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The Sendai District Court on Tuesday ordered a kindergarten in Miyagi Prefecture to pay ¥177 million in damages over the deaths of four children in a school bus that was swamped by the March 11, 2011, tsunami as it was being driven toward lower ground.

It was the first ruling on a damages suit filed by families of tsunami victims against operators of facilities in 3/11 disaster areas. It could affect at least eight other similar damages suits filed by victims’ relatives.

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