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Fukushima compensation guidelines need further revision

hgjlklmùThe difficult-to-return-zone around Ono Station on the JR Joban Line in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture is empty on March 1. A part of evacuation order was lifted on March 5, but most of the area remains eerily the same as when the nuclear disaster happened in 2011.

 

March 19, 2020

The Sendai and Tokyo high courts recently said in separate rulings that Tokyo Electric Power Co. should pay more in compensation to victims of the 2011 accident at the company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Some 30 class action lawsuits have been filed by people who were forced to evacuate from their homes in the wake of the nuclear disaster to seek damages beyond the amounts the electric utility has agreed to pay. 

The fact that the two rulings, the first high court decisions concerning these cases, both questioned the adequacy of the existing Fukushima compensation program is highly significant in its legal and policy implications.

During the trials, the plaintiffs argued that it is difficult to return to their homes even if the evacuation orders are lifted. Even if they return, they claimed, they will face local towns and communities that have been radically altered by the accident.

The two high courts acknowledged the seriousness of the corrosive effects of what these victims call “the loss and transformation” of their hometowns and ruled that they deserve to be compensated for this problem in addition to damages for being forced to flee their homes and the mental anguish caused by their lives as evacuees.

The courts awarded the plaintiffs additional damages beyond the amounts the company has already paid.

The utility has adamantly refused to pay any blanket compensation to victims beyond the amounts based on the guidelines set by the Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation, a panel established within the government to settle disputes over compensation for victims of the Fukushima disaster.

TEPCO has also rejected deals to settle these class action suits proposed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center, a body created to help resolve such disputes through simplified procedures.

The company has even turned down a compromise recommendation issued by the Fukushima District Court based on arguments during a trial over a compensation dispute it had heard.

Clearly, the company fears that accepting such a deal would affect the entirety of its compensation talks and cause the total of damages it has to pay to soar.

After the devastating accident, however, TEPCO made “three vows.” It pledged to pay compensation to all victims without leaving a single one uncompensated, ensure that compensation will be paid quickly according to individual circumstances and respect proposals to settle disputes.

As the company that is responsible for the unprecedented nuclear accident, TEPCO has a duty to make sincere responses to the high court rulings in line with its own vows.

The government, which has promoted nuclear power generation as a national policy and is effectively the largest shareholder of the utility, has the responsibility to provide strict guidance for the company’s actions concerning the matter.

The two rulings have also brought to the fore some shortcomings of the guidelines set by the dispute reconciliation committee.

Established immediately after the accident, the guidelines are obviously out of tune with the complicated realities of the accident’s aftermath despite several revisions that have been made.

The “loss and transformation” of hometowns is a consequence of the accident that has become clearly visible over the nine years that have passed since that day in 2011.

It is time for the government to have some in-depth debate on the effects of this problem on affected people and embark on a sweeping review of the guidelines.

The high court rulings are not totally acceptable, however. Arguing that the money TEPCO has already paid covers part of the additional damages owed to the victims, the rulings only awarded the plaintiffs 1 million yen to 2.5 million yen ($23,000) per head in additional compensation.

Many victims have criticized the amounts for being “too small to be fitting compensation for the actual damage” suffered by the victims.

There is no easy solution to this complicated problem. But that does not justify inaction in the face of such gross injustice.

All the parties concerned need to offer ideas and ingenuity to spare the victims the need to spend any more effort and time with regard to compensation issues.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13227560

 

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t, TEPCO ordered to compensate Fukushima evacuees to Hokkaido

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March 11, 2020

SAPPORO — A court ordered the government and the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant Tuesday to pay a combined 52.9 million yen in damages to 89 people who evacuated from their hometowns to Hokkaido after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The Sapporo District Court ruling marked the seventh case where both the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc were ordered to pay damages, out of 11 cases brought against the two parties. In the four other cases, only TEPCO was ordered to pay damages.

