More than 500 Fukushima Prefecture residents are poised to file a damage suit against the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, over health concerns and discrimination they suffered on the heels of the nuclear disaster.
The class action suit, to be filed mainly by residents of the city of Iwaki and other areas outside the nuclear evacuation zones, is the largest suit ever over the nuclear crisis in terms of the number of plaintiffs. They are set to file the case with the Iwaki branch of the Fukushima District Court on March 11.
On Jan. 27, some 200 residents attended a ceremony in Iwaki marking the forming of the plaintiffs’ group. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are demanding 250,000 yen each in damages for their mental distress over the one-month period following the outbreak of the nuclear disaster in March 2011, as well as 80,000 yen per month for children and pregnant women until the decommissioning of reactors at the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is completed. Additional demands will be made for the actual expenses the plaintiffs had to pay for their evacuation. There were 512 residents who submitted their proxies to the plaintiffs’ group as of Jan. 27.
Although there are many voluntary evacuees with small children and residents with health concerns in areas outside the evacuation zones, the amount of compensation they receive is smaller than that for residents within the evacuation zones. Thus far, compensation for voluntary evacuees who were under 18 or pregnant stood at 720,000 yen each across the board.
For inquiries, call Hiroshi Yoshida at the secretariat of the plaintiffs’ group at: 080-1815-5089 (in Japanese).
Filed under: 8.Eathquake & Nuclear accident