425.4 Environmental pollution in Japan and today's problem of the compensation system for victims -Case study research of Minamata disease-

Friday, August 3, 2012: 9:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Atsushi NOZAWA , Meiji university, Japan
This presentation considers a future compensation system for victims by severe environmental pollution in Japan through a case study of Minamata Disease. Minamata Disease is the massive pollution problem that has struck Japan. This Disease was caused by wastewater from Chisso Corp., one of the large chemical industries at the time. Wastewater has been removed already. However the effects of this problem have not been solved yet. One issue is that, today, victims are facing aging. They need new compensation system that can relieve physical deterioration by the aging.

This research is mainly based on interviews with congenital Minamata Disease victims. They have severe symptoms by nature, because their mothers ate much fish and shellfishes during pregnancy. Many of them are around mid-50s. Their activities of daily lives have become worse rapidly than other victims. They have been received nursing care mainly from their parents until now, however parents are above 80 years old. So what sort of services they need? and who serve nursing care for them in the future? These are the main inquires.

Through the interview, it will be made clear that victims need not only compensation money but also social services in the damaged area. The existing system is financial compensation for each victim’s damage. Today, it is not sufficient, so in addition to this system, it becomes more important for aging victims to be developed a system that leads their lives comfortably. The result of this research will submit a perspective that risk of damage by environmental pollution increase as victims grow older. They have many difficulties in their daily lives. Environmental pollution issues will not be solved with only compensation money. The important thing is that constructing a system that can support their daily life permanently in places they want to live.