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Monday, 1 September 2014

Lawyers call on TEPCO to accept settlements

A group of Japanese lawyers is urging the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to pay more nuclear damage settlements to Fukushima residents.

Lawyers with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations told reporters on Monday that TEPCO is not honoring its promise to respect proposals from the Science Ministry's dispute settlement center.

The ministry established the center in 2011 in order to mediate disputes between TEPCO and residents who have serious claims against the utility following the accident at the Fukushima plant.

More than 8,000 cases have been settled since the center started accepting applications 3 years ago.

But the lawyers said TEPCO have recently rejected a series of the center's settlement proposals. They include a class action suit filed by more than 15,000 residents of the town of Namie.

A JFBA lawyer in charge of compensation for the nuclear accident, Yuichi Kaido, said the center has had a significant meaning for restoring the rights of the victims of the Fukushima accident who cannot directly negotiate with TEPCO. But he said he is increasingly worried about the utility's response.

He said TEPCO promised to respect settlement proposals in its business plan earlier this year. He said the firm is instead causing the residents further suffering by rejecting the offers.

Source: NHK World News
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