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Home > Outline of Japan's Industrial Pollution Abatement > Approaches to Air pollution Control (Case Study-1) Yokkaichi City, Mie prefecture > (2) System for the Relief of Pollution-related Patients

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Update:April 1, 2010

(2) System for the Relief of Pollution-related Patients

4.Environmental Pollution Responses in Yokkaichi

Medical benefits for the relief of patients of pollution-related diseases, which was originally granted by Yokkaichi City from its own expenses, has become a national responsibility since the Law concerning Special Measures for the Relief of the Pollution-related Patients was issued in February 1970. Furthermore to support patients unable to work due to pollution-related illness, the Cooperative Foundation for Yokkaichi Pollution Control Measures was established utilizing funds raised by enterprises affiliated to the petrochemical complexes, thereby starting a new system to grant living allowances, death benefits, compositions, and pensions.
Yokkaichi's financial support system for pollution-related patients was taken over by the national government in September 1974 though the enactment of the Pollution-related Health Damage Compensation Law. In this law medical allowances, disablement benefits, survivor's pensions, and other allowances were granted. This was recently converted to the Law concerning Pollution-related Health Damage Compensation and Other Measures which was amended from the Pollution-related health Damage Compensation Law because of declining trends in air pollution.
Yokkalchi is a home of two innovative systems which have stimulated national legislation i.e., the Areawide Total Pollution Load Control introduced against SO2 in 1972 and the above-mentioned financial support system for pollution-related patients by the Cooperative Foundation for Yokkalchi Pollution Control Measures. The former contributed to the development of pollution regulation, and the latter to the relief of pollution-related patients.
Mie Prefecture has been surveying the number of new patients due to occlusive respiratory illness in the coastal area near the petrochemical complexes and in the suburban area situated in the western part of the city. After 1971, there has been no significant difference between the above two areas statistically (See Table 2-2).