Leprosy patients' relatives seek damages, apology for discrimination

By Takuya Okamoto

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The government, however, argued in the suit filed two years ago that the isolation policy for leprosy patients did not cause damage to their family members, while admitting segregative measures caused discrimination and prejudice against the patients to spread.

The government has not provided any compensation to the family members of leprosy patients.

> "All I want is an apology from the government while I am alive."

I love Japan. I honestly do! It is my home and I'd put my life on the line for it. But there are so many things that need changing. Ms. Harada wants an apology from the government? I really hate to say, that probably might not happen because they believed it was the "right thing to do" without looking at the mental damages they've caused to the victims and their families.

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This scenario with leprosy patients was common all over the world. However, it seem as though Japan was slow on curing the disease.

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While this must have been awful and an outdated policy was being followed for too long, not all these complaints can be directed solely at the government.

A child being bullied by her Aunt while her mother confined?

A wife leaving her husband after finding out his mother had the disease?

Shame on them. Shame on this proud unforgiving prejudice society. Discriminating against people just because a family member is suffering with a treatable isolated disease.

Sorry for the poor child who was helpless to defend herself.

As for the unfortunate divorcee? While it may seem tough right now... At 30 you're still young and you will recover and find someone better. F*k that woman who left you. In a few years she may tell her story in passing to others and hopefully enough of them will tell her how shameful she is.

Again, not all of these complaints can be directed at the government. This aging society has some rotten elements at its core. Stop fostering such discrimination and teach your children better.

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The easy route to take here is to start blaming hte victims.

The national policy on Hansen disease sufferers was built on a culture of ignorance, discrimination and lies.

When Hansens disease was essentially "cured" in the 1950s, Japan (read The Govt.), kept in place such outdated systems that could only be described as disgusting. The forced isolation of 1,000s of people and their seperation from families when they posed no health threat at all is just another blight on Govt Inc's human rights agenda. The forced abortions, sterilizations, the social stigma...all the horror when the fact of their fate was well known by govt & society in general - who must also take partial blame

Incredibly it was only in 1996 that "Leprosy" laws were repealed, decades after similar actions in other developed countries.

The Govt should get on it's knees and apologize and pay damages for all the suffering it's policies caused to not only the initially diseased people but to all family members who have endured lives of incredible hardship through no fault of their own.

But getting blood from a stone would be easier than getting this administration to bear responsibility - for anything.

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A man in his 80s who joined the mass lawsuit on condition of anonymity, as he feared ostracism, also spoke in court.

So sad he still has to fear ostracism. Just goes to show fear arising from ignorance is still alive and well in society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So cruel

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