Payment of compensation over a fatal arson attack at a Kyoto Animation Co. studio last July has begun as the deaths of employees were recognized as work-related, victims' families said Wednesday.

According to one of the families who had filed workers' compensation claim, a letter of approval arrived in November and part of the payment has already been made.

Following the deadly attack at the first studio of Kyoto Animation on July 18 last year that killed 36 workers and injured 33 others, the company held a briefing session in September on how to apply for workers' compensation.

Shinji Aoba, 41, is suspected to have ignited gasoline inside the three-story building of the studio in Kyoto's Fushimi Ward, the center of the company's anime production, where 70 people were working.

Police have obtained an arrest warrant for Aoba, who underwent skin graft surgeries to treat his severe burns, and plan to arrest him after he sufficiently recovers to withstand detention.

Those who get injured, become ill, or die due to work or their commute to work can receive compensation, with labor standard offices assessing each case. Usually, labor authorities decide on whether to grant or reject compensation claims within four months after requests are filed, according to the Kyoto Labor Bureau.

The bureau has not disclosed details in the compensation payment over the arson attack, such as how many claims were approved, citing privacy reasons. Kyoto Animation does not know whether its employees' compensation claims have been accepted, according to its lawyer.

For crime victims, labor authorities began to proactively grant workers' compensation after it was given to victims of a deadly sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995.

The attack, which was carried out by members of the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult, killed 13 people and injured more than 6,000 others.

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