Peculiarities and Defects in the Compensation System for Victims of <i>Kanemi</i> Oil Poisoning

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Other Title
  • カネミ油症事件における「補償制度」の特異性と欠陥
  • カネミ油症事件における「補償制度」の特異性と欠陥 : 法的承認の欠如をめぐって
  • カネミユショウ ジケン ニ オケル 「 ホショウ セイド 」 ノ トクイセイ ト ケッカン : ホウテキ ショウニン ノ ケツジョ オ メグッテ
  • Peculiarities and Defects in the Compensation System for Victims of Kanemi Oil Poisoning
  • Lack of Legal Recognition of Victims
  • 法的承認の欠如をめぐって

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Abstract

This study suggests that the inadequate compensation system for victims of the Kanemi rice bran oil poisoning (Kanemi Yusho) incident should be reformed. Damage was caused by dioxin pollution, which comprised chemical contamination and consequent hereditary body disorder. As the incident is an example of food pollution, the reform program can be widely applied to other cases of chemical contamination and food pollution. The peculiarities and defects in the compensation system for Kanemi Yusho victims were that the compensation systems devised through legislation or agreement bore no connection with victims' designation as patients.<br>While the damage in the Kanemi case was as serious as it was in similar cases such as the outbreak of Minamata disease and the Morinaga Milk poisoning incident, the compensation paid in the former case was far lower than it was in the latter cases. Kanemi Yusho victims did not receive adequate compensation because neither a public compensation system existed nor could any agreement between the victims and Kanemi Warehouse Co. (the company responsible for the incident) be reached.<br>This paper focuses on two different forms of recognition of victims: “medical” and “legal.” In the former, victims are diagnosed as patients on the basis of medical criteria. In the latter, it is acknowledged that victims have just demands for their rights, and these demands are accepted.<br>Kanemi Yusho victims did not receive adequate compensation for three reasons: lack of negotiation between the victims and Kanemi Warehouse because of the formers' passive acceptance of the inadequate compensation proposed by the latter; lack of legislation for food pollution victims; and failure to establish suitable new legislation after the occurrence of the Kanemi oil incident. Overall, this can be explained in terms of the lack of “legal recognition”—through designation and compensation systems—of victims.

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