Fukushima survivors sue Japanese government

4 years ago by in Japan

About 800 survivors of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident sued Japan’s government, as well as Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Monday, asking for Fukushima region to be restored as it was before the nuclear crisis. At the moment, the area is still contaminated by radioactive materials.

The plaintiffs filed the case with the Fukushima District Court, demanding Y50,000 ($520) a month from the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) until the area is restored, according to their lawyers’ statement.

“Through this case, we seek restitution of the region to the condition before radioactive materials contaminated the area, and demand compensation for psychological pains until the restitution is finished,” the statement said, according to the international press.

The case was filed as Japan marked the second anniversary of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011. The quake unleashed a giant tsunami that hit the northeastern Japan. About 16,000 people died during the natural disaster and almost 3,000 other bodies still need to be found.

Due to the gigantic waves, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant’s reactors went through meltdown and explosions, while radioactive materials spread into the surrounding regions. Tens of thousands of people had to abandon their homes and jobs in highly contaminated areas.

“Through this case, we will clarify the responsibility of TEPCO, which caused the accident, and the government which neglected to take sufficient safety measures and promoted nuclear power with utilities as a national policy,” the statement said.

“This case is not only aimed at saving victims, but also at pushing the government to thoroughly change its pro-nuclear policy and therefore prevent people becoming victims in the future,” it said.