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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 May 30 - June 5  > Government offers 6 billion yen for air pollution victims in Tokyo
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2007 May 30 - June 5 [ENVIRONMENT]

Government offers 6 billion yen for air pollution victims in Tokyo

May 31, 2007
In talks about an out-of-court settlement of the Tokyo air pollution lawsuit on May 30, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced that the central government will contribute 6 billion yen to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

This proposal opens the way for the establishment of a program to subsidize the medical expenses of air pollution patients that plaintiffs in the lawsuit have been calling for.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government proposed to establish such a program jointly with the state and diesel car makers. Although car makers responded positively to the proposal, the central government refused to contribute to it.

At a press conference on the same day, plaintiffs said the main problem that remains unresolved is that automakers are still reluctant to pay a lump sum in compensation.

Nishi Junji, leader of the plaintiffs, said, “Now that the central government’s new proposal greatly facilitates the settlement, the automakers must make serious efforts to settle the suit.”

At the May 10 House of Councilors Environment Committee meeting, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi demanded that the government stop turning its back on victims and fund a program to subsidize their medical costs.              - Akahata, May 31, 2007
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