(社説)被爆者の援護 国は争いに終止符を

June 03, 2014
EDITORIAL: Time to make peace with hibakusha A-bomb survivors
(社説)被爆者の援護 国は争いに終止符を

The 69th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is looming. The long-running legal battles between hibakusha survivors of the 1945 attacks and the government should be settled as soon as possible. It is the government that should take the initiative.
 広島、長崎への原爆投下からまもなく69年。被害者と国との争いを一刻も早く終わらせたい。動くべきは国である。

The number of A-bomb survivors who have a hibakusha certificate book issued by the government is expected to fall below 200,000 this year. In recent years, the figure has been declining at an annual rate of more than 8,000. It now stands at around half of its peak in the 1980s.
 国の被爆者健康手帳を持つ人が今年、20万人を割り込む見通しだ。最近は年8千人超のペースで減り、ピークだった80年代のほぼ半分になった。

What should be noted here is that people with the certificate book don’t constitute all the victims of the A-bombings or their aftermath. Some people have not applied for the hibakusha book out of concerns that their families may suffer discrimination because of their radiation-related diseases.
Quite a few others have been denied the certificate book on grounds there is no witness who can testify to the truth of their claims of suffering exposure.
 注意したいのは、手帳を持つ人が原爆被害者のすべてではないということだ。家族への偏見を恐れて手帳を取らない人や、被爆体験を裏付ける証人が見つからずに手帳を取れない人も少なくない。

There are people who received high doses of radiation as a result of the “black rain” that fell on suburbs in Hiroshima after the attack. In Nagasaki, many people were exposed to radiation even though they were not in the designated atomic-bombed area. These people have also demanded the same level of aid as that received by the holders of the hibakusha book, but the government has so far rejected their demands.
 広島郊外で「黒い雨」を浴びた人や長崎周辺の国の指定地域外にいた「被爆体験者」も、手帳所持者と同等の援護を訴えているが、国は拒んだままだ。

Over the past 11 years, A-bomb survivors who have the book have filed a series of lawsuits against the government in an effort to change the system by which hibakusha are judged as suffering from radiation-related illnesses. In most of these suits, the courts have handed down rulings in favor of the plaintiffs. It is rare for the government to suffer such a series of defeats in administrative cases.
 手帳を持つ被爆者たちも11年前から原爆症認定をめぐる裁判を相次いで起こした。行政訴訟では異例なことに、国はほとんど負けた。

In December 2013, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare partially revised its criteria for recognition of atomic bomb diseases. Still, since then, three related court rulings have gone against the government.
厚生労働省は昨年12月、認定基準を一部改めたが、その後もすでに3回、国側敗訴の判決が出ている。

Let us think afresh as to what is the greatest wish of A-bomb survivors.
 もう一度考えてみたい。原爆に遭った人たちが、最も願っていることはなんだろうか。

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, which was established in 1956, is dedicated to the cause of preventing further and future suffering from nuclear weapons. The two key goals of the organization have been the elimination of nuclear arms and support for hibakusha.
 1956年に結成された日本原水爆被害者団体協議会は、核兵器による被害を再び繰り返さないことを目標とし、核兵器廃絶と被爆者援護を運動の二つの柱にしてきた。

The lawsuits concerning official recognition of illnesses caused by A-bomb radiation tend to be seen as attempts to obtain greater support. But that’s not the only purpose.
 原爆症認定訴訟は「援護を手厚く」という要求とみられがちだが、それだけではない。

Hibakusha have urged the Japanese government, which started the war, to recognize correctly the damage caused by the atomic bombings and pay appropriate compensation to the victims because they believe these actions should be a first step in the effort to prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.
 被爆者は、戦争を起こした日本政府が原爆被害の実態を正しく認め、被害者に償うことが、悲劇を繰り返さないための第一歩になる、と訴えてきた。

But the health ministry has limited the eligibility for the government’s hibakusha relief program mostly to people suffering from the effects of exposure to radiation. As for people who are believed to have been exposed to relatively low levels of radiation, the ministry is reluctant to recognize them as A-bomb disease sufferers even if they are showing related symptoms. The ministry has refused to change its stance despite a string of court rulings that criticized its position on the issue as inconsistent with the spirit of the atomic bomb survivor relief law.
 だが厚労省は、救済対象を放射線による健康被害にほぼ限定した。浴びた線量が低いとみられる人たちが病気になっても、原爆症となかなか認めない。こうした線引きが被爆者援護法の趣旨に反するという司法判断が続いても、姿勢を改めようとしない。

Is the government waiting for these people to die? We urge the administration headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to respond sincerely to the question asked by angry hibakusha. The administration should acknowledge the government’s responsibility and take steps to end the legal battles. A radical revision to the criteria for recognition of A-bomb diseases would be a good place to start.
 「死に絶えるのを待っているのか」という被爆者らの憤りの声に安倍政権は向き合ってほしい。国の責任を認め、争いに幕を引くべきだ。まずは認定基準の抜本改定である。

The inhuman nature of nuclear weapons is attracting serious attention from the international community. If hibakusha, who are living witnesses to the inhuman nature of nuclear arms, and the government of the country that has experienced nuclear attacks can work together harmoniously, such cooperation would contribute greatly to the efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
 国際社会では核兵器の非人道性が注目されている。非人道性を身をもって知る被爆者と、被爆国がわだかまりなく共に歩めれば、核兵器廃絶に向け、このうえない力になるはずだ。

Abe is expected to visit the two cities this summer once again. Boilerplate speeches and superficial conversations will be meaningless. Abe needs to pay serious attention to the true wishes of hibakusha and take action immediately in response to their voices.
 安倍首相はこの夏も被爆地を訪れることになろう。通り一遍の対話では意味がない。被爆者らの真の願いに耳を傾け、ただちに行動をとってもらいたい。

–The Asahi Shimbun, June 3

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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