Tepco admits culpability in Fukushima farmer’s suicide via The Japan Times

Tokyo Electric Power has conceded the Fukushima nuclear meltdown disaster played a part in a farmer’s 2011 suicide, lawyers said Thursday, its first admission of culpability in such a case.

The utility has reached an out-of-court settlement with the family of Hisashi Tarukawa, a Fukushima farmer who took his own life 12 days after three reactors at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant experienced core meltdowns, spewing radioactive fallout across wide regions, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate and sending the local farming and fisheries industries into tailspins.

It was the first time Tepco has accepted in a settlement that the nuclear disaster at its plant was a factor in a suicide, the lawyers said, adding that the terms of the settlement package were not being made public.

The government has officially recognized that at least 80 people had committed suicide as of last December because of the Fukushima disaster.

Tarukawa, 64, hanged himself from a tree in a vegetable field after authorities banned shipments of some farm produce from Fukushima because of fears it was radioactive.

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