Health and welfare minister Yoichi Masuzoe has announced that the government would not appeal to the Supreme Court the May 28 Tokyo High Court ruling that recognized 29 of 30 plaintiffs as sufferers of illnesses caused by radiation exposure from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Among the 29 were nine plaintiffs whose request for recognition had been rejected under the new April 2008 criteria intended to certify more people as sufferers.

Under the eased criteria, 2,969 people were certified in fiscal 2008, about 23 times more than in fiscal 2007. The fiscal 2009 budget includes money to cover the certification of 2,800 more people. Those certified as sufferers of A-bomb illnesses receive a monthly allowance of some ¥137,000 plus free medical treatment.

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