A-bomb disease rulings expected in May might lead to withdrawal of government’s appeals

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On March 26, Takeo Kawamura, chief cabinet secretary, met with atomic bomb survivors (hibakusha), plaintiffs of class action lawsuits involving A-bomb disease certification, in the Diet Building. Mr. Kawamura emphasized that if certain conditions, including a review of certification criteria, were met, following rulings by the Osaka and Tokyo High Courts this coming May, the government would withdraw its appeals and seek a collective settlement.

On March 25, the government appealed the Tokyo High Court ruling, which was issued to plaintiffs in Chiba Prefecture. According to the plaintiffs, Mr. Kawamura stressed that the government did not change its intention to make a political settlement in May. He also stated that the government would judge the three High Courts’ rulings “in a comprehensive manner,” including the rulings by the Tokyo and Osaka High Courts in May, and consider the plaintiffs’ request, in regard to the review of the certification criteria, that impaired liver function be included in the immediate certification for A-bomb disease.

Mr. Kawamura is also quoted as saying: “We are ready to withdraw our appeals, if we can reach a settlement.”

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations will begin to hold meetings across the country in April in preparation for the ruling by the Tokyo High Court in May. Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of the confederation, said they wanted to stand together for a collective settlement that would end the legal battle.

(Originally published on March 27, 2009)

Related articles
Hiroshima District Court orders first state compensation in A-bomb disease lawsuit (March 24, 2009)
Cirrhosis recognized as A-bomb disease by Tokyo High Court (March 17, 2009)