1,324 Fukushima citizens file criminal complaint against TEPCO, gov't


More than 1,300 residents of Fukushima Prefecture have filed a criminal complaint against 33 named Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) executives and the Japanese government in connection with the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year.

The complaint was filed Monday by 1,324 citizens at the Fukushima prosecutors' office, TBS reported. The bill of indictment formally accuses members of TEPCO and the government's Nuclear Safety Commission of professional negligence resulting in injury or death.

The commission is accused of negligence in regard to its responsibility to take adequate safety precautions at the Fukushima plant. In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, the failure on the part of the named executives to ensure the plant's safety led to the meltdown, the complaint says. Furthermore, it claims the meltdown and the delay in releasing information about the scale of the radiation leakage exposed residents to radioactive materials, caused injury and emotional damages, and even provoked suicides.

Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer representing the group, was quoted as saying that the most important thing is the public outcry for a full investigation into these alleged oversights, TBS reported. "Today we have taken the first step toward making that investigation happen," he said.

Kawai added that one of the group's main reasons for filing the criminal complaint was the lack of individual accountability arising from the actions of the government's own accident investigation committee. Those named in the complaint include TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, former TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu, who testified before a Diet panel last week, and Nuclear Safety Commission chief Haruki Madarame.

The Nuclear Safety Commission has been criticized for sitting on relevant information provided by the special computerized System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI). Critics contend that releasing SPEEDI data on the radiation spread could have prevented confusion over evacuations and the extent of the no-go zone around the stricken nuclear plant.

© Japan Today

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Wow good to see, some standing up and having a go, I have been saying all along these scumbags should be facing criminal prosecution.

Lets hope the courts dont swish it to one side.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

It's about time! I would think that there would be more than 1300 angry people over this though...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Good to see this! Hope you guys are heard in the courts and that TEPCO get as harshly punished as possible.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

About time!!! Way to go citizens of Fukushima!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Yep! Good stuff! We all know there were safety recommendations made over the ten years prior to the tsunami and they were ignored by TEPCO and not enforced by the J-Gov. They were warned to move their back up generators onto higher ground and to install waterproof switch housings, but they didn't. If the generators and electrics were secured there would not have been a meltdown at all and those 100,000 displaced people would still be living in Fukushima.

Personally, I think just about every person in eastern Japan is entitled to some form of compensation from both TEPCO and the J-Gov.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wonderful! Should be a warning to those in the process of starting the Oi reactors. Hopefully the backup generators at OI are in a sensible place.

BTW, the nuclear skull graphic i was working on is up for download now :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Awesome stuff! I just hope that on top of the group lawsuit (which will be turned down given the government owns a majority of TEPCO now) they each and every one of them file their own lawsuit. I think not only are 1,324 lawsuits in order, but several thousands besides. Ultimately, and sadly, they will all fail or be bogged down for so long that it won't matter, but just standing up is something. This message needs to be slapped on the face of TEPCO management (former and current) and then pinned through the skull.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Good to see but peanuts in numbers. I'm sure it would be 50 times higher if they weren't afraid to come out publicly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

1,324 Fukushima citizens file criminal complaint against TEPCO, gov't

Direct all these complaints to Noda. I hear he has taken over responsibility for nuke electricity and related mess before and after

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I love it.

Thank God they have realized that they have to take things into their own hands. Tokyo and especially the LDP which ran the ship until about 3 years ago, are nothing but one big "old boys network".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This will be interesting, what will the courts decide? How long will this take and what compensation will be paid? They and all residence who have paid tax under the assumption that there is a legal coverage of N-plants will be interested in the outcome. But apparently we all have to bear the burden, suck it up and just love the new born with 3 eyes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All the luck to them, they have a good case:

3 ( +4 / -1 )

about time. there are 3 branches to government and the legislative and executive branches have failed the japanese people miserably. it is now up to the judicial branch to see that justice is done or if the entire government is farce.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Seems it'd be more like thirteen million filing criminal complaints. Or more.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The fact is some governments find it acceptable to run a nuclear power plant without reliable backup power aside from the grid.

Hopefully the lawsuit will make them pay attention, because Japan has only so much land to build on. There is no excuse for what happened at Fukushima

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Injury or death? Tell me of a single death or cancer case related to Fukushima. And no, suicides don't count because those can't be attributed to anything other than a failure of friends and family to help.

As of yet, there is no known case of any individual under the age of 50 receiving over 50mSv of long term radiation, and therefore no harm has been done. I think some Japanese lawyers have been watching too many American tv shows and are just looking for money.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

This is really great. Long since time to stand up for your country when those in office and in industry have destroyed and abandoned you. Take them down. Rather a small number though. Could easily be 1000 times this amount?

While this is incredibly tragic it can also perhaps lead to a positive result, a chill on Noda's puppetry and force nuclear to be turned off at last. A Japan that can say no more of this is worth it.

I hope it works out

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tepco is the least of Japan's problems. And there is no criminal negligence here as no one has died from radiation.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

I hope the Japanese people will get the most heaviest compensation from the clearly criminal acts of Tepco and J-gov.

The rest are waiting for the real damage to sink in before suing them, I presume? Japan's nuclear tragedy has just begun and the price will be astronomical. J-gov should be forced to finally act on it's own rules and regulations, at the very least. No government that does this to its own people should claim sovereignty.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

LOL at the fact they sat on and moved slowly regarding something called SPEEDI.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nippon Nation: "And there is no criminal negligence here as no one has died from radiation."

