Hepatitis B sufferers and the government are holding talks at Sapporo District Court on a lawsuit filed by hepatitis B patients who accuse the government of failing to take steps to eliminate the risk of hepatitis B virus infection from needle-sharing during mass vaccination programs before 1989.

In October, the government offered to pay ¥5 million, ¥10 million or ¥25 million to hepatitis B victims in compensation depending on the degree of suffering. The compensation would also have covered hepatitis B victims who have not joined lawsuits filed by 420 sufferers at 10 district courts. The government estimated that it would have to spend up to ¥2 trillion over 30 years.

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