Japan's ex-leader backs sick US sailors who blame radiation

Several hundred American service personnel who say they became sick from radiation after participating in relief operations for the 2011 tsunami that set off the Fukushima nuclear disaster are now getting high-profile support in Japan.

Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister from 2001 to 2006, told reporters Wednesday he has set up a special fund to collect private donations for the former service members, with the goal of collecting $1 million (100 million yen) by the end of next March, mainly to help with medical bills.

"I felt I had to do something to help those who worked so hard for Japan," he said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. "Maybe this...