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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 June 27 - July 3  > Hepatitis-B victims urge gov’t to speed up relief measures
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2012 June 27 - July 3 [WELFARE]

Hepatitis-B victims urge gov’t to speed up relief measures

June 28 & 29, 2012
Plaintiffs of hepatitis-B lawsuits and their legal team on June 28 made representations to the government, calling on Health and Welfare Minister Komiyama Yoko to speed up relief measures under a settlement agreed upon with the plaintiffs in June last year.

In ten district courts, they have sought state compensation and responsibility for their Hepatitis-B infection caused by the reuse of needles during collective compulsory vaccinations they received when they were children.

One year has passed since they signed a court-mediated compromise with the government, but relief procedures have seen little progress.

Being impatient, another 675 victims and bereaved families the day before filed another lawsuit with 16 district courts across Japan.

The number of plaintiffs now totals 5,184 and only 470 have received relief, which accounts for only one in every 1,000 out of 400,000 victims.

In the June 28 action, the plaintiffs requested that the health and welfare ministry increase the number of officials dealing with the Hepatitis-B issue from the present 30, simplify settlement procedures as they are a cause of the delay in the relief measures, and inform the public of these measures.

Later, about 150 plaintiffs took to the streets in front of the ministry. A 60-year-old man from the Kyushu region said, “Despite being aware of the problem, the government did nothing to prevent the spread of Hepatitis-B infection. My life is threatened by something that wasn’t my fault. So, I decided to join the court battle because I feel resentment toward the state.” A 46-year-old woman from Osaka, who reached a settlement early June with the county said, “I want to help the rest of the plaintiffs see justice.”
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