The Tokyo District Court on Tuesday rejected a demand by the wife and son of a freelance photojournalist assassinated in Iraq to receive insurance benefits over his death.
Before he left for Iraq in September 2003, Shinsuke Hashida purchased accident insurance from AIU Insurance Co. that paid 10 million yen if the insured died overseas.
Hashida and Kotaro Ogawa, also a journalist, were killed in an ambush in May 2004.
AIU refused to pay out on the policy because it said the circumstances of Hashida’s death fell under exemptions that included war, revolution, civil war and armed rebellion.
Presiding Judge Hiroyuki Shibata acknowledged that Hashida had not foreseen when he bought the insurance that he might be killed in Iraq and the policy would not cover certain circumstances.
Hashida was traveling in an area of frequent terrorist attacks, and his death was a result of “armed rebellion, which falls under the category of exemption,” Shibata ruled.
Hashida’s 52-year-old widow, Yukiko, and their 23-year old son, Daisuke, had demanded 7.5 million yen from AIU, the amount that would have been given to Hashida’s legal heir, as he had not listed a recipient on the policy.
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