Some 7,000 people living in Tochigi Prefecture sought compensation Monday worth ¥1.85 billion through an out-of-court settlement with Tepco over the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

In the first collective appeal by residents who have not been compensated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., 7,128 people from Tochigi, located some 100 km from the crippled plant, argue that they should be eligible for compensation even though they were not living in Fukushima at the time of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

The residents, who were living at the time in Otawara, Nasushiobara, and Nasu are also demanding an apology and the establishment of a fund to pay for decontamination work and health checks, their lawyers said. The combined population of the two cities and town stands at around 218,000.