NAGASAKI – Children of Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors sued the central government Monday over a lack of financial support, following a similar suit filed by second-generation hibakusha in Hiroshima last week.
Claiming that their parents’ exposure to radiation in the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki has affected their health, the 25 plaintiffs are demanding that the government pay them ¥100,000 each in compensation, the same amount sought in the Hiroshima suit.
The Hiroshima case, filed Friday, is the nation’s first lawsuit over the radiation impact of the wartime atomic bombings on survivors’ children, according to the plaintiffs.
“We have been asking for support from the government for over 30 years but have never seen it realized,” said Noboru Sakiyama, 58, the leader of the Nagasaki plaintiffs and chairman of the national liaison council of second-generation hibakusha. “We want to solve the issue in court.”
The government currently provides various forms of financial assistance to recognized survivors and covers the full cost of their medical expenses. Such aid has not been extended to their children.
The lawsuit filed by the plaintiffs before the Nagasaki District Court argues that there is no rational reason to disqualify children of hibakusha from such aid. In making its case, the suit cites research that points to the genetic effects of radiation exposure and to Diet deliberations in the 1980s that discussed the need to extend such help to second-generation hibakusha.
The plaintiffs claim the government’s failure to provide adequate aid to second-generation hibakusha violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equality and the right to pursue happiness.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry declined to comment, saying it had not yet seen the complaint.