Of the 151 people who complained about the damage caused by Minamata disease in Niigata Minamata disease, 47 of them were effectively closed. The trial has been in motion for almost 10 years, and the verdict is set to be handed down in April 2024.

151 people living in Agano City, Niigata Prefecture, and other areas that complain of damage from Minamata disease are seeking damages of 1.880 million yen per person from the government and the company responsible for the disease, arguing that it is unfair that they were excluded from relief under the Act on Special Measures to Relieve People Who Have Not Been Recognized as Minamata Disease.

The case was first filed by 2013 people in December 12, and has been heard for about 22 years, with a series of additional lawsuits.

At the trial held at the Niigata District Court on May 10, Eiichi Minagawa, 19, the leader of the plaintiffs' group, said, "The 80-year trial was too long, with 29 of the plaintiffs already dead, and I hope that this will be a historic ruling that will lead to relief for all Minamata disease victims."

On the other hand, the government argued that "since Showa 10, there has been no contamination in the Agano River basin to the extent that Minamata disease develops, and the plaintiffs' complaint is insufficient to be substantiated and should be dismissed."

For 41 plaintiffs, or about one-third, the de facto trial ended on April 3 and the verdict will be handed down on April 1, 47.