Changes to A-bomb disease certification system

Mayor Matsui calls for political decision

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

At an October 31 press conference, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui commented on the draft outline of the final report being discussed by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare review commission for the A-bomb disease certification system. “From the standpoint of assisting the atomic bomb survivors, I would like the current administration to make a political decision as soon as possible,” he said.

Discussion by the commission of changes to the system is in the final stages. Members of the commission from the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations have called for the establishment of a new allowance system, while other members have sought to make minor changes to the current system, leading to a conflict between the two factions. The draft outline of the final report merely sets down the opinions of the two sides.

Mayor Matsui expressed his understanding for the assertions of both sides saying, “Both the feelings of the A-bomb survivors, who seek relief, and the reasoning of the experts, who would like to be able to offer the public an explanation of the causal connection between illness and radiation are correct.” The mayor also called for a political decision to be made from the standpoint of the A-bomb survivors. “At this rate a framework for relief cannot be created,” he said. “I would like to put more emphasis on offering a helping hand to the A-bomb survivors, who are elderly and suffering.”

(Originally published on November 1, 2013)