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Hansenís disease victims gain compensation

Date Posted: 2001-05-18

In a landmark ruling handed down Friday, the Japanese government was ordered by Kumamoto District Court to pay •1.82 billion in compensation to 127 former Hansen's disease patients who claimed their rights were violated because they were forced to isolation while being treated. The court upheld the claim by 127 plaintiffs that the state chose to maintain a prewar segregation policy in formulating the 1953 Leprosy Prevention Law, even though the disease is not highly contagious and a cure was developed in the 1940s.

Similar cases have also been brought to court in Tokyo and Okayama by a total of 779 former patients. A series of similar cases are scheduled to be tried in courts in the future. Among the plaintiffs, the largest number is from Okinawa, with a total of 337 plaintiffs.

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