Isolated Leprosy Patients' Kin Demand Apology from Abe

Society Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 9 (Jiji Press)--Relatives of former leprosy patients in Japan who had been isolated under a state policy in the past demanded on Tuesday a direct apology from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the isolation policy.

Kumamoto District Court in southwestern Japan last month found that the isolation policy caused prejudice and discrimination against the former patients' families, ordering the state to pay compensation to them.

The relatives held a press conference in Tokyo after Abe announced earlier on Tuesday a decision not to appeal the district court ruling.

"The news about the government's abandonment of an appeal stunned me and then brought tears to my eyes," said Harumi Oku, 72, whose mother was a leprosy patient.

"Now I want Prime Minister Abe to meet us, the plaintiffs, and give a heartfelt apology," said Oku from Amami, Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press