It was also the 15th decision handed down among around 30 similar damages suits filed across Japan over one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, triggered by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

A total of 257 plaintiffs, 90 percent of whom at the time were living in Fukushima city and other locations outside of areas given evacuation orders, had sought a combined 4.24 billion yen from the utility and the state.

“While (the ruling) is a sign of recognition of the government’s responsibility, it doesn’t reflect the actual lives that those who evacuated to Hokkaido have led,” a lawyer representing the plaintiffs told reporters after the court decision.

Following the ruling, TEPCO offered a “heartfelt apology for causing great trouble and worries” to those affected in Fukushima and other areas and said it will consider how to respond to the court decision after closely examining it.

At the court, the operator had said it had already paid damages to some of the plaintiffs and that the amount was adequate as it was based on the government guidelines. The utility also said it was not obligated to compensate the others as they had voluntarily evacuated.

The government has denied responsibility for the disaster, saying it could not have foreseen the flooding of the nuclear plant due to a tsunami.

The plaintiffs argued that TEPCO neglected to take preventive measures although it could have predicted earthquake and tsunami risks at the plant, and that the government did not enforce adequate safety measures despite approving power generation at the complex.

They also said that the psychological distress they suffered due to fears that radiation exposure had damaged their health, among other concerns, had impacted their ability to lead a normal life following the evacuation.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/gov%27t-tepco-ordered-to-compensate-fukushima-evacuees-to-hokkaido

March 13, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , , | 1 Comment

Nuke crisis compensation costs tacked onto power bills to face 4 tril. yen cap

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The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is set to limit the amount of additional costs of compensating those affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, tacked onto “wheeling charges” that power companies pay to use power lines, to 2.4 trillion yen, sources close to the ministry said.

The amount would eventually be added to power charges that consumers pay. Moreover, the ministry admitted that the total amount to deal with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, which it estimates at 21.5 trillion yen, will certainly increase further.

The ministry made the disclosure at a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panel on the issue on Dec. 12 in response to concerns expressed by LDP legislators that the cost of dealing with the crisis could rise.

The estimated total amount of compensation for the Fukushima crisis, which had been estimated at approximately 5.4 trillion yen in 2013, has grown to about 7.9 trillion yen.

Following the outbreak of the nuclear crisis, a system has been established under which Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, and other major power companies contribute funds for compensation payments in proportion to the outputs of their nuclear plants.

In order to secure funds to cover an increase in the total compensation cost from 5.4 trillion yen, the ministry has proposed to a panel of experts on decommissioning of the Fukushima plant and compensation payments that the additional cost be added to wheeling charges. Not only major power companies but new market entrants would be required to foot the bill, which would eventually be added to power charges paid by consumers.

The ministry explains that it aims to require market newcomers to foot part of the compensation cost in order to “prevent consumers who have benefited from nuclear power by major power companies from switching to new power companies to avoid footing the compensation cost.”

However, some experts have pointed out that such a move would run counter to the liberalization of the power market designed to spur new market entries.

Moreover, since the industry ministry is authorized to set the amount of wheeling charges at its own discretion without going through Diet deliberations, some members of the experts’ panel and the LDP have voiced concerns that the amount of compensation costs passed onto consumers could unlimitedly snowball.

In response to such concerns, the ministry is considering obligating power companies to clearly show the amount of compensation cost each consumer is required to shoulder in detailed statements on power charges. Moreover, if the amount of compensation were to increase further, the ministry would consider other measures to cover the additional cost, which could also increase the burden on consumers.

The industry ministry has also disclosed that the estimated cost of dealing with the accident, which it released on Dec. 9, does not include the expense of creating hubs for reconstructing affected areas where residents are unlikely to be able to return in the foreseeable future and that of disposing waste to be generated when fuel debris is removed from the crippled reactors.

