• Kyodo

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A 90-year-old South Korean man sued the Nagasaki Municipal Government on Tuesday for official recognition as an atomic-bomb sufferer.

Pak Jong-gyu, a resident of South Jeolla province who was forced to come to Japan as a worker in August 1944, filed the suit in the Nagasaki District Court.

When the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, he was working at a shipyard on Koyagi Island about 10 km southwest of ground zero.

Pak applied for official designation as an A-bomb survivor last year. The city turned down his request on the grounds that central government relief measures for atomic-bomb victims do not cover Koyagi Island.

The central government designates the area for relief measures for Nagasaki as being 12 km to the north and south and “several” kilometers to the east and west of ground zero.

Some 390 people who lived through the Nagasaki bombing are seeking official designation as A-bomb sufferers at the Fukuoka High Court and about 160 others have a lawsuit in the Nagasaki District Court. Pak’s supporters say he is the first foreign resident to join the court battles.

Certified sufferers can receive medical treatment free of charge as well as various allowances.

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