Japan court recognizes atomic bomb 'black rain' victims
Japan Times -- Jul 30
The Hiroshima District Court on Wednesday for the first time recognized people exposed to radioactive "black rain" that fell after the 1945 U.S. atomic attack on Hiroshima as atomic bomb survivors, ordering the city and the prefecture to provide the same government medical benefits as given to other survivors.

The court said all 84 plaintiffs who were outside of a zone previously set by the government as where radioactive rain fell also developed radiation-induced illnesses and should be certified as atomic bomb victims. All of the plaintiffs are older than their late 70s, with some in their 90s.

The landmark ruling comes a week before the city marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. bombing.

The U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people and almost destroying the entire city. The plaintiffs were in areas northwest of the ground zero where radioactive black rain fell hours after the bomb was dropped.

The plaintiffs have developed 11 illnesses such as cancer and cataracts linked to radiation after they were exposed to black rain, not just that which fell but also by taking water and food in the area contaminated with radiation.

They filed the lawsuit after Hiroshima city and prefectural officials rejected their request to expand the zone to cover their areas where black rain also fell.

原告全員を「被爆者として認める」。初めての司法判断です。  5年前に始まったこの裁判は、広島に原爆が投下された直後、国が定めた区域の外でいわゆる「黒い雨」を浴びて健康被害が出たとして、住民ら84人が県と市に被爆者手帳の交付などを求めているものです。国が1976年に指定した区域の合理性が主な争点となってきました。29日に広島地裁は「被爆者健康手帳の申請の却下を取り消す」として、原告全員を被爆者として認めました。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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