Therefore, the estimated total cost of dealing with the aftermath of the disaster, which has almost doubled from 11 trillion yen as of 2013 to 21.5 trillion yen, will certainly increase further.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161213/p2a/00m/0na/012000c

December 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima costs to soar to $176 billion

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Fukushima costs to soar to 20 trillion yen

TOKYO — The combined costs of paying compensation for the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the decommissioning of the plant’s reactors may be double the initial estimate, rising to more than 20 trillion yen ($176 billion), according to estimates by the country’s industry ministry.

At the end of 2013, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which has since become the government’s official estimate.

As electric companies other than Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled plant, will also pass part of the cost on to consumers through higher rates, an increase in the public burden is unavoidable.

According to multiple sources, the ministry has already conveyed its new estimates to members of its expert panel, which is in discussions on reforming the management structure at Tepco and measures to secure funds.

The ministry aims to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Finance during planned discussions over the expansion of an interest-free loan program from 9 trillion yen to support Tepco.

The 11-trillion estimates foresaw 5.4 trillion yen for compensation payments; 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination work; 1.1 trillion yen for the construction of interim radioactive waste storage facilities; and 2 trillion yen secured by Tepco to scrap the reactors.

The new estimates see compensation payments costing 8 trillion yen and 4-5 trillion yen for decontamination.

The cost of decommissioning reactors — a process which will span at least 30-40 years — are projected to swell to hundreds of billions of yen a year from the current 80 billion. That would add several trillion yen to the overall cost.

Combined with the cost of building interim storage facilities, the total cost is forecast to exceed 20 trillion yen.

The snowballing costs are due mainly to the expansion of the number of people eligible for damages and the difficulty of conducting decontamination work, neither of which was fully understood when the initial estimates were made.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Fukushima-costs-to-soar-to-20-trillion-yen*

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Cost of Fukushima disaster expected to soar to ¥20 trillion

The overall cost of wrapping up the Fukushima nuclear disaster is now estimated at more than ¥20 trillion, nearly double the previous estimate, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which previously put the overall cost at ¥11 trillion, is considering passing on a portion of the costs, including for compensation and the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, to consumers via higher electricity prices, the sources said.

The aged, six-reactor plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., was plunged into a blackout by the March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, leading to three core meltdowns and the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

According to the new estimate, Tepco’s compensation payments will rise to ¥8 trillion from ¥5.4 trillion and decontamination costs will double to around ¥5 trillion.

Trillions more will be needed to decommission the reactors and deal with radioactive water at the plant, on top of the ¥2 trillion earlier estimated, the sources said.

The ministry has been discussing reforming crisis-hit Tepco and is about to draft a plan for the utility based on the new estimate within this year.

Combined with the cost of building interim waste storage facilities, foreseen to remain at ¥1.1 trillion, the total cost is forecast to surpass ¥20 trillion, the sources said.

The government is studying the possibility of expanding a ¥9 trillion interest-free loan program for Tepco that was set up by issuing government bonds to cover compensation payments and decontamination costs in areas hit by the disaster.

It is expected to take up to 30 years to recover the ¥9 trillion through payments from Tepco and other big utilities.

The government also plans to recover the expected increase in compensation payments and decontamination expenses by raising charges for transmission line usage for new electricity retailers.

In principle, Tepco needs to secure funds on its own for decommissioning the plant. The government will manage the funds, which will be established using profits generated by the utility. But it is not clear if Tepco alone can shoulder the cost.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/28/national/cost-fukushima-disaster-expected-soar-%c2%a520-trillion/#.WDz8mlzia-d

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Fukushima nuclear decommission, compensation costs to almost double: media

Japan’s trade ministry has almost doubled the estimated cost of compensation for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and decommissioning of the damaged Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant to more than 20 trillion yen ($177.51 billion), the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

The trade ministry at the end of 2013 calculated the cost at 11 trillion yen, which was comprised of 5.4 trillion yen for compensation, 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination, 1.1 trillion yen for an interim storage facility for contaminated soil, and 2 trillion yen for decommissioning, the report said.

The new estimate raised the cost of compensation to 8 trillion yen and decontamination to 4-5 trillion yen, the cost for an interim storage facility remained steady, and decommissioning will rise by several trillion yen, it added.

