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'Black Rain' Survivors Recognized in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hiroshima

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be considering whether to certify a group of Hiroshima plaintiffs as A-bomb survivors. The Hiroshima District Court ordered authorities on July 29 to recognize a group of plaintiffs as hibakusha, or A-bomb survivors.

84 residents of Hiroshima City and a neighboring town had been demanding the same healthcare benefits as other survivors. The plaintiffs said they were exposed to radioactive fallout in the form of "black rain" in August 1945. But Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has not clarified whether the central government will file an appeal. He said he is deliberating with relevant ministries and agencies on possible measures.

When the government officially recognizes someone as an a-bomb survivor, that person is issued a so-called "Atomic Bomb Survivor's Certificate." The certification gives survivors access to free health care and other governmental benefits under the Atomic Bomb Survivors' Assistance Act. 136,682 people possessed the certificates as of March 2020.