Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A Japanese appellate court has ruled against a number of fishermen and their families who say they were affected by radiation fallout from a series of tests the U.S. military conducted during the 1950s while developing the hydrogen bomb.
The suit, containing 29 plaintiffs, sought $387,000 in damages from the Japanese government, arguing it concealed records that indicated fishermen had been exposed to radiation from six hydrogen bomb tests in 1954 at Bikini Atoll of the U.S. Marshall Islands.
Thursday, the Takamatsu High Court upheld a 2018 lower court ruling that determined no vital health information was intentionally withheld. It also noted that the 20-year statute of limitations had expired.
At least 1,000 Japanese fishing boats were believed to be in the area around the time the bombs were tested. Records of only one ship were revealed prior to 2014, when the Japanese government released additional information in the case. Bikini Atoll is located about 2,100 miles southeast of Japan's eastern coastline.
The United States paid Japan $2 million in 1955 for injuries and damage related to the tests, payment regarded as a full and final settlement.
Forty-five plaintiffs, including relatives of the dead, filed the initial claim. The remaining plaintiffs could appeal to the Japanese Supreme Court.