Overview of national litigation in Japan

The following is some examples of national court cases that JALANA supports:

No More Hibakusha Lawsuits (A-Bomb Illness Certification Lawsuits) – The A-Bomb survivors are fighting court cases against Japanese government maintaining a practice of administration on assistance for A-Bomb survivors very limitedly. The Supreme Court recently made an unjust judgment that upheld the government’s practice.

“Black Rain” Lawsuit – 84 plaintiffs, who were outside the target area for state assistance but suffered health damage owing to the “black rain” containing radioactive substances that fell immediately after the atomic bombing, filed a lawsuit against the government, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Hiroshima City, demanding issuance of A-Bomb Survivor Health Handbooks. On July 29, 2020, Hiroshima District Court ruled in favour of all plaintiffs, but the defendants appealed.
  On July 14th, 2021, Hiroshima High Court upheld the District Court’s ruling that recognized the plaintiffs as hibakusha, and further expanded the “black rain area.” On July 26th, 2021, Japan’s then Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said that the government had decided not to file a final appeal. He said his administration would further examine the issue so that relief measures could be extended to others who were exposed to the radioactive rain.

For more information on the “Black Rain” Lawsuit read the newspaper articles in THE ASAHI SHIMBUN and Japan Times.

Bikini Occupational Accidents Lawsuit – Owing to the 1954 US hydrogen bomb tests, fishermen and crews on fishing boats and cargo ships operating around the Bikini Atoll were irradiated and developed diseases such as cancers. We support a lawsuit which they filed to claim certification of occupational accidents, payment of insurance, and national compensation for having lost their rights to claim it to the US by the US-Japan Agreement.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Lifework Lawsuits – The accident of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant that occurred on March 11, 2011, deprived many residents of their places to live and livelihood. Lawsuits are pending to hold accountable the electric power company (operator of the nuclear plant), who has failed to take measures to counter disasters even after being informed of possibility of tsunami and earthquakes, and the government, who did not play a role of regulation authority. So far three of four high court decisions recognized a responsibility of the electric power company and the government. All the four cases are now pending at the Supreme Court.

This text was originally published on http://www.hankaku-j.org/english/info/211220.html