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イタイイタイ病 「全面解決」までの長い道のり

The Yomiuri Shimbun December 19, 2013
The long road to full settelment of itai-itai pollution disease cases
イタイイタイ病 「全面解決」までの長い道のり(12月19日付・読売社説)

As 45 years have passed since itai-itai disease was recognized by the state as a pollution-related disease, it was indeed a long journey for the issue to have been “fully resolved.”
 公害病と認定されてから45年、「全面解決」までの道のりは、あまりに長かった。

The case of itai-itai disease, an affliction caused by pollution in areas along the Jinzugawa river in Toyama Prefecture, reached its resolution when Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co.—the company that caused the pollution—and a victims group signed a compensation agreement on Tuesday. The company has also made a formal apology to the victims for the first time.
 富山県の神通川流域で発生したイタイイタイ病を巡り、被害者団体と原因企業の三井金属鉱業が被害者救済の合意書に調印した。三井金属鉱業は初めて正式に謝罪した。

The victims have grown old and many victims have died. It appears that the victims and the company responsible for the pollution have mutually conceded and reached a full settlement.
 被害者の高齢化が進む。他界した人も少なくない。被害者と原因企業が歩み寄り、全面解決を実現させたことを評価したい。

The main pillar of the agreement is that Mitsui Mining will pay a lump sum of ¥600,000 per person to those victims of the disease who were not recognized under the Environment Ministry’s criteria as victims of itai-itai disease and so were not eligible for compensation.
 環境省の基準でイタイイタイ病と認定されず、救済から漏れていた被害者に、三井金属鉱業が1人当たり60万円の一時金を支払うのが、合意書の柱だ。

Yet those victims recognized as sufferers by the state were entitled to receive ¥10 million per person.
 認定患者への賠償金1000万円とは大きな開きがある。

For victims who had sought to have their cases settled early, accepting the compensation proposal must have been a bitter decision.
早期解決を目指してきた被害者たちにとって、解決案の受け入れは苦渋の決断だったろう。

Eligible for the lump sum compensation will be those who meet certain criteria, including a degree of kidney dysfunction that is a symptom developed at a stage leading to itai-itai disease. Nearly 1,000 people are believed to be eligible to receive the payments.
 一時金は、イタイイタイ病の前段症状である腎機能低下の度合いなどで、条件を満たした人が対象となる。該当者は1000人近くに上るとみられる。

Mitsui Mining must compensate as many victims as possible.
 三井金属鉱業には、可能な限り多くの人を救済する姿勢で臨むことが求められる。

Recognition difficult

Itai-itai disease is considered to be one of Japan’s four major pollution-related diseases, along with Minamata disease in Kumamoto Prefecture, Minamata disease in Niigata Prefecture, and Yokkaichi asthma in Mie Prefecture.
 イタイイタイ病は、水俣病、新潟水俣病、四日市ぜんそくとともに4大公害病に数えられる。

As nephropathy patients suffered from brittle bones, they moaned in pain, crying “Itai, itai (It hurts, it hurts),” which is what gave the disease its name. It was recognized by the state as the country’s first pollution-related disease in 1968.
体の骨が折れやすくなり、患者が「痛い、痛い」と泣き叫んだことから、病名が付いた。1968年、日本初の公害病に認定された。

The disease was caused by cadmium, a heavy metal, discharged from the Kamioka mine in Gifu Prefecture. The pollutant spread through the consumption of rice and other things contaminated by cadmium in the river and harvested in the affected areas.
 原因は、神岡鉱業所(岐阜県)から排出された重金属のカドミウムだ。汚染流域で収穫されたコメなどを通じて被害が広がった。

Mitsui Mining has cleaned up the polluted soil, in addition to paying compensation to those recognized as victims. The cleanup of soil in the polluted farm land was completed last year.
 三井金属鉱業は、認定患者への賠償金支払いに加え、汚染地域の土壌改善などに取り組んできた。汚染された農地の復元事業は昨年、ようやく終了した。

Once pollution has been set off, it takes the polluter many years and hefty sums to provide relief measures to the victims and restore the environment—one lesson to be learned from itai-itai disease.
 いったん公害を引き起こすと、被害者救済や環境の回復に長い年月と多くの費用を要する。イタイイタイ病の教訓である。

It can be said the criteria for officially recognizing sufferers of pollution-related diseases, set by the ministry, has blocked many sufferers from receiving compensation in a timely manner. As many sufferers of itai-itai disease were not recognized as sufferers until their cases became so serious that they developed the bone-softening disorder osteomalacia, those with relatively milder cases were left neglected.
 環境省の患者認定基準が、早期の幅広い救済を阻んだと言えよう。重症化し、骨軟化症にならないと、イタイイタイ病と認定されないため、比較的、軽症の人が置き去りにされる結果となった。

Minamata disease is similar to itai-itai disease in that the ministry’s criteria for officially recognizing sufferers is rigid.
 認定のハードルが極めて高いという点では、水俣病も同様だ。

In April, the Supreme Court backed a lower court ruling that recognized a sufferer who was not recognized under the ministry’s criteria as a victim of Minamata disease. Lawsuits with sufferers of the disease seeking relief measures are still continuing in the country.
 最高裁は4月、環境省の基準で認定を退けられたケースについて、水俣病患者と認める判断を示した。被害者救済を巡る争いは、今なお続いている。

It is highly important, first and foremost, for sufferers of Minamata disease and others concerned with it to compromise.
 水俣病問題でも、被害者をはじめ、当事者同士の歩み寄りが何よりも求められる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 19, 2013)
(2013年12月19日01時33分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-12-21 09:39 | 英字新聞

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