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Man sues government for leprosy treatment

Date Posted: 1998-08-21

Hiroshi Shinzato, 63, was a junior high school student in Tarama Village, when he was diagnosed with Hansen's disease and his teachers told him not to come to school because they were afraid of leprosy. It was the official policy of the Japanese government at the time was to place affected persons in isolation in sanitariums.

Shinsato would be the first Okinawan person to sue the government for the treatment which he says violated his basic human rights, and therefore the government owns a compensation to the victims.

A medicine, Promine, was discovered in the 40's which provided a cure for leprosy, and the treatment become available for Okinawan leprosy patients, because Okinawa was the under U.S. administration. Shinsato also fully recovered from his disease.

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