Injured ASDF radioman to sue state

Kyodo

A former Air Self-Defense Forces radio operator severely injured while stationed in Kuwait in 2006 following the 2003 U.S.-led war against Iraq, will sue the government next month for damages, his lawyer said Monday.

Yorimasa Ikeda, 40, who left the ASDF last October, is the first SDF member of those dispatched under the Japan’s Iraq special measures law for supporting postwar reconstruction to sue the government.

Ikeda claims he was not given proper medical care or quickly returned to Japan after being hit by a U.S. bus during a footrace sponsored by U.S. forces in July 2006, his lawyer said.

An ASDF representative said Ikeda received appropriate treatment at a U.S. forces hospital, although written reports on his injuries no longer exist.

The lawyer said the Japanese government might be attempting to avoid any trouble related to U.S. forces by concealing any injuries involving SDF troops sent to the Middle East.