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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8  > Government rejects uniform relief for all drug-induced hepatitis C victims
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2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Government rejects uniform relief for all drug-induced hepatitis C victims

December 21, 2007
In a lawsuit over drug-induced hepatitis C, the Fukuda government on December 20 made public its settlement proposal that rejects the across-the-board relief for all victims which the plaintiffs have been strongly calling for.

While limiting the number of victims to be provided with official relief, the government offers to the plaintiffs’ group an additional three billion yen in a “support fund” apparently to be shared by victims excluded from coverage of the relief measure.

Justifying the proposal on the grounds that the government cannot settle the issue under terms inconsistent with the Osaka District Court proposal that severely limits victims eligible for relief, Health Minister Masuzoe Yoichi claimed that the government proposal is to relieve all victims.

The plaintiffs’ group, however, immediately announced that they reject the government proposal and that they pull out of the court-meditated settlement negotiations.

Plaintiffs’ group national representative Yamaguchi Michiko at a press conference held in the ministry building later in the day severely criticized the government for abandoning many victims and expressed her determination, saying, “We will consistently demand the uniform relief for all victims.”

Kuwana Tomoko, representative of the plaintiff group in the Osaka lawsuit, tearfully said, “Why can’t our reasonable claim be accepted? Why isn’t Prime Minister Fukuda willing to listen to us? I’m really frustrated.”

Fukuda Iriko, a Kyushu lawsuit plaintiff, said, “How much longer must we fight? We cannot share our lifetime with other victims. We only demand relief to all victims. The government has abandoned many victims, but we cannot abandon them by dropping the lawsuits.”
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