• Kyodo

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Seven South Korean atomic bomb survivors are suing Osaka Prefecture, claiming it illegally dismissed their applications for survivors’ certificates because they did not visit Japan.

In a lawsuit filed with the Osaka District Court, the plaintiffs seek a nullification of the decision and 1.1 million yen in compensation. They want both the prefectural and central governments to pay the damages.

According to the lawsuit, the women, now aged 63 to 96, returned to what became South Korea after surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

They received documents from the Hiroshima Municipal Government in 2003 recognizing them as hibakusha. Such documents are issued to atomic bomb survivors who live abroad and cannot easily visit Japan for such reasons as health problems.

The documents help facilitate procedures for overseas hibakusha to obtain survivors’ certificates, which entitle them to receive a medical allowance.

The plaintiffs, some of whom are bedridden, applied in June to Osaka Prefecture for the certificate via supporters in Japan, but their applications were dismissed.

They applied in Osaka because that is where their support group is based.

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