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Court orders TEPCO to pay 73.5 million yen over Fukushima crisis

From front right, reactors No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. are seen in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Feb. 13, 2021.

June 2, 2022

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — A Japanese court on Thursday ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to pay a total of 73.5 million yen ($566,000) in compensation to current and former residents of Tamura City in the west of the complex hit by the March 2011 disaster for emotional distress.

But the 525 plaintiffs, who sought 11 million yen per person in damages from both Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and the Japanese government, are considering appealing the ruling, some of them said in a press conference.

The Koriyama branch of the Fukushima District Court recognized the plaintiffs’ claim that they were anguished by losing previous joy, such as picking nearby wild plants and forging community ties, but dismissed the case against the state.

Presiding Judge Yohei Motomura noted that a government organization’s assessment released in 2002 of danger posed by possible quake-induced tsunami for the nuclear complex lacked accuracy, but it was still difficult for the state to foresee the magnitude of tsunami that hit the plant.

“Even if the government had exercised its regulatory authority and had TEPCO take countermeasures, it could not have been possible to prevent the tsunami from triggering the accident,” the judge said, awarding 2 million yen to each plaintiff.

Given that the plaintiffs had received compensation in the form of a monthly consolation fee of 100,000 yen from TEPCO through August 2012, the court ruled that most of the damages awarded in its ruling have already been paid.

A devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s northeast on March 11, 2011, triggered reactor meltdowns at the nuclear complex and sent plumes of radioactive material in the air.

Some areas of Tamura sit within a radius of 20- to 30-kilometers from the plant and were designated as emergency evacuation preparation zones the next month in the event of a worsened situation. The designation was lifted in September 2011.

Similar cases have been filed across Japan accusing the company and government of negligence over safety concerns about the plant.


June 7, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima District Court Orders TEPCO to Pay Compensation, Finding No Liability on the Part of the State

Plaintiffs’ lawyers hold up a paper that reads, “The government denies its responsibility for compensation,” after the ruling in the nuclear power plant lawsuit.

June 02, 2022
525 residents of the former emergency evacuation preparation zone in the Miyakoji district of Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture, have filed a lawsuit against the government and TEPCO, claiming that they lost community ties and suffered emotional distress as a result of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. On April 2, the Koriyama Branch of the Fukushima District Court ruled in a lawsuit filed by 525 residents of the former emergency evacuation preparation zone in the Miyakoji district of Tamura City, Fukushima Prefecture, seeking a total of approximately 6 billion yen in damages from the government and TEPCO. The judge, Yohei Motomura, ordered TEPCO to pay approximately 7,350,000,000 yen in compensation. The court did not find the government liable.

Judge Motomura awarded approximately 1.2 billion yen in compensation to the residents for the anxiety caused by exposure to radiation and the emotional distress caused by the long-term evacuation. He calculated the amount of compensation by subtracting approximately 1.13 billion yen that the residents had already received. The court did not find that the government had foreseeability.

 According to the complaint, the plaintiffs had been enjoying gathering wild vegetables and mushrooms for their livelihood, but the nuclear power plant accident caused them to lose their connection to the natural environment of the area.

 After the verdict, Nobuyuki Imaizumi, 74, a plaintiff, said, “I have been working for eight whole years, and it is very disappointing that the government is not found responsible. As long as there are plaintiffs, we will fight until the end. Plaintiffs’ attorney Hiroyasu Hayashi expressed his intention to appeal, saying, “Given the current amount of money, there will be an extremely large number of plaintiffs who will appeal.

June 7, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

No recognition of administrative negligence after nuclear accident

March 1, 2021
The Fukushima District Court has ruled against the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by parents and children who lived in the prefecture at the time of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, claiming that measures were not taken to avoid radiation exposure to their children.

One hundred and sixty parents and children who lived in the prefecture at the time of the nuclear accident were seeking 100,000 yen per person in damages from the government and the prefecture, claiming that they suffered mental anguish due to the lack of measures to avoid radiation exposure after the accident.
The plaintiffs, parents and children, claimed that they were exposed to unnecessary radiation and continue to suffer from health concerns, while the government and the prefecture countered that they were not exposed to unnecessary radiation.
In his ruling on March 1, Judge Toji Endo of the Fukushima District Court pointed out that the fact that the government did not immediately disclose the prediction of radioactive material diffusion calculated by the system called “SPEEDI” was “not unreasonable as it was in accordance with the operation method stipulated in the national guidelines at that time.
In addition, the court rejected the plaintiff’s claim that the government and the prefectural government did not immediately evacuate the children en masse, pointing out that “the indicators for evacuation in the disaster prevention guidelines at the time of the nuclear accident were standardized for children with high sensitivity to radiation and were reasonable in light of international standards.
This is the first time that a court has ruled on the government’s response to a nuclear accident, while most of the cases involving nuclear accidents hold the government responsible for the occurrence of the accident.
After the verdict was handed down, Sumio Konno, the representative of the plaintiffs’ group, said, “I am not convinced at all. What did the court examine? I thought it was an unfair judgment.

March 6, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment