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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 12 - 18  > Hibakusha lobby the JCP chair for recognition of having A-bomb related diseases
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2008 March 12 - 18 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

Hibakusha lobby the JCP chair for recognition of having A-bomb related diseases

March 12, 2008
Atomic-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on March 11 visited Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo in the Diet building to request the JCP to cooperate with them in getting the government to drastically revise the criteria for the recognition of their diseases as caused by exposure to radiation from the A-bombings.

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) and plaintiffs are calling for the government to recognize Hibakusha’s diseases as linked to the A-bomb.

Facing strong public criticism, the Health Ministry is now trying to settle the issue by putting a new system into force in April.

But Hibakusha are critical of the proposed system on the grounds that it will not ensure that even Hibakusha who have won the lawsuit are recognized as patients with atomic diseases.

Hidankyo Secretary General Tanaka Terumi stated, “The government should accept the severe criticism voiced from a broad spectrum of society and drastically change its policy to one of giving relief to Hibakusha.” He said that Hibakusha are demanding that the government immediately recognize Hibakusha’s cancer and leukemia as A-bomb related and provide government recognition to a wider range of Hibakusha according to their radiation-caused illnesses and to court rulings in favor of Hibakusha.

Shii expressed support for their demands and promised to make efforts to realize the needs of Hibakusha.

He criticized the Health Ministry for trying to implement a new system that will again impose limits to the eligibility to receive government recognition as A-bomb-related disease patients. “Let us work together to prevent the government from leaving the issue unresolved. We will seek cooperation with other political parties as well,” he added.


About 100 Hibakusha and their supporters on the same day converged on the Health Ministry to call for the government criteria to be drastically revised to reflect the actual cases of negative health effects from the atomic bombings.

This was the first day of their weeklong campaign.

A participant from Yamanashi Prefecture said, “Only one out of about 100 Hibakusha living in Yamanashi has been recognized as having A-bomb related illnesses. Hibakusha are suffering because of the government’s attempt to minimize the damage from nuclear weapons as much as possible. The government should instead compensate for all cases of health damage from the war and lead the world in making efforts to abolish nuclear weapons.”
- Akahata, March 12, 2008
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