Japan won’t appeal court decision on Korean A-bomb

Japan won't appeal a ruling giving an atomic bomb survivor living overseas the same benefits as survivors living in Japan, the government's top spokesman said Friday.

Choi Kye-chul, a South Korean who survived the Aug. 9, 1945 bombing of Nagasaki and later returned to South Korea, won a court decision last month granting him medical benefits and funeral expenses.

On Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said the government wouldn't appeal the ruling after talking with authorities in the city of Nagasaki, whose own appeal was rejected last month by the Fukuoka High Court in southwestern Japan.

"We should now give sufficient consideration to provide victims living overseas the same benefits as those in Japan," Hosoda said. Kyodo News agency said Choi in 1980 received a government certificate recognizing him as an atomic bomb victim, making him eligible for state health care allowances.

However, he filed suit in February 2004 after his application for benefits was rejected. Choi died in July of that year.

There are more than 285,000 survivors of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima nuclear attacks, including 5,000 living abroad, many of them Korean, reports the AP. I.L.

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