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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 14 - 20  > Gov’t and TEPCO again ordered to compensate for Fukushima nuclear disaster damages
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2018 March 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov’t and TEPCO again ordered to compensate for Fukushima nuclear disaster damages

March 17, 2018
In a lawsuit that 47 Fukushima residents who have taken shelter in Tokyo since the 2011 nuclear meltdowns filed against the state and TEPCO to seek compensation for damages, the Tokyo District Court on March 16 ordered the defendants to jointly pay a total of 59 million yen in damages to 42 plaintiffs.

This is the fourth ruling recognizing the responsibility of the government and TEPCO for the nuclear meltdowns following similar rulings in courts in Maebashi, Fukushima, and Kyoto. The plaintiffs’ group and its legal team issued a statement which reads, “This court ruling decided that blame lies with the defendants. They should apologize for the accident and adopt a sincere attitude toward Fukushima disaster victims.”

Including the four court battles, evacuees of the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been fighting 30 collective-action lawsuits across Japan claiming compensation from the government and the utility for damages.

The Tokyo District Court in its ruling pointed out that based on the 2002 government data, the government could have predicted the risk that the Fukushima nuclear power plant could be seriously damaged by tsunamis following in the wake of a massive magnitude 8 earthquake. The ruling recognized that the government could have prevented the nuclear meltdowns by issuing proper instructions to TEPCO by the end of 2006.

Of the 47 plaintiffs, 46 are “voluntary” evacuees who escaped from areas outside the government-set evacuation zones after the nuclear accident.

Regarding the 46 voluntary evacuees, the court judged that their act of evacuation in consideration of the health impact of radioactive substances was rational. It also acknowledged that the 46 had to decide whether to leave their places of residence or not, which constitutes a violation of their right to choose where they live.

A female plaintiff in her 40s said, “I joined the lawsuit because I wanted to protect my children. I’m happy with the court ruling.”

Past related articles:
> Court orders state and TEPCO to pay Y500 million in damages to 2011 meltdown sufferersE [October 11, 2017]
> District court: Fukushima nuclear accident could have been prevented [March 18, 2016]
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