More Fukushima evacuees to sue Tepco, government

JIJI

More people forced to evacuate by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power station are preparing to sue Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the state, their lawyers announced Monday.

A group of 74 people representing 27 families will file the lawsuit with the Osaka District Court on Sept. 17, seeking around ¥15 million per head for psychological and other damage suffered from the event in Fukushima Prefecture, the lawyers said.

Similar suits have been filed in Hokkaido, Tokyo, and Yamagata, Chiba, Niigata and Aichi prefectures.

The 27 people are from 12 municipalities in Fukushima, including the town of Namie and the city of Minamisoma, who are now living in the Kinki region prefectures of Mie, Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. More evacuees may join the suit, the lawyers said.

The group will argue that Tepco should have taken stronger measures to protect the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant from earthquakes and tsunami after the government’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion warned in 2002 that there was 20 percent chance of a magnitude 8 or so quake occurring in the Japan Trench in the Pacific Ocean within 30 years, the lawyers said.