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Japan court recognizes 41 A-bomb radiation victims but denies damages

[JURIST] Two days before the 61st anniversary [BBC backgrounder] of the first US atomic bombing of Japan [JURIST news archive], the Hiroshima District Court in Japan ruled Friday that 41 survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were incorrectly denied benefits as sufferers of radiation sickness, but their demands for damages was not approved. The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers' Organizations [advocacy website] supported the survivors in the suit and their bid for $26,000 each. Japan gives an average of $1,200 per month to radiation sufferers and $300 to other survivors, but the court did not explain their denial of benefits to the 41 survivors.

Approximately 183 individuals have filed suit against the Japanese government to petition for recognition as radiation sufferers as a result of the bombings, according to the confederation for bomb victims. The government has formally recognized 260,000 survivors as of March 2006, according to the Japanese Health Ministry [official website], but just under 3,000 were given status as radiation sufferers. AP has more. The Japan Times has local coverage.

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