About 400 relatives and supporters of vCJD victims formed a human chain outside Japan's health ministry office yesterday [Thursday] in Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district to demand a clear cut apology from the government for the deaths.

Many of those who have suffered and died from the disease, the human form of BSE, contacted vCJD from transplants of infected dura matter.

The protest group formed a similar chain on 6 November last year, arguing that the government owes an apology for the tragedies, and that financial compensation alone is not enough.