the ministry will consider letting them know the results, saying, “Although there is a privacy issue, there would be no problem in returning the results to you.”

Regarding the issue of second-generation Hibakusha, the government has not taken any measures by claiming a lack of reasonable scientific evidence for the impact from maternal exposure to radiation on their health. Second-generation Hibakusha participating in the representation complained, “Antenatal Hibakusha around me are all ill,” and urged the government to take appropriate relief measures.

The petitioners demanded that the government abide by the July 2021 Hiroshima High Court ruling, the so-called “black rain” lawsuit, so that Hibakusha aid measures can become a global norm. They also demanded that the government, based on the high court ruling, eliminate eligibility requirements for the Hibakusha aid measures, promptly recognize the “black rain” victims in Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Hibakusha, improve nursing-care measures for Hibakusha, and provide second-generation Hibakusha with state measures equivalent to those given to first-generation Hibakusha.

* * *

In July 2021, the Hiroshima High Court ruled that people who had been exposed to the “black rain” (radioactive fallout) following the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 should be recognized as Hibakusha even if they have not developed any of the eleven designated diseases. The court also ruled that people who had been caught in the “black rain” outside the government-designated zones are Hibakusha as well. The government accepted this high court ruling and decided to not make a final appeal to the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the government still maintains the eleven-illnesses-requirement.

Past related article:
> Gov't still restricts eligibility requirement to be officially-recognized Hibakusha in defiance of 'black rain' court ruling [March 15, 2022]
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