Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government will immediately start discussions on how to compensate the families of former leprosy patients.
Suga was speaking to reporters on Friday about the government's recent decision not to appeal a court ruling that ordered it to pay damages to the families.
Earlier in the day, the government adopted a statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It says the government deeply apologizes to the former patients and their families.
Suga quoted the prime minister's statement as saying the government will compile new measures to compensate the families, including those who did not participate in a lawsuit.
Suga says the government plans to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Abe and the family members.
He said the government finds part of the ruling legally unacceptable, although it made the unusual decision not to file an appeal.
He said the statement is intended to clearly convey the government's position and to minimize the impact on other cases.
Suga said the statement is not legally binding but it shows the government's serious determination and was unanimously approved at a cabinet meeting.