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Tatsuo Chiba, who along with other former Hansen’s disease patients won a landmark court ruling in 2001 against the government’s former segregation policy, died Sunday of liver failure, his supporters said. He was 63.

After meeting with Chiba and other former Hansen’s patients, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi decided not to appeal the May 2001 ruling and apologized in a political move aimed at settling the issue swiftly.

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