The Trial of the Bombing

In 1955 five courageous survivors of Hiroshima sued the Japanese government at the Tokyo District Court for surrendering to the U. S. all rights of compensation for war damages. But it was only an ostensible reason. They were virtually suing the U. S. government for dropping the Bomb. The verdict was handed down eight years later and it said in part:

"......the pain caused by the atomic bomb is much more than that of the poison or poison gas. The act of dropping such a cruel bomb consists of a violation of the basic principle of the laws regulating warfare that ban the infliction of unnecessary pain upon the noncombatants.

The verdict went on to say, however, that the individuals had no right of redemption for their damage under either domestic law or international law. It is the political responsibility of the government to give enough compensation to the victims.

"Today. . .we have the Act Concerning the Medical Treatment for the A-Bomb Survivors, but, within the present scope of the law, it hardly consists of relief or aid to the victims of the bombing. It is the government that bears the responsibility of having led many of its citizens to death, having caused them injuries and driven them to a life of anxiety. The extent of the damage is not comparable to ordinary calamities. It goes without saying that the defendant, the State, should provide full relief measures for the victims... It is utterly inconceivable that taking such measures is financially impossible for this country which has made a tremendous economic growth. In this litigation. We do but lament the extreme indifference of the government.

The government, however, has virtually ignored the verdict. And the survivors are still demanding that the government should provide adequate guarantee for their survival.

In September 1965, another trial of the bombing was brought to the court by victim-survivors of the atomic bombing who have moved back to Okinawa. There are 282 known survivors as of May 1970 living on islands where the United States still stores her nuclear weapons. Their bone of contention is that, so long as the Constitution of Japan guarantees every Japanese equality under the law, the victims in Okinawa should have the right to the medical treatment which the survivors in the mainland are entitled to. They ask the government to apply the medical care for the A-bombed to the survivors living in Okinawa. The case is still in the courts.