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Japanese Court Rules to Pay the Funeral Cost of Korean Atomic Victims

Japanese Court Rules to Pay the Funeral Cost of Korean Atomic Victims

Posted March. 08, 2005 22:46,   


The Japanese court found in favor of the plaintiff, a Korean family of atomic bomb victims, who had filed a lawsuit against the Japanese local government, requesting money for the victim’s funeral. The local government had rejected the family’s request, saying that it could not pay the funeral because the victim died outside of Japan.

Choi Gye-cheol, a Korean who fell victim to the atomic bombing, died at the age of 78 in July 2004. His family took to the court after the Nagasaki local government dismissed their demand for compensation for the funeral cost. The court ruled on March 8 that the plaintiff was entitled to the money.

The court stated that the victim’s being outside of Nagasaki could not be the reason for refusing to pay the funeral cost. This is the first ruling by the Japanese court on this issue. The demand for the funeral cost of the atomic victims overseas had been refused.

Choi was in Nagasaki at the time of the second atomic bomb attack on Japan in August 1945. He was issued the "Health Record Note of the Atomic Bomb Victims” in 1980, and died in Busan, Korea last year. The Nagasaki local government refused to pay the funeral costs, saying the money can be paid only to those who resided in Japan at the time of death.

The court said that the Japanese law to support the atomic bomb victims covers those who reside outside Japan as well, so therefore the local government’s refusal is inconsistent with the law and must be dismissed.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com