Philippines typhoon death toll tops 6,000

Updated 22 December 2013
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Philippines typhoon death toll tops 6,000

MANILA: The number of people dead after one of the world’s strongest typhoons struck the Philippines has risen above 6,000, the government said Friday, with nearly 2,000 others still missing.
Five weeks after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire towns across the nation’s central islands, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council put the official death toll at 6,009, making it the Philippines’ deadliest recorded typhoon.
The council said it is still looking for 1,779 missing people amid an international relief and rehabilitation effort covering a large devastated area about the size of Portugal.
The number of people confirmed dead or unaccounted for continues to rise steadily. On November 23, more than two weeks after the storm struck, officials put the death toll at 5,235 and listed 1,613 people as still missing.
The latest official count puts Haiyan nearly on par with a 1976 tsunami in the southern Philippines, generated by a major undersea earthquake in the Moro Gulf, that left between 5,000 and 8,000 people dead.
The Haiyan toll has already surpassed Tropical Storm Thelma, which unleashed floods that killed more than 5,100 people in the central city of Ormoc in 1991, previously the country’s deadliest storm.
The United Nations asked donors this week to more than double their emergency aid donations to the Philippines to $791 million to cover needs over 12 months.
The government said more than four million people lost their homes to either Haiyan’s 315 kilometers (195 miles) per hour winds or tsunami-like storm surges, and some would continue to need food aid as well as shelters and jobs.
As part of the international aid effort, an Indonesian official who rebuilt Aceh after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was in the Philippines on Friday to help the neighboring country recover from the typhoon.
Senior Minister Kuntoro Mangkusubroto visited the hard-hit central city of Tacloban at the Philippine government’s invitation to provide insights on managing large-scale recovery programs, the United Nations Development Programme said in a statement.
“I’m here to offer the government and the international community my experience as the coordinator of rehabilitation of Aceh,” Mangkusubroto said in the statement.
“I look forward to sharing my expertise and contributing to designing an efficient recovery plan for the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan,” he added.
“The aim of this significant visit by Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto is to share ways to ensure that the recovery process in the Philippines will build resilience against future typhoons,” said the UN’s humanitarian and resident coordinator Luiza Carvalho.
Mangkusubroto was the director of Indonesia’s National Agency for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation for Aceh and Nias islands, which accounted for about half the 200,000-plus deaths caused by the 2004 tsunami.


Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

Updated 24 April 2019
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Japan apologizes to those forcibly sterilized, vows redress

  • An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996
  • The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time

TOKYO: Japan’s government apologized Wednesday to tens of thousands of victims forcibly sterilized under a now-defunct Eugenics Protection Law and promised to pay compensation.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he was offering “sincere remorse and heartfelt apology” to the victims.
His apology comes just after the parliament enactment earlier Wednesday of legislation to provide redress measures, including $28,600 (¥3.2 million) compensation for each victim.
An estimated 25,000 people were given unconsented sterilization while the 1948 Eugenics Protection Law was in place until 1996. The law was designed to “prevent the birth of poor-quality descendants” and allowed doctors to sterilize people with disabilities. It was quietly renamed as the Maternity Protection Law in 1996, when the discriminatory condition was removed.
The redress legislation acknowledges that many people were forced to have operations to remove their reproductive organs or radiation treatment to get sterilized, causing them tremendous pain mentally and physically.
The government had until recently maintained the sterilizations were legal at the time.
The apology and the redress law follow a series of lawsuits by victims who came forward recently after breaking decades of silence. That prompted lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to draft a compensation package to make amends for the victims.
The plaintiffs are seeking about ¥30 million each ($268,000) in growing legal actions that are spreading around the country, saying the government’s implementation of the law violated the victims’ right to self-determination, reproductive health and equality. They say the government redress measures are too small for their suffering.
In addition to the forced sterilizations, more than 8,000 others were sterilized with consent, though likely under pressure, while nearly 60,000 women had abortions because of hereditary illnesses, according to Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
Among them were about 10,000 leprosy patients who had been confined in isolated institutions until 1996, when the leprosy prevention law was also abolished. The government has already offered compensation and an apology to them for its forced isolation policy.