Business / Corporate

Court orders Tepco to pay ¥1.1 billion in extra damages to residents of Fukushima district

Kyodo

A court on Wednesday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. to pay ¥1.1 billion ($10.1 million) in damages to Fukushima residents over nuclear meltdowns triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The Tokyo District Court ordered the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to pay the combined sum to 321 plaintiffs who had sought ¥11 billion in compensation, claiming they had suffered psychological damage from losing their livelihoods in the Odaka district of the city of Minamisoma.

Residents of the district, which is located within 20 kilometers of the power plant, were ordered to evacuate after the nuclear disaster until the order was partially lifted in July 2016.

While around 12,800 people lived in the district before the disaster, the population had dropped to about 2,400 as of December 2017, according to the city.

Tepco said it will carefully review the ruling before deciding whether to accept it.

The company has already announced it will pay ¥8.5 million to each resident in the district under state guidelines.

But the plaintiffs in the latest suit said the amount was insufficient and sought an additional ¥32 million per person.

The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, resulting in a blackout at the plant and a consequent loss of reactor cooling functions. The plant suffered multiple meltdowns and hydrogen explosions.