An Exploration of Measures Against Industrial Asbestos Accidents  *

  • Kenichi Miyamoto


In June 2005, three mesothelioma-afflicted residents of the community surrounding Kubota Corporation’s Amagasaki factory, together with their support groups, filed charges demanding that Kubota assume responsibility for their exposure to asbestos. Kubota offered relief money to them, and the number of victims who received this money from Kubota has increased. In February 2006 the government, responding to the outcry of public opinion, enacted the Act on Asbestos Health Damage Relief for cases of asbestos contamination and the victims thereof who were not deemed eligible for workers accident compensation. Japan has used an estimated 10 million metric tons of asbestos to date, and the cumulative number of deaths from mesothelioma is estimated to be approximately 100  000 over the coming 40 years. Extrapolating from that estimate, mesothelioma deaths world-wide may reach as many as 1.8 million. Under the Helsinki Criteria, nearly twice as many deaths are believed to stem from asbestos-induced lung cancer. Japan must establish a public social insurance-type framework for relief compensation. To offset current deficiencies, Japan must also move forward with litigation seeking civil damages from asbestos polluters.


World Trade Organization Asbestos Exposure Industrial Accident Pleural Plaque Minamata Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Osaka City UniversitySumiyoshi-kuJapan
  2. 2.Shiga UniversityHikoneJapan

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