Jul 10, 2014

Minamata disease applications rejected under new criteria

The Environment Ministry said Wednesday it has rejected demands from four people to be officially recognized as sufferers of Minamata mercury-poisoning disease, under new criteria adopted in March. Following recommendations by an ad hoc certification panel, the ministry made its first judgments on applications ...

Lecture series keeps Minamata in spotlight

Jul 9, 2014

Lecture series keeps Minamata in spotlight

by Keiji Hirano

A Tokyo nonprofit organization is launching a major series of lectures on Minamata disease, following a first round in 2012, as part of continuing efforts to spread awareness of the tragedy. Minamata disease was identified in 1956 as a form of mercury poisoning stemming ...

Court rules in favor of three Minamata sufferers

Mar 31, 2014

Court rules in favor of three Minamata sufferers

The Kumamoto District Court on Monday ordered the state, the Kumamoto Prefectural Government and Chisso Corp. to pay damages to three of eight unrecognized Minamata disease sufferers who sued them. In ruling on the ¥212 million damages suit, the court ordered the payment of ...

Mar 17, 2014

New burden for Minamata victims

The Environment Ministry appears to have relaxed conditions for the official recognition of Minamata disease victims, but the attached record-keeping requirements make it unlikely that many more people will receive financial relief.

Changes in recognition of Minamata disease victims proposed

Jan 11, 2014

Changes in recognition of Minamata disease victims proposed

The Environment Ministry plans to propose changes to make it possible for people who suffer only from sensation disorders to be recognized as victims of the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease, officials said Friday. Under the government’s criteria adopted in 1977, recognition of Minamata disease sufferers ...

Photo show spans Minamata woes

Nov 12, 2013

Photo show spans Minamata woes

by Keiji Hirano

Some 60 pictures by a freelance photographer currently on display at a gallery in central Tokyo show glimpses of the half-century history of Minamata disease victims. Since his first visit to Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 1960 as a rookie photographer just out of college, ...

Minamata Convention is adopted

Oct 10, 2013

Minamata Convention is adopted

A thousand delegates from around 140 nations adopt a treaty in Kumamoto regulating the use and trade of mercury at a global conference organized by the U.N. Environment Program.

Minamata mercury treaty finds skeptics

Oct 7, 2013

Minamata mercury treaty finds skeptics

by Eric Johnston

Delegates from about 130 countries will gather Wednesday in the Kumamoto Prefecture cities of Minamata and Kumamoto for a three-day meeting to finalize a new international treaty seeking to ban or greatly limit the use of mercury. But critics say the treaty contains too ...

Jul 19, 2013

Union journals shed light on Minamata disease

by Keiji Hirano

Journals detailing the activities of the now-disbanded labor union of Chisso Corp., responsible for the outbreak of the mercury-poisoning disease in Kyushu in the 1950s, have been reprinted to throw fresh light on how its members struggled to support victims of the pollution and ...

Jun 5, 2013

Minamata recognition criteria called outrage

The government must relax its strict criteria for officially recognizing victims of Minamata disease so more people can receive compensation, according to panelists at a symposium on the mercury-poisoning disease. Recognizing a woman posthumously as a Minamata disease victim in a landmark ruling in ...

Apr 30, 2013

Fukuoka next on Minamata exhibition tour

A Tokyo-based nonprofit organization will hold an exhibition in the city of Fukuoka in May focusing on Minamata disease. The event from May 15 to 17 will display samples of mercury-contaminated sludge from Minamata Bay in Kagoshima Prefecture and examples of the victims’ damaged ...