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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 June 19 - 25  > Tokyo High Court judges conduct on-site inspections in Fukushima nuclear accident damages suit
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2019 June 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo High Court judges conduct on-site inspections in Fukushima nuclear accident damages suit

June 25, 2019

In a court battle waged by Fukushima nuclear accident evacuees seeking compensation from the state and the operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, Tokyo High Court judges presiding over an appeal against the lower court decision on June 24 conducted on-site inspections in Fukushima for the first time.

In order to check on the damage brought about by the nuclear meltdowns, the judges visited Iitate Village and Namie Town where the plaintiffs were forced to evacuate following the 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. They saw temporary storage sites of waste generated from radioactive decontamination work and entered high radiation zones in protective suits.

They were accompanied by plaintiffs, relevant ministry officials, and TEPCO officials.

After the on-site inspections, one of the plaintiffs said, “I have long hoped that the judges would come to our hometowns. I think they clearly perceived that the reconstruction work is proceeding at a snail’s pace.” Another plaintiff, who took the judges to his former home in Namie Town, said, “My former home is in terrible condition. The state should also be held responsible for the nuclear disaster.”

The court case was brought to the Chiba District Court by around 40 Fukushima citizens who took refuge in Chiba Prefecture after the 2011 meltdowns. In the initial trial, the district court in September 2017 rejected the plaintiffs’ demand for state compensation, but ordered TEPCO to pay 376 million yen in damages.

Past related article:
> Court denies state responsibility for 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown [September 23, 2017]

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