Japan Top Court Finds Govt Responsible for Asbestos Cases
Tokyo, May 17 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court on Monday found the government and construction materials makers liable to pay damages for the asbestos-caused health problems of former construction workers.
The top court's First Petty Bench issued the ruling on four lawsuits filed by a total of some 400 former workers and bereaved relatives of such workers with Yokohama, Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka district courts.
The top court, presided over by Justice Takuya Miyama, recognized that the government was in a state of illegality from 1975 to 2004 as it neglected to exercise its authority to impose asbestos regulations.
The ruling, unanimously adopted by five justices of the bench, was the first unified judgment on a series of asbestos lawsuits.
The state has recognized about 10,000 people as suffering asbestos-caused health problems due to their exposure to asbestos at construction sites.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]