The part of the cost increase will be passed on in electricity fees, it added, citing multiple unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The ministry could not provide immediate comment.

On March 11, 2011, a massive 9 magnitude earthquake, the strongest quake ever recorded in Japan, created three tsunamis that knocked out the Fukushima-Daiichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will discuss with the Ministry of Finance a possible expansion of the interest-free loan program from 9 trillion yen, to help support the finances of the Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co’s, the report said.

The cost of cleaning up Tokyo Electric Power’s wrecked Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant may rise to several billion dollars a year, from less than $800 million per year now, the Japanese government said last month.

The Mainichi newspaper reported in October that Japan’s utilities lobby expects clean-up and compensation costs from the Fukushima disaster to overshoot previous estimates by 8.1 trillion yen.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tepco-outlook-idUSKBN13N03G

November 29, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 1 Comment

A Preposterous Proposal on Nuclear Accident Compensation

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The industry ministry has put forth a ridiculous proposal on financing compensation payments to victims of nuclear accidents.

In essence, the ministry’s proposal is designed to bail out operators of nuclear power plants that have failed to set aside compensation money for possible accidents at facilities that have been in service for decades.

To secure necessary funds for potentially huge compensation payments, the ministry wants to require old customers to bear part of the burden.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which regulates the power industry, has submitted this proposal to a panel of experts discussing the issue.

This effectively means shifting the cost of bad management to people who are not responsible, an approach that defies common sense in the world of business management and obscures the responsibility of the operators. The ministry should withdraw the proposal.

The law concerning compensation for nuclear accident-related damages stipulates that in principle operators are responsible for paying compensation for all damages caused by accidents at their facilities.

But the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., prompted the government to set up an entity to pay compensation to the victims. Under this arrangement, TEPCO and other established electric utilities will pay back the money over a long period of time.

This new system, based on the notion of mutual help, is designed to get nuclear power plant operators involved in a joint effort to cover the risks of nuclear accidents.

The utilities involved are allowed to raise their electricity rates to finance contributions to the system. So the burden is actually borne by customers of the utilities.

The ministry’s new proposal would widen the scope of contributors to the pool of money for compensation payments. The new contributors include electricity suppliers that have entered the market in response to its liberalization even though they don’t operate nuclear power plants.

Specifically, the new utilities would be required to make contributions through the increased fees they pay to use the power transmission lines operated by established utilities. That would force almost all people in this country to shoulder part of the burden.

Here’s the ministry’s case for this scheme.

The money needed to pay compensation for damages caused by nuclear accidents should have been set aside since the 1960s, when nuclear power generation started in Japan. So it is appropriate to require people who paid low electricity rates that didn’t include this cost to bear the burden now.

Behind the ministry’s move is the fact that the total compensation amount related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster has already surpassed the original estimate and is now reaching 6 trillion yen ($54 billion). The amount is expected to grow in the coming years.

Even so, if past beneficiaries of low electricity rates are involved, the established utilities should be first forced to use the profits they accumulated in the past through their nuclear power operations.

At the very least, no consumer would accept such a new financial burden unless the utilities are held responsible for failing to save up for emergencies during the past half century.

The ministry has also proposed similar plans to tap the fees paid by new power suppliers for use of established utilities’ transmission cables to cover the costs of decommissioning the reactors at the crippled Fukushima plant and aging reactors at other plants.

The latest proposal is the third scheme based on this approach.

Imposing part of the burden on newcomers in the power market is tantamount to giving preferential treatment to nuclear power and undermines the fair competitive environment that is the foundation for power deregulation.

Some consumers have switched from established utilities to new power suppliers because of their aversion to nuclear power generation.

Clearly, adequate compensation should be paid to victims of nuclear accidents.

