Japan Court Dismisses Claim over 2nd-Generation Hibakusha Relief

Society

Nagasaki, Dec. 12 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese court on Monday dismissed a damages claim filed against the government over inadequate support for children of atomic bomb survivors.

Nagasaki District Court in southwestern Japan rejected the lawsuit filed by 26 so-called second-generation hibakusha, in which the plaintiffs demanded 100,000 yen per person in damages over legislative inaction. One of the plaintiffs died during the suit.

It is believed to be the first judicial decision on the issue of genetic effects from atomic bomb radiation on the children of survivors.

Presiding Judge Hiroyoshi Amakawa said that "knowledge has yet to be established" on the genetic effects of radiation damage from an atomic bomb, suggesting that "the court can only say that the possibility of such effects cannot be ruled out."

Whether second-generation hibakusha should be covered by the law on relief for atomic bomb victims "is up to the discretionary judgement of the legislature" and that differentiating their treatment with that for survivors who experienced the bombing "cannot be found to constitute discriminatory treatment without reasonable grounds," Amakawa added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press