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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 21 - 27  > Hibakusha and hepatitis C patients to hold sit-ins to protest Health Ministry
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2007 March 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Hibakusha and hepatitis C patients to hold sit-ins to protest Health Ministry

March 27, 2007
Atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) and hepatitis C patients, who have won their suits against the state, held a joint press conference on March 26 to announce their plan to hold sit-ins to demand that the Health Ministry sit with them at a table to explore ways to settle the cases.

Hepatitis C patients who brought lawsuits claiming the government’s and drugmakers’ responsibility for their contracting the disease from tainted blood products will start a sit-in in front of the Health Ministry on March 28 and continue it for an indefinite period.

Plaintiffs’ group leader Yamaguchi Michiko said that the responsibility of the state was confirmed by the Tokyo District Court on March 23 when it ordered the state and drugmakers to pay for damages. “We will make an all-out protest against the state policy,” she added.

Hibakusha will begin a 72-hour sit-in after marching in demonstration around the Health Ministry at noon on April 2.

They have won five district court rulings ordering the government to recognize their diseases as caused by the A-bombings.

Tanaka Terumi, the secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A & H Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), stated that the sit-in action is to call for a drastic revision of the current A-bomb disease certification standards and a collective solution of their concerted lawsuits. He said that Hidankyo has called on Hibakusha throughout the country to take part in this major protest while campaigning in their communities or sending postcards to the Health Ministry. - Akahata, March 27, 2007

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