NAGASAKI – The city of Nagasaki and the central government have decided to pay medical allowances to a South Korean atomic-bomb survivor living abroad while continuing to fight against a high court ruling on the case, it was learned Saturday.
The Nagasaki Municipal Government decided to pay about 1.03 million yen in unpaid allowances to Lee Kang Young, 77, in line with an ordinance that stipulates payments of such an allowance, a city official said.
The decision was also made to respect Lee’s wishes as he is getting old, the official said.
The central government has been fighting the February 2003 ruling by the Fukuoka High Court, which rejected its appeal and upheld a Nagasaki District Court ruling.
The high court upheld the district court’s 2001 ruling that atomic-bomb survivors, or hibakusha, living abroad are eligible to receive the allowance and said the central government must pay Lee the 1.03 million yen.
The district court ruled that Lee has the right to receive the medical allowance even after leaving Japan because his departure did not change his status as a hibakusha.
The district court said only the central government should fund the allowance payment, as the city was merely acting as an agent.
In its appeal of that decision, the central government maintained that the allowances are limited to survivors living in Japan.
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