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Protecting the health of residents in the basin area and helping victims
Toyama Prefecture had been moving forward with efforts to help victims even before new laws were established, such as offering medical relief by public funds. Even now, we conduct health checks of basin residents every year for health management as well as officially recognize victims.
Protecting the health of residents in the basin area and helping victims
Certification and relief for Itai-itai Disease victims Toyama Prefecture began conducting certification of victims on its own accord and providing medical relief by public expenditure in 1967. Thereafter, based on the newly established laws, the governor began to recognize victims by hearing the opinion of the Toyama Prefecture Screening Panel for Certification of Damages by Environmental Pollution. In case of Itai-itai Disease, when a victim is recognized, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Company pays reparations in accordance with the promissory letters.
Flow of Victim Certification A decision is made whether or not to certify a victim by the prefectural governor in light of the findings of a review committee based on their application.

In order to be certified as a victim with Itai-itai Disease, it is necessary to fulfill all of the four qualifying conditions stipulated in the government-issued notification.

Medical features seen on victims According to the opinion of the Ministry of Health & Welfare (the current Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare), Itai-itai Disease is chronic intoxication of cadmium. The disorder begins in the kidneys and then brings on softening of bone. In addition, it is thought that the disease is further exacerbated by pregnancy, breast-feeding, endocrine abnormalities, aging and lack of calcium for nutrition. Much of the way symptoms are manifested is still unexplained, but kidney and bone damage, especially the softening of bone, are the significant features of Itai-itai Disease.
Changes in the Number of Certified Victims Since the first victim was officially recognized in 1967 to the end of 2011, 196 people were certified with the disease. Of these, there are four victims still living.

Moreover, 336 people have been determined to require observation of the progress of their symptoms.

Protecting health of residents in the basin area Since 1967, the prefecture has been conducting investigations of the situation in order to protect the health of affected residents in the basin. The prefecture is also involved in health management, such as sending public health nurses to advise victims and their families.
Residents Health Survey An annual health examination has been conducted on residents in the basin of the Jinzugawa River since 1967.

From 1979, in response to a commission received from the Environment Agency (currently Ministry of the Environment), this examination has been conducted with the additional purposes of promoting health management and researching abnormalities in the functions of the proximal convoluted tubule.

Spread of Water Services In the region where Itai-itai Disease occurred, irrigation water and well water drawn from the Jinzugawa River was used for living, but in response to requests received from local residents, water services were gradually developed in the 1960s to the first half of the 1970s.

The spread of running water was a significant development in the fight against Itai-itai Disease.


A newspaper article on the installation of water services
Asahi Newspaper
November 25,1961

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