Comment on Rulings on Compensation for Korean and Taiwanese Former Hansen's Patients
Today, the Tokyo District Court made different rulings on two lawsuits brought by former Hansen's patients who had been in sanitariums in Korean Peninsula and Taiwan which then Japanese government had established during the Japanese colonization. The plaintiffs were seeking the repeal of the government's rejection of their requests for compensation under the Hansen's Disease Compensation Law enacted in 2001. One ruling approved the government’s rejection while the other repealed it.
The Hansen's Disease Compensation Law was established aiming to relieve the former Hansen's patients who have been suffering physical and emotional wounds from discrimination and prejudice and to ensure their peaceful life in the future. Those who were in the sanitariums in Korean Peninsula and Taiwan under the Japanese occupation received unfair discrimination and prejudice as well as former Hansen's patients who were in such sanitariums in Japan. In addition, they were oppressed by the Japanese colonial administration. Therefore, there is a high need to relieve them. It was pointed out in the final report by the Study Panel on Hansen's Disease submitted to the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare in March, 2005, that their human rights were doubly violated in such ways.
As those who were in the sanitariums for the Hansen's patients are aging, the Hansen's disease issues should be immediately resolved. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations urges the government to immediately provide relief for all of them without waiting for the final court decision in order to ensure not to give them any more physical and emotional suffering.
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
October 25, 2005