• Kyodo

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Plaintiffs in a Nagoya air pollution suit against the central government and 10 industrial companies gathered Wednesday to formally settle the dispute.

They received apologies from the defendant companies and are expected to receive compensation of more than 1.5 billion yen.

About 300 patients officially recognized as suffering from diseases related to air pollution, relatives of people killed by such maladies and representatives of the companies attended the settlement ceremony marking the end of their 12-year dispute.

During the ceremony, the firms admitted responsibility for the pollution and apologized to the patients and relatives.

The 10 companies are Chubu Electric Power Co., Nippon Steel Corp., Toray Industries Inc., Aichi Steel Corp., Daido Steel Co., Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Toho Gas Co., Toagosei Co., Nichiha Corp. and Chubu Steel Plate Co.

The plaintiffs sued the companies and the central government in three groups from 1989 to 1997, seeking a total of 8.2 billion yen in compensation.

Under the settlement reached Monday, the 10 firms agreed to pay total compensation of 1.52 billion yen, while the plaintiffs agreed to drop compensation claims and demands that the central government halt emissions of pollutants.

The government is also expected to take prompt measures to ensure air pollution in the region does not exceed environmental limits, according to the settlement.

The defendants and the first group of plaintiffs were expected to formally accept the settlement plan in the afternoon.

Likewise, the second and third groups of plaintiffs, the 10 firms and the government were to formally accept the settlement after the Nagoya District Court presented it to them in the afternoon.

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