But the costs related to nuclear power generation should be shouldered by the operators of nuclear plants. An unreasonable scheme to shift this burden from the operators is simply unacceptable.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611210025.html

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November 21, 2016 Posted by | Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO refuses to reimburse ¥20.1 billion in claims from Tohoku

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Out of ¥53.1 billion in expenses incurred by six prefectures in the Tohoku region in response to the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, TEPCO has still not agreed to reimburse ¥20.1 billion, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The prefectures have resorted or will resort to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures to compel TEPCO to pay, but taxpayers may end up footing the bill in the end.

Different interpretations

Regarding compensation for damage caused by nuclear power plants, the government’s Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation released preliminary guidance in August 2011 on what expenses TEPCO should reimburse local governments for.

This included the cost of damage to water and sewer services contaminated by radioactive material, and the cost of supporting victims on TEPCO’s behalf.

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However, the guidance included a section stating that “depending on circumstances, additional expenses may be recognized as damage that should be reimbursed.” This spurred Fukushima Prefecture, where the nuclear power plant is located, and other prefectures to request compensation from TEPCO for various expenses incurred in responding to the disaster.

Fukushima Prefecture has so far demanded ¥37.1 billion from TEPCO.

The company paid ¥20.9 billion for expenses including the relocation of a prefectural high school and support for the reopening of small and medium-sized businesses, but has refused to pay for the salaries of prefectural government employees of the contamination response section established after the disaster. It has also refused to pay for such costs as ad campaigns intended to repair the image of the tourism industry, which has been damaged by the nuclear disaster.

Neighboring Yamagata Prefecture, which accepted a large number of evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture, had requested ¥1.1 billion as of last September. It has received reimbursement for such things as radiation inspections of agricultural and livestock products and the salaries of additional teachers in response to the influx of evacuated children, but this figure is less than one-third of the total request.

Miyagi Prefecture has only reached agreement on roughly ¥1.7 billion, about half of its request. Last March, Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures appealed to the nation’s Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation for ADR. According to an official of Miyagi Prefecture, “the settlement will take some more time.”

Akita and Aomori prefectures have been denied 80 percent to 90 percent of their requests to cover expenses such as the production of ads to promote tourism and subsidies to purchase radiation measurement equipment. They have also applied for ADR, and Fukushima Prefecture intends to pursue this approach soon.

Iwate Prefecture has received an additional ¥256.7 million through ADR, but has not agreed on close to ¥900 million in other expenses yet.

The prefectural governments have made expenditures from their general budgets for the disaster response expenses, and explained to members of their assemblies that “expenses would be billed to TEPCO and offset as income at a later date.” However, as unsettled claims increase, the costs are becoming a burden on the prefectures.

Municipalities in the six Tohoku prefectures, as well as Chiba and Gunma prefectures and elsewhere outside Tohoku, have made similar compensation claims to TEPCO, but the two sides are far from agreement over payments.

A TEPCO spokesperson told The Yomiuri Shimbun: “We are processing and compensating claims for damage that meet the appraisal standards. For other expenses, we are making appropriate decisions as we consult with relevant parties about their circumstances.”

It is likely, however, that the different sides will fail to agree even through ADR.

The prefectures can fight on through civil lawsuits, but if they lose, both the legal expenses and disaster response expenses will have to be paid through taxpayer money

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002812484

March 24, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO ordered to pay couple who ‘voluntarily’ fled Fukushima after nuclear disaster

