41 plaintiffs of first A-bomb disease lawsuit in Hiroshima to withdraw appeal

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On September 12, plaintiffs and lawyers in Hiroshima who are involved in the class action lawsuits over A-bomb disease certification formally decided to withdraw an appeal filed by the first group of 41 plaintiffs at the oral proceedings to be held at the Hiroshima High Court on September 16. This is the first time that plaintiffs and lawyers of the nationwide class action lawsuits have withdrawn an appeal. The decision followed the agreement between the Japanese government and the Japan Confederation of A- and H- Bomb Sufferers Organizations on a resolution to the series of class action lawsuits.

The Japanese government, which lost the initial trial, has already withdrawn its appeal after the agreement was reached on August 6. The victory of the plaintiffs over the A-bomb disease certification will be finalized and the lawsuit will be concluded when the plaintiffs withdraw their own appeal seeking state compensation.

There was no opposition to this decision from about 35 plaintiffs who attended a general meeting held by the plaintiffs and lawyers in downtown Hiroshima. Teruko Narutoko, 80, a resident of the city of Akitakata in Hiroshima Prefecture and one of the plaintiffs, expressed her delight, saying, "It has been a long six years since we first filed the lawsuit. But I’m feeling that all the hardship during these years is fading."

Meanwhile, the second group of plaintiffs in Hiroshima, which sought the A-bomb disease certification for 23 plaintiffs, lost two cases at the initial trial and will not drop its appeal for the time being. The group plans to carefully observe the national policy regarding relief measures for the defeated plaintiffs.

(Originally published on September 13, 2009)

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