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In September 2006, an experts’ forum submitted a report to the environment minister, stressing the urgent need for the central government to take the initiative in setting up a new, permanent framework to aid all victims of Minamata disease, including unrecognized and latent victims.

Yet, more than one year after the report, a final plan to rescue such victims does not exist, although more than 5,000 people seek recognition as victims of the disease, a symbol of Japan’s postwar industrial pollution. It is uncertain whether a project team put together by the ruling coalition can present an equitable plan that compares even with a 1995 government program.

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