Bill to set up fund for atomic bomb sufferers clears lower house panel

December 1, 2009 2:33 pm 

TOKYO, Dec. 1 — A bill to establish a fund for people who are suffering from radiation-linked illnesses due to the 1945 atomic bombings and have lost lawsuits against the state for compensation cleared the House of Representatives' Health, Labor and Welfare Committee on Tuesday.

The bill, which passed the House of Councilors on Monday, is set to become law as it is expected to clear the lower house at a plenary session later in the day.

Under the bill, a 300 million yen fund will be established and plaintiffs who lost the lawsuits will receive compensation out of the fund. The number of those who will be eligible for such relief will be around 30, according to the lawyers representing them.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party abstained from voting at the upper house Monday, but the bill won unanimous approval from those who attended the plenary session.

Since the start of the current Diet session, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged to enact a law to expand the scope of government relief for sufferers of radiation-related diseases linked to the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (PNA/Kyodo)

ALM/ebp

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