Japan to compensate POW over A-bomb

60th Anniversary Of The Atomic Bomb Of Nagasaki: A photograph of the atomic bomb dropped in Nagasaki shows how it exploded 50m above ground on August 8, 2005 in Nagsaki, Japan.Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

The Nagasaki bomb destroyed vast swathes of the southwestern Japanese city

A Dutch former prisoner-of-war held in Nagasaki when the US dropped an atom bomb on the city has won compensation from the Japanese government.

Willy Buchel, 95, was the first ex-prisoner of war to receive such a payment, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Mr Buchel filed a lawsuit in May last year over the mental anguish suffered in the years after the 1945 bombing, lawyer Hidekazu Zaima told AFP.

He will receive 1.1 million yen ($9,700).

Mr Buchel was in a prison camp 1.7km (one mile) from ground zero on 9 August, when the bomb detonated over the south-western Japanese city, killing more than 70,000 people.

He returned to the Netherlands in 1950 and was not able to receive full medical coverage provided to Japanese survivors of the bomb, Mr Zaima said.

Media captionSumiteru Taniguchi was 16 when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, Mr Buchel said in the lawsuit he “was forced to continue living while suffering from peculiar health damage caused by his exposure to radiation”.

Mr Zaima told a news conference that the unprecedented settlement was of “grave importance”.

Japan started providing overseas atom bomb victims with medical allowances in 2003. Before that, a 1974 ruling said funds would be stopped if victims travelled out of Japan.

The Nagasaki bomb followed one dropped three days before on the city of Hiroshima, where about 140,000 people are estimated to have been killed by the blast or later by radiation sickness.

comments powered by Disqus