Hibakushas, literally "explosion-affected people", were victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Some of them, and their descendants, faced discrimination. Via Wikipedia:

Studs Terkel's book The Good War includes a conversation with two hibakusha. The postscript observes:

There is considerable discrimination in Japan against the hibakusha. It is frequently extended toward their children as well: socially as well as economically. "Not only hibakusha, but their children, are refused employment," says Mr. Kito. "There are many among them who do not want it known that they are hibakusha."

—Studs Terkel (1984), The Good War.

In Japan, is it legal to discriminate against hibakushas?

If it is legal, are there any countries at all that prohibit discrimination against hibakushas, or people in similar situations (people who've received nuclear radiation from other human-caused events)? In countries that broadly prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, but don't specifically mention nuclear disasters, actual cases of such people successfully getting a legal ruling about discrimination would count.

  • 1
    If they are disabled or deformed they would be protected in the US and most of Europe. Jun 23, 2014 at 18:18
  • I can pinpoint the specific point where your question becomes too broad. It's where you say "are there any countries at all that..." Sep 12, 2014 at 19:11
  • 1
    Is "I can pinpoint the specific point where your question becomes too broad." supposed to be a joke, or serious?
    – Golden Cuy
    Sep 13, 2014 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


From what I've gathered from this essay, discrimination against disabled persons is possible. If a hibakusha were disabled, then according to this passage (page 17 pdf and 197 printed), they may be discriminated:

"The purpose of the Disabled Persons Act is to contribute to the occupational stability of the disabled rather than regulate discrimination. Thus, firms can lawfully deny hiring qualified persons with disability by reason of their disability as far as the firms satisfy the requirements of employment rates for disabled persons or even when they do not satisfy it, all they have to do is merely pay the contribution."

I looked at the Wikipedia article and Hibakusha Stories site and determined that they don't reference any laws concerning discrimination with Hibakusha, so with a fair Google search I'm going to assert there probably aren't any.

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