ビキニ被曝提訴 国の情報開示があまりに遅い

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Govt too late in disclosing radiation data from H-bomb tests at Bikini Atoll
ビキニ被曝提訴 国の情報開示があまりに遅い

Can a recent lawsuit help uncover the damage caused by U.S. hydrogen bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll, which are still surrounded by so many mysteries?
謎の多い「ビキニ被曝ひばく」の被害の解明につながるだろうか。

The tests were conducted in the Bikini Atoll of the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific in 1954. A group of 45 people — including former crew members of fishing boats that were operating in waters around the test site and members of the families of deceased former fishermen — have filed the suit with the Kochi District Court to seek compensation from the state.
中部太平洋・マーシャル諸島のビキニ環礁で1954年、米国が水爆実験を実施した。その際、周辺で操業していた漁船の元乗組員や遺族ら45人が、高知地裁に国家賠償請求訴訟を起こした。

There were more than 270 cases in which fishing boats from Kochi Prefecture alone were operating in waters near the site when they were exposed to radiation from the six hydrogen bomb tests conducted from March to May that year. The government conducted surveys of the damage but did not disclose the results.
54年3~5月に計6回行われた水爆実験の際、付近の海域で操業中だった高知県の漁船だけで延べ270隻以上が被曝した。国は、被災状況を調査しながら、結果を開示しなかった。

The plaintiffs claim that the government’s reluctance to disclose these records deprived them of the opportunity to seek compensation, and are demanding ¥2 million per person.
これにより、補償を請求する機会が失われた、と原告側は主張し、1人当たり200万円の慰謝料を求めている。

It is widely known that 23 crew members of the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, a tuna fishing boat from Shizuoka Prefecture, were exposed to radiation through one of the hydrogen bomb tests at the Bikini Atoll. One of the crew died half a year later.
問題の水爆実験では、静岡県のマグロ漁船「第五福竜丸」の乗組員23人が被曝し、半年後に1人が死亡した事件が広く知られる。

However, the actual damage to other Japanese fishing boats remains unclear.
だが、それ以外の日本漁船の被災実態は判然としていない。

Regarding the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, the Japanese and U.S. governments reached a political settlement in January 1955, in which the United States agreed to pay $2 million in compensation to Japan, regardless of Washington’s legal responsibility.
第五福竜丸事件を巡っては、55年1月、米国が法的責任とは無関係に慰謝料200万ドルを日本側に支払うことで政治決着した。

Explain convincingly

The plaintiffs accuse the Japanese government of releasing the U.S. government from legal liability through the settlement. However, Japan reached the agreement very soon after regaining independence and the deal certainly reflected a high level of political judgement. There are elements of this settlement that do not allow us to judge it casually.
原告側は、日本政府が米国の法的責任を免除したと批判する。ただ、日本が独立を回復して間もない時期であり、高度な政治的判断が背景にあったのは、間違いあるまい。政治決着の是非は軽々に判断できない側面があろう。

The problem is that the government did not disclose the records of its investigations for decades. It only made them public in September 2014 following a request for disclosure from a support group for the plaintiffs and other parties concerned. We can only describe the disclosure as too late.
問題なのは、日本政府が長年、調査資料を明らかにしてこなかったことだ。原告側の支援団体などの情報公開請求に応じ、一昨年9月にようやく開示された。遅すぎたと言わざるを得ない。

The government’s documents, which were used by the plaintiffs as evidence of the harm they suffered, detail the investigations into 556 cases of the radiation exposure of fishing boats and their crew members.
今回、原告側が被災の根拠とした国の資料には、延べ556隻の船体や船員の被曝状況に関する調査結果が記載されている。

It cannot be overlooked that the government had long denied the existence of those documents, most notably when it said these records “cannot be found” in response to a question posed in the Diet in 1986.
こうした資料の存在を、政府が86年の国会答弁などで「見つからない」と否定してきたことも看過できない。

Asked why their whereabouts were suddenly known, the government said it discovered them “at a repository following an exhaustive search.”
一転して見つかった経緯については、「徹底的に捜索し、倉庫で見つけた」と釈明した。

The government cannot help but be suspected to have intentionally concealed the documents. It is understandable that former fishermen and bereaved relatives of deceased former crew members feel that way, because they could not even know whether they were exposed to radiation.
意図的に隠していたと疑われても仕方あるまい。自らの被災の有無さえ知り得なかった元乗組員や遺族の心情は理解できる。

Most of the former crew members who have joined the lawsuit are now over 80 years old, and many of them say their health is deteriorating. More people could claim they were harmed as more details are discovered about radiation exposure from the hydrogen bomb tests.
原告の元乗組員の多くは80歳を超えている。体調の悪化を訴える人も多い。実態が明らかになるにつれ、被害を訴える人がさらに増えることも予想される。

According to the government’s documents, the doses of radiation experienced by former crew members and others from the hydrogen bomb tests were much lower than the permissible level set for accidents by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Even so, the government has a responsibility to provide convincing explanations.
国の資料によると、元乗組員らの被曝線量は、国際放射線防護委員会が、事故時に許容されるとしているレベルを大幅に下回るという。そうであっても、国は納得のいく説明を尽くす責任がある。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2016)

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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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