PATIENTS AND VICTIMS
The number of the victims who were effectively exposed to methyl mercury is still unknown.
The following information shows only the amount of people receiving compensation.
A system of certification existed since 1959, but unsatisfaction among the people who wanted Chisso to admit its involvement into mercury poisoning lead to a trial in 1968 at Kumamoto Court. As they won the trial in 1973, Chisso had been forced to accept its responsibility and to apologize. Yet, still many people were not certified as patients and, with the raising of public awareness in regard of mercury pollution, it came to be several agreements and trials over the next 40 years.
The certification system
The figure below shows the variation of patients' status every year since 1968. The year when the first trial in Kumamoto was won scores the highest number of certified victims (blue). Starting from 1977, the rejected applications (red) increased rapidly because of the stricter standards issued by Environment Agency. For the same reason, the victims who managed to get the certification decreased year by year. In the middle of Nineties the pending applications (yellow) virtually disappeared as effect of the so-called "Political Resolution", meant to solve the issue of Minamata disease compensation once for all.
The following table shows the figure of patients certified, rejected and pending so far.