FUKUOKA – The Fukuoka High Court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling awarding 330,000 yen to an atomic-bombing survivor who had been denied medical benefits while living overseas.
Presiding Judge Takayuki Minoda said the statute of limitations for the obligation to make the payment under the Civil Code had expired.
The Nagasaki District Court had ordered the government and the city of Nagasaki to pay benefits to Masahito Hirose, 73, who was exposed to the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.
Hirose began receiving medical benefits beginning in 1973, but they were not paid during the 10 months between October 1994 and July 1995 while he was teaching Japanese in China.
During the appellate trial, the state acknowledged that the payments should have been continued even if the victim was not residing in Japan, and the focus then shifted to whether the obligation to pay had expired.
Minoda rejected the district court ruling, which stated that the argument that such obligations had expired was an abuse of authority. He ruled that “there was no room” to think so.