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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 20 - 26  > Yokohama court: gov't and utility liable for damages caused by 2011 N-meltdown
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2019 February 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Yokohama court: gov't and utility liable for damages caused by 2011 N-meltdown

February 21, 2019

The Yokohama District Court on February 20 acknowledged that the central government and TEPCO are liable for damages caused by the 2011 nuclear meltdown accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, ordering the two defendants to pay about 420 million yen in total to 152 evacuees who now live in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The ruling pointed out that the government and the utility should have been able to predict the occurrence of a tsunami-induced disaster at the Fukushima plant and that they, therefore, could have avoided the release of a vast amount of radioactive material. Nevertheless, the state authorities had failed to impose necessary regulations, which constitutes "failure or negligence that cannot be overlooked", the ruling concluded.

It has been eight years since the Fukushima nuclear accident. Thirty collective lawsuits seeking nuclear damage compensation are still pending in court with a total of more than 12,000 plaintiffs. Of the six lawsuits filed against the central government, in five cases which include the latest ruling, the government was judged to be held responsible for damages.

The central government, the offender, should reconsider its plan to discontinue giving post-disaster recovery assistance and paying compensation to disaster sufferers. It instead should take every possible measure to provide appropriate relief to the victims.

Past related article:
> Gov’t and TEPCO again ordered to compensate for Fukushima nuclear disaster damages
[March 17, 2018]
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