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A-bomb Victims Living in Korea Win Lawsuit

Posted June. 26, 2009 07:31,   


A Japanese court Wednesday ruled in favor of atomic bomb victims living in Korea who sued Japan’s Osaka Prefecture for failing to issue them healthcare documents and provide grants for medical care.

As the prefecture declined to appeal the decision to a higher court, A-bomb victims have finally won a court victory. This is the first time for a Japanese provincial government to lose such a case.

In a news conference, Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto said, “It was inappropriate to decide not to issue healthcare documents for the victims. The (Japanese) Health, Labor and Welfare Minister asked me to file an appeal in line with government policy. But I decided not to file since the victims are old and I want to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Each of the six plaintiffs will each get up to 145,000 yen (150,384 U.S. dollars) in a yearly medical subsidy and around 30,000 yen (311 dollars) in a monthly healthcare allowance.

They sued Osaka Prefecture in June 2006 after being denied healthcare documents and medical grants. The prefecture said it did not have to provide help for A-bomb victims living outside of Japan.

In November 2007, the Japanese Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional the prefecture’s withholding of healthcare documents for A-bomb victims not living in Japan.

Tokyo, however, pays such grants to those winning a lawsuit only. A combined 2,600 A-bomb victims live in Korea.