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justiceFORMER TEPCO EXECUTIVES FACE MANDATORY INDICTMENT FOR FUKUSHIMA DISASTER The Tokyo No. 5 Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution announced last July that former Tokyo Electric Power Co. Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, as well as two other former company executives, should be indicted for his role in the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

The will of the people trumped the prosecutor’s decision not to indict the men. Despite public support, convicting the three men for “culpable negligence in an accident associated with a natural disaster” will be difficult, as The Japan News reported.

The decision clearly states that [TEPCO] should’ve been able to foresee the onslaught of the tsunami,” said Hiroyuki Kawai, lawyer for the Complainants for the Criminal Prosecution of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, at a press conference. “The prospects for the trial are bright.”(1)

The prosecution hinges upon whether the three men knew that a tsunami would likely strike the power plant, and whether the gentlemen made adequate preparations in light of that knowledge.

A 2008 TEPCO  report suggest that the three men were aware of the threat that a potential tsunami posed to the nuclear plant. The report predicted a maximum credible tsunami of 15.7 meters. Nevertheless, TEPCO claims that, since the report was preliminary, it lacked scholarly credibility. The company argues that it didn’t have sufficient reason to believe a tsunami would strike the plant, and that more evidence was needed before stirring a panic.

The inquest committee was made up of 11 members of the public. In response to these remarks, the committee stated, “it is sufficient that there must be foreseeability given the fact that a tsunami occurred and some sort of response was required.”(1)

The committee went on to note that the men held high positions of power and responsibility, and that the 2008 report should not have been taken with a grain of salt.

September 5, 2015 - Posted by | Japan, Legal

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