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‘Shocked’ Fukushima evacuees say Tepco ruling fails to fairly compensate them for suffering via The Japan Times

BY MAGDALENA OSUMI

A Tokyo court on Wednesday ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to pay a total of ¥21.34 million in damages to a group of evacuees from the March 2011 nuclear disaster.
But the ruling by the Tokyo District Court, which was the 11th such decision against Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., came as a shock to the evacuees, who claim the court has neglected their suffering.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2012 by 42 former residents of Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture, who claim their lives were affected by the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant disaster in 2011. They were forced to evacuate from the prefecture due to evacuation orders that were only lifted later, in March 2017. They had sought a combined ¥1.68 billion from the utility for their psychological suffering.

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In a written statement, Tepco offered a “sincere apology” to the residents of Fukushima Prefecture and others “for causing so much trouble,” and said they would examine the court’s decision and would consider ways to respond to it.

Noboru Tanaka, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, explained that the Iitate residents in the lawsuit had been receiving settlement compensation worth ¥100,000 per month for the past 7 years from Tepco in an alternative dispute resolution. But the amount was not enough to compensate their losses and inconveniences caused in the process of evacuation, he said, adding that compensation for a car accident victim would usually be three times that. He said the ruling was deplorable given that the plaintiffs remain unable to restore their lives.

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