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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 14 - 20  > Fukushima nuclear accident victims: Gov’t arrogantly requests top court to reverse Sendai High Court decision
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2020 October 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Fukushima nuclear accident victims: Gov’t arrogantly requests top court to reverse Sendai High Court decision

October 14, 2020
The state and Tokyo Electric Power Company on October 13 appealed to the Supreme Court against a Sendai High Court ruling which ordered them to pay a total of more than one billion yen in damages to some 3,600 plaintiffs by acknowledging their responsibility for the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.

In reaction to this move, the plaintiffs’ group and their legal team held a press conference in the Fukushima Prefectural Government office building. They reported that they also filed with the top court a request for a review of the high court decision as it failed to fully accept their demands.

At the press conference, Nakajima Takashi, who heads the plaintiffs’ group, criticized the state and TEPCO for being arrogant as they turned their back on victims’ calls for their livelihoods to be reinstated.

Lawyer Managi Izutaro on behalf of the plaintiffs’ counsel said, “Following the Sendai High Court ruling, we have called on the national government to terminate the legal battle and begin negotiating with us for early relief. However, it is very disappointing to hear that the state and the Fukushima NPP operator made a final appeal.” He expressed his determination to work even harder to have the Supreme Court make a judgement in favor of the plaintiffs.

In the lawsuit filed by the 3,600 plaintiffs who reside in four prefectures including Fukushima, the Sendai High Court ruling which was issued at the end of September pointed out that the national government neglected to require TEPCO to take precautions against nuclear emergencies by taking the utility’s claim of safety on faith and thus should bear responsibility to compensate the victims for their damage. This is the first ruling by an appeals court among similar lawsuits being fought across the nation.

Regarding the reason for the final appeal, the government referred to an argument by the high court ruling that the government could foresee a subsequent powerful tsunami triggered by the 3.11 earthquake based on the state organization’s report on the long-term evaluation of seismic hazards. The government argued that the report has no sufficient scientific grounds, and expressed its intent to seek a final judgement by the Supreme Court.

Past related article:
> Sendai High Court orders TEPCO and gov’t to compensate affected residents for damages caused by Fukushima nuclear accident [October 1, 2020]
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