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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 10 - 16  > Plaintiffs seeking damages for Fukushima disaster form national network
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2016 February 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Plaintiffs seeking damages for Fukushima disaster form national network

February 14, 2016
In a bid to win in the lawsuits seeking compensation for the damage caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown, 21 groups involving 9,645 plaintiffs from across Japan formed a national liaison council on February 13. The inaugural rally which was held in Tokyo was attended by about 180 people.

The leader of a plaintiff group in Fukushima Prefecture, Hayakawa Tokuo, 76, gave the opening speech. He strongly criticized the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, for attempting to divide disaster victims by using the unilaterally-set standards for compensation. “In past pollution suits, plaintiffs won their suits by uniting and putting aside differences in individual circumstances. Let’s join hands to win our legal battle,” he said.

Murakami Hiroshi, head of another group of complainants who evacuated from Fukushima to Kanagawa Prefecture, condemned Environment Minister Marukawa Tamayo’s recent remarks that there is no scientific basis for the state standard limiting the radiation exposure dose to 1 mSv per year. “How many times and to what extent will the minister continue to insult us?” Murakami said in anger.

An evacuee from Fukushima’s Namie Town, Konno Hidenori, said, “80% of the local district where I was living is a forest area. Authorities’ reluctance to decontaminate the area is tantamount to telling us not to return to our home again.”

Morimatsu Akiko, who had lived in Fukushima’s Koriyama City, moved to Osaka City after the nuclear disaster with her two small children. Her husband remained in Fukushima for his work. “My daughter, who was just a new-born baby when the accident occurred, has not lived with her father for nearly five years. My son, who was only three years old at that time, entered an elementary school in Osaka and is now learning to speak in the Kansai dialect and losing touch with his roots,” she said.

At the conclusion of the rally, the participants unanimously adopted a statement calling for restoring the affected areas to their original state, making full restitution to sufferers, and providing all evacuees with long-term rent-free housing.

Past related article:
> Bereaved family of Fukushima-disaster-related suicide reaches court-mediated settlement with TEPCO [December 2, 2015]
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