The Judgement of Supreme Court for the Class Action Suits due to Asbestons in Japan in 2021
Since 2008 there are continually class action suits in anywhere Japan because many workers absorbed asbestos in the building materials which caused pulmonary disease. On May 17th 2021 Supreme Court had a judgment for four cases in Kanagawa, Tokyo, Kyoto and Oosaka during 2017 and 2018. According to it, the Obligation for Compensation belongs to the State and partial manufacturer of building materials. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare had already recognized in 1975 that it would be risk for the building workers working indoors to get cancer to practice cutting off and piercing the building materials containing asbestos, because they were exposed to the dust of asbestos. According to Occupational Safety and Health Act, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is obliged to supervise and manage the employers and the manufacturer of building materials. The Claim Right for a national compensation from the self-employed in the issued case in Oosaka was denied, while Supreme Court, taking the purpose, the aim and the empowerment of Occupational Safety and Health Act into consideration, confirms that the self-employed has a capacity to claim for a national compensation. Besides, due to that the risk of exposing to the dust of asbestos during outdoor working is less than indoor working, the latter would be qualified to claim for a national compensation. Therefore, the self-employed in the issued case could claim for a national compensation, whereas the manufacturer of building materials doesn’t because of outdoor working.