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Widow takes on government in wake of husband’s death

Date Posted: 2006-02-16

Noboru Adania worked for the American military for 30 years, and then retired.

Five years later, Adania was dead, a victim of lung cancer. Adania had worked as a boilerman on Camp Kinser, repairing and maintaining steam pipes. In May 2001 he was admitted to a local hospital; six months later, in November, he died.

Adania’s widow is charging her husband was a victim of asbestos poisoning. “I’m so upset, because the government knew why my husband died. I wish I had known, and he had known, before he died.”

She’s teaming now with the Okinawa Labor Safety Hygiene Center to identify others who may have asbestos poisoning. The Center is supporting Noboru’s widow, and has published information from the Labor Standards Bureau. The Center has been instrumental in tracking Japanese nationals who worked in U.S. facilities.

When Noboru was first diagnosed with lung cancer, it was widely assumed it was because he smoked heavily. Now, his widow says, they know better. “I’ll fight for justice after my husband if someone has the same problem as my husband did with asbestos. I want to fight with them, and without the support of the Okinawa Labor Safety Hygiene Center, it will never be done.”

The Center is now focusing on obtaining a settlement on behalf of another local worker who died in 2001. That U.S. government employee had worked with asbestos on Kadena Air Base.

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