feb 19, 2016

KYOTO–The Kyoto District Court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 30.46 million yen ($267,000) to a couple for mental illnesses the husband suffered following their “voluntary evacuation” from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The district court’s unprecedented ruling on Feb. 18 said the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant contributed to the insomnia and depression the husband developed after his family fled Fukushima Prefecture in 2011.
Although the plaintiffs did not live in a government-designated evacuation zone around the plant, the court said evacuating voluntarily is “appropriate when the hazard from the accident and conflicting information remained.”
The ruling was the first to award damages to voluntary evacuees, according to a private group of lawyers involved in lawsuits against TEPCO and the central government over the nuclear disaster.
The man, who is in his 40s, his wife and three children were seeking a total of 180 million yen against TEPCO.
According to the ruling, the husband and wife had managed a company that operated restaurants in Fukushima Prefecture. The family fled their home a few days after the nuclear accident started in March 2011 and moved to Kyoto in may that year.
The court acknowledged the man suffered severe mental stress because he had to leave his hometown and quit his position as representative of the company.
TEPCO had paid a total of 2.92 million yen to the family based on the central government’s compensation standards for residents who evacuated on their own.
The utility argued that its payments were appropriate because they were based on guidelines set by a central government panel addressing disputes over compensation for nuclear accidents. The guidelines dictate uniform and fixed payments for residents who left areas outside designated evacuation zones.
However, the district court said these guidelines “simply show a list of damages that can be broken down and the scope of damages.”
The court concluded that compensation amounts should instead reflect the personal circumstances of evacuees in nuclear accident-related cases.
It ordered TEPCO to compensate the couple for the period through August 2012, when radiation levels dropped to a certain level and information on the nuclear accident became more stable and accurate.
Specifically, the court said the husband and wife are entitled to part of the monthly remuneration of 400,000 yen to 760,000 yen they had received each for having to suspend their business following the nuclear accident.
But the court dismissed the damage claims of the couple’s three children, saying their compensation was already covered by TEPCO’s payments.
About 10,000 evacuees are involved in 21 damages suits filed in Fukushima Prefecture, Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere.
An estimated 18,000 people from Fukushima Prefecture are still living in voluntary evacuation, according to the prefectural government.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201602190066

Tepco to compensate couple for damages from voluntary Fukushima evacuation
The Kyoto District Court has ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to pay about ¥30 million to a couple for economic and health damage caused by their decision to voluntarily flee the radiation in Fukushima Prefecture after the disaster.
The husband lost his job and developed a mental illness during the ordeal.
This is believed to be the first time a court has found Tokyo Electric Power Co. liable for damages stemming from a voluntary evacuation after the plant’s triple core meltdown, which was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.
The ruling is expected to affect similar lawsuits filed by voluntary evacuees across the country.
According to the Fukushima Prefectural Government, as of the end of October, some 18,000 people in 7,000 households who lived outside the designated evacuation zone remain evacuated outside Fukushima.
The sum awarded is also far more than the ¥11 million proposed by a government-established center that mediates out-of-court settlements for nuclear accident compensation cases. The settlement program is called ADR.
The center is for people who are not covered by Tepco’s direct compensation scheme. The ADR program is also aimed at reaching conclusions more quickly than through Tepco. Some 18,000 applications for settlement have been made, out of which 13,000 cases have been resolved. But the amount awarded through ADR tends to be small, experts say.
Hideaki Omori, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the ruling “set an example that there is no need to give up when evacuees do not feel satisfied with the sum” presented by the dispute resolution center.
The couple — who had moved twice before settling down in the city of Kyoto in May 2011 — had sought ¥180 million in damages.
The plaintiffs, who are in their 40s, expressed relief after the ruling.
“We are relieved that we will be financially alright for a while, but we still can’t imagine our future life,” they said in a statement released through their lawyers.
According to the written complaint, the husband became unable to work because he developed pleurisy (a respiratory disease) and depression after the evacuation. Their children also experienced emotional distress from being harshly treated by classmates because they came from Fukushima Prefecture.
The court also showed for the first time that such compensation should be extended for evacuation through the end of August 2012, rejecting claims for damages after that.
The court cited the gradual fall in radiation levels in the city of Koriyama, where the couple originally lived before the disaster, concluding that from September 2012 on, the levels were not serious enough to damage health.
After three reactors experienced meltdowns during the disaster, residents within 20 km of the nuclear plant and some areas beyond were ordered to evacuate. Many others also fled at their own discretion and remain in temporary housing.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/18/national/crime-legal/first-tepco-told-compensate-couple-damage-stemming-voluntary-fukushima-evacuation/#.VsbzN-bzN_l

February 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment