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Court orders Japan government to pay new Fukushima damages

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Staff Writer | March 15, 2018
2011 Fukushima
Nuclear   The third time

A Japanese court ordered the government to pay one million dollars in new damages over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, ruling it should have predicted and avoided the meltdown.

The Kyoto district court ordered the government and power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to pay 110 million yen in damages to 110 local residents who had to leave the Fukushima region, a court official and local media said.

Thursday's verdict was the third time the government has been ruled liable for the meltdown in eastern Japan, the world's most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

In October, a court in Fukushima city ruled that both the government and TEPCO were responsible, following a similar ruling in March in the eastern city of Maebashi.

However, another court, in Chiba near Tokyo, ruled in September that only the operator was liable.

On Thursday, presiding judge Nobuyoshi Asami ordered that 110 plaintiffs who saw their lives ruined and their property destroyed by the disaster be awarded compensation, Jiji Press and other media reported.

Contacted by AFP, a court spokesman confirmed the reports, adding that the ruling denied damages to several dozen additional plaintiffs.

"That damages for 64 people were not recognised was unexpected and regrettable," a lawyer for the plaintiffs said, adding that they would appeal, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Around 12,000 people who fled after the disaster due to radiation fears have filed various lawsuits against the government and TEPCO.


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