Tepco told to pay provisional compensation

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will comply with a government order and pay nearly ¥50 billion in provisional compensation to about 50,000 households forced to leave Japan’s 30-km evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Tepco said it will pay ¥1 million to multiperson households and ¥750,000 to singles and will attempt to distribute the money before the Golden Week holidays from late April to early May.

The company will distribute application forms to evacuees and people at evacuation shelters, who must then mail them back or give them directly to Tepco workers at evacuation centers, Tepco said.

The beleaguered utility will also set up a call center for the compensation payments on April 28.

To prevent radiation contamination, residents within a 20-km radius of Fukushima No. 1 and within 10 km of Fukushima No. 2 further to the south, were told to evacuate.

The band between 20 and 30 km of Fukushima No. 1 was designated as a stay-indoors area.

Earlier Friday, a government team attempting to measure the economic damage caused by the nuclear crisis ordered Tepco to make the provisional compensation.

How the government and Tepco will share the total compensation is unclear.

Trade minister Banri Kaieda, meanwhile, repeated that the government’s position is that Tepco is primarily responsible for redress.

In the afternoon, Tepco President Masataka Shimizu announced that the utility will issue compensation based on the government’s decision.

“We would like to pay necessary interim expenses as provisional compensation that will hopefully be of some help to the affected people,” he said at the utility’s headquarters.

Asked how the company plans to compensate farmers and fishermen whose products have been banned and others whose produce has been snubbed due to radiation rumors, Shimizu again avoided specifics and merely repeated that compensation would be offered in accordance with the law once the damage assessment has been outlined.