• Kyodo


A building materials manufacturing company will pay 25 million yen to the wife of a former employee who died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, company officials said Wednesday.

A&A Material Corp. determined that it cannot deny a causal relationship between asbestos and the death last November of the 61-year-old man, the officials said. He had worked at the firm’s factory in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, producing insulating material containing asbestos from 1963 to 1968.

He developed mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer widely believed to be linked to asbestos, in September 2003 after leaving the company. He qualified for workers’ compensation in October 2004.

The firm will also pay 14 million yen for lost work to a former male employee, 71, who was diagnosed with lung asbestosis and qualified for workers’ compensation last August, the officials said.

In addition, it will pay a settlement of 2 million yen to a 64-year-old man who used to work for the manufacturer and has been diagnosed with pleural plaque — a condition often caused by asbestos in which a thickened patch develops on the chest wall membrane covering the lungs, they said.

A group supporting relatives of people who have died of asbestos-related illnesses said it is of “great significance” that someone suffering pleural plaque was able to win compensation.

“This company has factories in many locations, and it should fully shed light on the extent of damage and also take the step of compensating residents near the factories,” a group member said.

A&A Material produced building materials containing asbestos until September 2004. It has said that at least 27 of its employees have died of illnesses believed to be caused by asbestos, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.

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