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TEPCO’s former management forced to indict former management.

Just a travesty of justice: The designated attorney requested an on-site inspection at the appeal hearing, but the trial concluded today without such an inspection.

June 6, 2022
The appeal trial for the mandatory prosecution of three former TEPCO executives over the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, in which they were acquitted at the first trial, concluded today without an on-site inspection.

Former TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and three other former TEPCO executives were indicted on charges of manslaughter in connection with the nuclear accident.

The first trial court acquitted them in 2019 on the grounds that “it is not recognized that they could have predicted the occurrence of a huge tsunami,” and the designated lawyer acting as the prosecutor appealed the verdict.

At the appeal hearing held today at the Tokyo High Court, the designated lawyer pointed out that “the three could and should have foreseen the tsunami,” based on the “long-term assessment” issued by the government’s earthquake headquarters before the disaster. He argued that the first trial court’s decision to deny the reliability of the long-term assessment was erroneous.

The defense, on the other hand, argued for acquittal on the grounds that “there was no error in the first trial.

The designated attorney requested an on-site inspection at the appeal hearing, but the trial concluded today without such an inspection.


June 8, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | 1 Comment

Three former TEPCO executives to be sentenced on appeal in December-January, or forced prosecution for nuclear accident.

Ichiro Takekuro (left), former vice president of TEPCO, enters the Tokyo High Court for the appeal trial of three former TEPCO executives who were indicted over the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

June 6, 2022
On June 6, the Tokyo High Court (presided over by Keisuke Hosoda) held the third hearing of an appeal against three former TEPCO executives who were indicted on charges of manslaughter and death for negligence in connection with the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and failure to take tsunami countermeasures. The designated attorney acting as the prosecutor requested that the Tokyo District Court ruling acquitting the three be reversed, and the defense reiterated its plea of not guilty at the conclusion of the trial. The verdict is expected in December or January next year.

 The three defendants are Tsunehisa Katsumata, 82, former chairman; Ichiro Takekuro, 76, former vice president; and Sakae Mutoh, 71, former vice president. The main point of contention, as in the first trial, is whether the three defendants were able to foresee the occurrence of the giant tsunami and whether they were able to take measures to prevent the accident.
Designated Lawyer: “The First-Instance Judgment is Wrong

 The district court ruling in 2007 rejected the reliability of the “long-term evaluation” of earthquake forecasts released by the government in 2002, and ruled that the earthquake was not foreseeable enough to shut down the plant.

 On the day of the hearing, the designated attorney appealed that the first instance decision was erroneous, citing the example of the reliability of the long-term assessment being recognized in a civil court ruling on liability for the accident. He stated, “If reliability is recognized, the validity of the first instance judgment will be overturned from the bottom up.”

 The defense, on the other hand, countered that the fact-finding process in a criminal trial is different from that in a civil trial, and that “this is no basis for holding that the first-instance decision was erroneous.

 According to the representatives of the families of the victims in the criminal trial, the high court explained after the conclusion of the trial that it would set the date for the verdict in December or January of next year.

June 8, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Appeal Hearings End for 3 Ex-TEPCO Execs over 2011 Meltdowns

June 6, 2022

Tokyo, June 6 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo High Court concluded on Monday hearings for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> in an appeal trial over the 2011 meltdowns at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The three are former Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 82, and former executive vice presidents Sakae Muto, 71, and Ichiro Takekuro, 76. The court is likely to issue its verdict in December or the following month, according to an attorney in the trial.

The trio came under mandatory indictment on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury over the unprecedented triple meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 plant in northeastern Japan and were acquitted in the first trial.

In the first trial, hearings were held 37 times, while only three hearings took place for the appeal, including the first one in November last year.

Lawyers appointed to act as prosecutors had asked judges to conduct on-site inspections and demanded former senior officials of the Japan Meteorological Agency testify about the government’s long-term assessments of earthquake and tsunami risks.

June 8, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO issues 1st apology from president for nuclear accident

Face value skin-deep apology: So sorry that we destroyed your life, your health and your living environment but happy that the court gave us only a chump change damages compensation to be paid for all of that.

Kazuyoshi Takahara, representative of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Rehabilitation Headquarters, center, apologizes to plaintiffs for the 2011 nuclear disaster at its office in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, on June 5.

June 6, 2022

FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. apologized to a group of plaintiffs who won a damages suit against the utility for the first time under the name of its president.

“We sincerely apologize to you for upending your lives and causing irreparable mental and physical damage with the nuclear disaster,” TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa said in the statement.

The apology was read by Kazuyoshi Takahara, representative of the utility’s Fukushima Revitalization Headquarters in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, to some of the plaintiffs who visited on June 5. He bowed after reading the statement.

Kobayakawa was not among the TEPCO officials who received them.

The apology followed the Supreme Court’s decision in March that upheld the Sendai High Court’s order for the utility to pay more compensation to the victims than outlined in the central government’s guidelines.

Naoko Kanai, who heads the group’s secretariat, said, “I would like to accept the apology and want to believe the words reflect the company’s determination to make efforts to restore the lives of the residents.”

But Tomio Kokubun, a deputy leader of the plaintiff group, blasted the absence of the TEPCO president when offering the apology.

“It shows a lack of common sense, given that the company caused an accident of such magnitude,” he said.

The group of 216 plaintiffs sued the company for the “loss of their hometowns” after they were ordered to evacuate when the triple meltdown unfolded in March 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

The lawsuit was among about 30 similar lawsuits brought against TEPCO.

June 8, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , | Leave a comment