Abe Apologizes to Ex-Leprosy Sufferers' Kin

Politics

Tokyo, July 12 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement Friday to apologize to family members of former leprosy patients who suffered discrimination under the state's past isolation policy for sufferers of the disease.

The statement, adopted by the cabinet, came after the government decided not to appeal a Kumamoto District Court ruling last month that ordered the state to pay damages to relatives of former leprosy patients to compensate for the discrimination.

"The government deeply reflects (on what it had done) and offers heartfelt apologies," Abe said in the statement.

Abe also expressed his intention to meet family members of former leprosy patients.

"It is a grim reality that there existed extremely harsh prejudice and discrimination against not only patients and former patients but also their family members," the statement said of the now-defunct isolation policy.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press