A South Korean survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing who sought unpaid medical fees died Tuesday in a hospital in Busan, South Korea, a Japanese group supporting him said. He was 78.

Lee Kang Young, born in Kitakyushu, was exposed to radiation in the Aug. 9, 1945, blast while working in Nagasaki as a forced laborer.

Lee lived in South Korea after the end of World War II but came to Japan in July 1994 to receive medical treatment due to the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.

He was granted a three-year health management allowance, but the payments ceased when he returned to South Korea in September 1994.

He filed a lawsuit against the central and Nagasaki Municipal governments in 1999 to seek the unpaid health management allowances.

Lee won at both the Nagasaki District Court and the Fukuoka High Court, and then the Supreme Court handed down a ruling June 13 confirming that the Nagasaki Municipal Government has the responsibility to pay the health management allowances.

Before the top court issued the final ruling, the Nagasaki Municipal Government had already given Lee about 1.03 million yen in unpaid allowances.

He had been hospitalized for kidney failure caused by diabetes, the group said.

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