Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Michael Allen

Second Advisor

William Burghart

Third Advisor

Mary Hanneman


On August 6 and 9 1945 the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Survivors of the attacks, who were exposed to atomic radiation, have come to be known by the Japanese term for an atomic bomb survivor, hibakusha. The fight against the violations of hibakusha rights due to discrimination as well as misconceptions and misinterpretations of the acts and laws for survivor welfare and support have been one long and brutal legal battle after another. The appeal cases relating to the hibakusha living outside of Japan have begun to be investigated and addressed by the Supreme Court of Japan. The Court has investigated survivor rights violation appeal cases between hibakusha and the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, and has issued rulings denying Ministry appeals that have violated the rights provided by the laws relating to the medical care and financial aid assistance for survivors mandated by Japanese law since the first Act in 1958. The court has also issued reinterpretations of key portions of the laws to prevent further violations of rights and put the care for hibakusha back on track. The aim of this study is to determine and illuminate influences on the appeals cases and how the Court is taking steps to aid in prevention of future rights violations.