Japan court Dictates gov’t, TEPCO to Cover in Fukushima disaster

TOKYO — A Japanese court on Wednesday found that the authorities and also the operator of this shattered Fukushima nuclear plant detained for failing to take steps to protect against the 2011 atomic tragedy, ordering them to cover some 1 billion yen ($9.5 million) in damages for tens of thousands of taxpayers due to their lost livelihoods.

The Sendai High Court found fault with the authorities at the meltdowns of 3 reactors, saying that the regulatory agency in the time might have predicted that the significant tsunami manner ahead of the catastrophe, according to attorneys representing the more than 3,600 plaintiffs.

Thus far, 13 lower court decisions had been split over government responsibility from the catastrophe.

The court ordered the authorities and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to cover damages to the plaintiffs, decreasing the amount which a lower court had arranged TEPCO to cover in 2017.

“We request the government to expand relief steps whenever possible, not just for the plaintiffs but also for many victims dependent on the harm they endured,” Managi explained.

The prior judgment also stated a tsunami threat was predictable and the tragedy might have been prevented if the authorities had arranged TEPCO to take appropriate preventative steps.

The high court said Wednesday that authorities in the administration’s now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency must have foreseen a tsunami as large as 15.7 meters (51.5 ft ) according to an experts’ evaluation in 2002.

The court stated the authorities and TEPCO, despite understanding that the tsunami possibility, failed to perform a threat assessment or accept security measures, according to the attorneys.

Plaintiffs stated the judgment gave a justice, but their lifestyles can not return to normal and their battle is far from over.

“For over nine decades, I’ve planted seeds around the polluted soil and grown veggies, constantly worrying about the consequences of radiation,(asterisk) plaintiff Kazuya Tarukawa, a farmer out of Sukagawa at Fukushima, stated in a meeting following the judgment. (asterisk)Our polluted land won’t ever be the same”

The authorities contended that it had been not possible to forecast the tsunami or stop the following catastrophe. TEPCO says it’s fulfilled its settlement duty under administration guidelines.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told me the government will react appropriately after carefully analyzing the judgment. He didn’t state if it is going to appeal.

Radiation that spewed in the plant melted reactors infected the surrounding regions, forcing about 160,000 inhabitants to flee at the same point. Over 50,000 are still displaced due to lingering safety issues.