30 Mars 2017
March 30, 2017
Govt., TEPCO appeal damages ruling over Fukushima
Japan's government and Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, have appealed a court ruling that they must pay damages to a group of evacuees over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
The government and TEPCO filed the appeal with the Tokyo High Court on Thursday. The utility operates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The government and the firm say the decision of the Maebashi District Court, which found them liable for failing to prevent the accident, is unacceptable.
The lower court on March 17th said the defendants could have foreseen the massive tsunami that hit the plant in March 2011 and taken steps to prevent the accident.
The district court in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, ordered the defendants to pay more than 38 million yen, or about 340,000 dollars, in damages to 62 of 137 plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs had moved to Gunma from Fukushima Prefecture, including areas near the plant.
They claimed that they suffered mental distress from having to evacuate and losing their livelihood.
The ruling was the first handed down in a series of similar suits filed by more than 12,000 people across Japan.
March 30, 2017
The central government and the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex on Thursday appealed a court ruling that found them negligent for insufficient measures to deal with tsunami at the plant hit hard by the March 2011 disaster.
The state and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. respectively filed an appeal with the Tokyo High Court over the Maebashi District Court’s decision on March 17, the first ruling of its kind since the nuclear crisis following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Apart from finding the government and Tepco negligent, the district court awarded a total of ¥38.55 million ($340,000) in damages to 62 people who fled Fukushima Prefecture, including some who voluntarily evacuated.
The lawsuit was filed by 137 plaintiffs who sought a combined ¥1.5 billion in damages for emotional distress.
The district court had rejected arguments made by the state and operator that it was impossible to prevent the accident even if they had taken preparatory measures.
An official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said at a news conference that the court’s decision about whether the tsunami could have been foreseen and the accident averted was “unacceptable.”
Separately, a Tepco official said the utility decided to appeal after “comprehensively evaluating” the ruling, but declined to elaborate. The official said Tepco’s arguments will be made known at the high court.
The plaintiffs had claimed the state and Tepco could have foreseen a tsunami over 10 meters high hitting the plant based on a 2002 government estimate that there was a roughly 20 percent chance of a magnitude-8 level tsunami-triggering earthquake occurring within the next 30 years.