Compensation for Fukushima victims sluggish, gov’t to step in

9 years ago by in Featured, Japan Tagged: , ,

Victims of Japan’s nuclear accident have been clamoring because of a delay of compensation payments by the Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Out of 70,000 claimants who applied as of December 31, nearly 50% or a total of 34,000 applications were accepted. TEPCO said it will lodge 1,000 employees in March to speed up the application process and payment of compensation claims.

To address the mounting concern on the need for the speedy action on compensation payment, the government has worked on the setting up of a compensation fund the details of which it intends to finish prior to the opening of the Diet session this month. While a bill proposing for the fund was passed by the Diet in July last year, it has been suspended as the government thought TEPCO must deal with the compensation on its own.

The compensation fund of the government will cover expenses for people who evacuated their homes on their own and those who incurred losses in income caused by radiation contamination. The fund will also cover the costs for decontamination efforts.

Earlier, Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato requested the government to set up the compensation fund to ease the payouts to victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant who are eligible for compensation. A government estimate of victims qualified for compensation payment reached 1.5 million, The Asahi Shimbun reported. The projection prompted TEPCO to ask for government aid amounting to 1.01 trillion yen to cover initial compensation costs.