The statement issued by Kwak Kifun and The Korean Society of Human Rights

On June 17, The press conference began at 10:30 the conference room of Krean Democratic Party. And the plaintiff; Mr.Kwak Kifun and the members of The Kerean Society of Human Rights issued the statement to file a protest with Japanese Government. as follows;

The Statement

The protection law for Hibakusha(A-bomb victims)issued by Japanese Government should be applicable to all the A-bomb victims living in foreign countries.

Although Osaka District Court firmly ruled that all the A-bomb victims should be protected by Japanese Government regardless of their nationalities and races, the government appealed to the High Court on June 15.
Taking such a mean to wait for the death of all the A-bomb victims who have reached advanced ages outside Japan, is so cruel, inhumance, and unforgivable. For that reason, we shall issue this statement here to impeach the goverment.

We, again, request the government to take an action to support A-bomb victims living in foreign countries who have now the trebled suffering, following the ruling of the judicature based on the spirits of the fundamentals of the protection law.

The plaintiff of the lawsuit requesting the application of the protection law against all the A-bomb victims living in foreign countries; Kwak Kifun

iFor Overseas Application of the Protection Law)

On June 1, Osaka District Court in Japan closed the case of "Comfirmation of requirements for health care aid" acccusing Osaka Prefecture and the Japanese Government, giving the clear dicision in favor of the plaintiff, a Korean A-bomb victim, Kwak Kifun, 78, living now in Kyon-gi Dou Son-Nam South Korea, who was drafted into Japanese Army by force during World War U and became Hibakusha at Hiroshima.

In the ruling, the District Court has clearly pointed out:

1 The idea of issuing the Protection Law is largely based on the consideration for indivisuals who have histories of being A-bomb victims.

2 There is no reason to apply the territorial principle to it.

3 Excluding people living outside Japan for the application could be violation of the Constitution of Japan that holds the Principle of Equality described in Chapter 14.

4 The Protection Law has two funcitions created for both social security for humanity and national indemnities.

5 Therefore the government's aid must be given to all the A-bomb victims regardless of their residential locations.

We had been welcoming the ruling of Osaka District Court as it brought some of responsibilities of the Japanese Government for the postwar into light, hoping it would be a good turning point to ease the sufferings of over 5,000 Hibakusha living outside Japan, although we still feel it was a bit too late.

We had also been very happy to see noticeable welcoming responses of major Japanese mass medias, some conscientious politicians, and citizens in Japan that looked pushing away some falsifications of historical facts and rightist movements often found in modern Japanese society, and hoping that Japan would redeem its credit against some of the Asian countries suffered from the the war, without bringing an intermediate appeal in a court.

However, on June 15, the Ministry of the Public Welfare and Labor in Japan and Osaka Prefecture together appealed to the court based on the same logic that had already been desmissed by the Judicature.

Such an practice of the Japanese Government is based on the same idea for the evasion of responsibility against the "comfort women in Japanese Military"issue , and that forces the old victims' sufferings to be doubled.
We see it as a sacrilege to humanity.

Also, it could be the acceleration of descrimination preexisting in Japanese society, especially when one conciders that the Japanese Government did not bring an intermediate appeal in a court for "Hansen's disease lawsuit" but "Hibakusha-related-lawsuits"for foreign poeple.

We, the Korean Society of Human Rights, shall claim against the Japanese Government as follows:

1 We impeach the Japanese Government for its inhumance and discriminating practice.

2.The victims do not have much time left for the fight because of their ages. Therefore, the Japanese Government should withdraw their claim as soon as possible and help them following the idea of Protection Law.

3.The Japanese Government should take responsibility for Japanese Military's comfort women issue and correct falsifications of their history, following the law of international obligation and humanity.

From now on, we, the members of Korean Society of Human Rights, are going to strengthen our activities to support the overseas victims who are to be given the equal aid, and also to claim the responsibility of the Japanese
Government for the war requesting leagal actions, keeping close contact with other organizations for Hibakusha in Japan, the Overseas Application of the Protection Law Committee composed by Japanese Diet members in active service, and other supportive groups.

June 17 2001

Korean Society of Human Rights Representative;@Yan My-gan

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