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Japan court awards benefits to atomic bomb victims living abroad

[JURIST] Japan's Fukuoka High Court [backgrounder] held Monday that a survivor of the 1945 Nagasaki atomic bombing [Wikipedia backgrounder] living abroad is entitled to the same medical benefits and funeral costs [benefits summary, PDF] as survivors living in Japan, without returning to Japan to file claims. Monday's ruling comes after a 2002 court ruling that attempted to force the government to abandon its policy of excluding overseas survivors from benefits an channel more relief to victims living outside Japan. Choi Kye-chul, a South Korean, filed suit in February 2004 after he was denied benefits even though a certificate granted in 1980 made him eligible for state health care allowances. Of the 285,600 survivors of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima nuclear attacks, 5,000 live abroad, and many have developed radiation-related illnesses, including cancer and liver problems. Survivors living in Japan are currently eligible for monthly allowances of up to $1,250 and free medical checkups and funeral costs. AP has more. Asahi Shimbun has local coverage.

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