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6.3 billion yen in damages to local governments due to the Fukushima nuclear accident has not been paid. 7 prefectures in the Tokyo metropolitan area The scope of compensation was decided at TEPCO’s initiative

June 12, 2022
Following the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, seven prefectures in the Kanto region claimed a total of 32.5 billion yen in damages from TEPCO for expenses made necessary by the accident, but TEPCO has not approved compensation for a total of over 6.3 billion yen of this amount and has not been paid, according to a report in this newspaper. Experts have pointed out problems with the system that allows TEPCO to determine the scope of compensation. (The report is based on a report by Toyohiro Kato and Minori Suzuki.)
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 The local governments of the prefectures, cities, towns, and villages affected by the accident have filed claims against TEPCO for personnel expenses for temporary staff, expenses for purchasing air dose meters, and PR expenses for countermeasures against reputational damage. This paper compiled the claims made by the seven prefectures of the Kanto region (not including those made by municipalities). TEPCO decided whether to accept compensation based on the “Interim Guidelines,” which set compensation standards by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Nuclear Damage Dispute Review Committee, and TEPCO’s own guidelines based on these standards.

 Compensation for Damages Caused by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident The “Interim Guidelines,” the standard for compensation for damages established by the Japanese government in August 2011, include a provision that allows for flexible operation: “Even if the damage is not specified as a compensable damage, it may be recognized as a damage with a reasonable causal relationship (with the accident) depending on individual concrete circumstances. If TEPCO does not agree, the Center for Settlement of Nuclear Damage Disputes mediates a settlement through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). In some cases, the case may not be settled and a lawsuit may be filed.

◆These costs would not be necessary if there had been no accident.
 According to several local government officials, TEPCO has refused to pay some of the claims, claiming that there is no causal relationship with the accident and that it is difficult to separate the expenses for the accident from its normal operations.
 The largest amount that TEPCO refused to pay was 4.65 billion yen from Saitama Prefecture, which only paid 54% of the 10.1 billion yen claimed. Most of the fees for the disposal and storage of contaminated soil containing radioactive materials that had accumulated at the water purification plant were denied, amounting to approximately 3 billion yen. A prefectural official said, “These expenses would not have been necessary if there had been no accident. The full amount should be compensated.
 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has been the most prolific in the amount of claims. The total amount was 11.7 billion yen, including 7.5 billion yen for sewerage projects, 2.9 billion yen for water supply projects, and 300 million yen for air dose testing. Of the total amount, 750 million yen was not paid, but a Tokyo Metropolitan Government official said, “Details cannot be disclosed because the matter is still under procedure.
 In addition, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures refused to pay 520 million yen and 220 million yen, respectively. Gunma Prefecture, on the other hand, requested 1.25 billion yen, most of which was approved.
 In some cases, local governments have applied for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) at the Center for Settlement of Disputes over Nuclear Damages when TEPCO does not agree to pay. In Kanagawa and Gunma prefectures, the claim for 100 million yen and 50 million yen, respectively, was abandoned in such cases.
 Regarding the decision on compensation, a TEPCO representative said, “We refrain from responding to individual cases. We are handling compensation based on the interim guidelines,” he replied.

◆The voices of the victims were not reflected.
 The interim guidelines do not adequately reflect the voices of the victims, including local governments, and are not functioning properly. He criticizes the interim guidelines and the operation based on them, saying, “There is a problem with the current system as a whole, in which the government and TEPCO themselves, which can be said to be the perpetrators of the accident, take the lead in determining compensation standards and operation.
 Outside of the Tokyo metropolitan area, in October 2020, Fukushima Prefecture, which was unable to reduce its staff as planned due to the accident, filed a lawsuit with the Fukushima District Court seeking compensation of approximately 90 million yen from TEPCO after it was denied payment of personnel expenses.

June 13, 2022 - Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , ,

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