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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 2 - 8  > Top court rules TEPCO to be liable to compensate Fukushima evacuees for damages
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2022 March 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Top court rules TEPCO to be liable to compensate Fukushima evacuees for damages

March 5 & 7, 2022
The Supreme Court issued a ruling denying a challenge from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to high court decisions and ordering the utility to pay about 1.4 billion yen in total compensation to 3,600 plaintiffs in three class-action lawsuits who were forced to evacuate their hometowns following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.

This was the first top court decision among 30 class-action lawsuits being fought across Japan.

The three legal battles were launched in 2013 in Fukushima, Chiba, and Gunma prefectures by nuclear disaster evacuees. The 3,600 plaintiffs in their court battles between 2020 and 2021 won high court rulings recognizing that TEPCO is liable to compensate for damages caused by the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. Among these rulings, there is a ruling which pointed out that although the meltdown was avoidable, the utility neglected its duty to implement prevention measures.

The high court rulings ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to pay an amount of compensation exceeding the amount set under the government guidelines. In addition, the rulings accepted the plaintiffs’ demand for compensation for the loss of their hometowns which is not covered by the official guidelines and for payment to evacuees who fled from areas outside of the guidelines-designated areas.

Meanwhile, TEPCO in court claimed that the company bears responsibility for damages mentioned in the guidelines.

The plaintiffs in the three lawsuits and their legal teams said that it is significant that the top court made a decision that finalized the high court rulings in favor of Fukushima evacuees.

Past related articles:
> Lawyers and plaintiffs in 4 Fukushima nuclear accident lawsuits ask JCP to work to gain relief for all victims [November 17, 2021]
> Fukushima evacuees win reversal in appellate court [February 20, 2021]
> High court orders TEPCO to compensate evacuees for loss of hometowns [March 13, 2020]
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