National

Offspring of A-bomb victims seek more aid

A group of Japanese and Koreans born to victims of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings agreed Sunday at a Tokyo symposium to step up cooperation in urging the Japanese government to improve their medical and welfare measures.

The government “should work to grasp more accurately the situation surrounding us, the second generation of radiation victims,” said Nobuto Hirano, who heads a nationwide group of second-generation victims in Japan.

In their fourth annual forum, Hirano and others, including Lee Seung Deok, a representative of the South Korean group, expressed hope that Japan will conduct health checks for them more frequently. Checks are currently offered only once a year, symposium participants said.

They also want the government to amend an existing law for supporting A-bomb victims.

The law compensates only Japanese radiation victims and babies in the womb of mothers who were pregnant at the time of the bombings. It does not extend to newborns or mothers who became pregnant after the attacks, or foreign nationals.

When Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed in the closing days of World War II in 1945, a number of Koreans and other foreigners were in the areas.

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