According to whom? Let me guess... the people who would suffer most from it being revealed people HAVE died from radiation? Are you aware how many have died already working there? At least 7, and always suspicious, with TEPCO announcing even before an autopsy that there is nothing to do with radiation, while denying kids in playgrounds better take their thyroid pills.

TEPCO is an embarrassment to the world, and if Japan defends TEPCO, it to is an embarrassment. They deserve to be sued until at least every last yen that goes into reconstruction and cleaning is paid off, but they never will -- because the government are as big criminals as the company itself. TEPCO is just mad that it got caught.... AGAIN (ie. not the first time).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

the entrire tepco board should be made criminal and civil lawsuit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Go Fukushima! I know of a woman in her 30s and a man in his early 40s who have died of heart failure in Fukushima in the past year. Heart failure was one of the biggest killers after Chernobyl. Quite a few of my friends' children have had continuous (daily) nosebleeds since the explosions. No, they did not suffer from them before. Can I prove the heart failures were from the radiation? Of course not. But neither can anyone else prove they were not. But kind of odd how I did not know any people dying of heart failure so young before the disaster. They have every right to sue.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am amazed only 1300+ filed complaint! I would have thought many more, but I suppose it is a start

3 ( +3 / -0 )

they ARE criminals and should be treated as such. way to go.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's about time. Now let's just hope for some justice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

and even provoked suicides.

And I hope that the naysayers here who wrote on a suicide thread that what happened at Fukushima just couldn't be used to blame a persons suicide take note! Some have even posted on this thread praising the people for taking action against TEPCO.

Yet they don't blame TEPCO for the suicides....mmmmm!

Glad to see that the people filing the complaint don't listen to or agree with you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good luck, justice is not the issue. Protecting the system will win. Companies are sacred smurfs we must bow to their honored status.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if it is somehow proven that not a single death nor injury has resulted from the disaster, I still think the company can be held criminally liable based upon the fact that the homes and properties of thousands of people are now unlivable and worthless. Family inheritances and livelihoods have been destroyed. You could probably find a close parallel with an arsonist, or perhaps a chemical company that negligently poisons the groundwater under someone's property. Regardless, I hope these people find a way to pin some INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY where it belongs. I'm so tired of the excuses!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

there is no criminal negligence here as no one has died from radiation.

Maybe so, but…

Nearly 45 people out of some 440patients and workers at a at Futaba Hospital in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture are estimated to have died while or after being evacuated.

The day after the quake, authorities issued an evacuation order in areas within 10 kilometers from the nuclear power station. In response, 209 patients at the hospital and care home who were able to walk on their own, as well as many of workers, fled the area. However, bed-ridden and seriously handicapped patients were unable to do so.

About 130 patients and workers that the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) had rescued from the hospital arrived at the office by bus. Among the patients in the vehicle, two of them were already dead and others had had incontinence, with their intravenous lines disconnected.

At around 1 a.m. on March 15, police officers urged hospital staff to evacuate, saying, “You have no choice but to leave here.” In response, the staff fled to the neighboring village of Kawauchi, while leaving behind the patients. (two doctors and two staff members stayed there.)

About 90 patients rescued by the GSDF team were transported to evacuation shelters, but 10 of them died during or after the evacuation operations.

Another bus carrying 21 of the patients arrived at Aizu General Hospital on March 15, but the bodies of many of them had become very cold. In the end, six of them died between that night and April 11.

Other patients at the hospital died one after another, reportedly bringing the death toll at the institution to about 45.

Those 45 patients wouldn’t have died if there had been no explosion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow.... Nippon Nation... Wow....

But unfortunately, I will be shocked to death if these TEPCO execs face any criminal charges. Especially ones this serious.

Unfortunately this is Japan, and if history has taught us anything, it is that in Japan, the rich protect the rich.

Terrible criminals walk away with little more than a slap on the wrist

And I pray that I am wrong here, but I wont be surprised if I am right...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This will probably get nowhere, since the high courts there are notoriously pro Japan Inc. and against real citizens' rights, and can find creative ways to iterpret the law, but, all the same HATS OFF TO THESE FOLKS. About time someone is held accountable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

One of the most pleasing headlines I've ever seen on JT! Very cool! I'm been anti-lawyer in my time, but I really hope they take them to the cleaners!

Actually, I hope the execs have to become cleaners!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good for them! I hope others join in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Way to go people of Fukushima! I cannot even come close to understanding what you have been through.

I just hope this doesn't shrivel out with a 'settlement'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only 1300? Why not the whole prefecture? Tepco needs to be taken down, and taken over by the Japanese government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan, There is no such information available from any reputable source, no-one has died because of radiation, and even if people were to die from radiation, we are still more than ten years away from finding out.

Onniyama, radiation cannot cause heart failure except in cases where someone is exposed to more than 1.5Sv (some cases have been recorded at lower rates, but still above 500mSv) within a few hours. What can be a cause of heart failure is stress and lack of exercise, both of which can be attributed to mass hysteria rather than actual problems. The media is much more responsible, I would be unsurprised if the death rates are equal to the swine flu scare. Bloody noses are usually the same reason. Poor ventilation in a home can also dry up the air, making bloody noses easier.

Blair Herron, that is entirely the responsibility of the hospitals. The staff at the hospital has a moral, and in most countries a legal, responsibility to take care of it's patients even in the case where staff may be subject to unknown effects. In the US, several doctors and staff were sued for leaving patients to fend for themselves in Katrina, which was a similar event to Japan's forced evacuations. Those staff who did not stay behind should be subject to review, as their actions can be considered malpractice. As for the "patients got cold" part, that is simply due to a lack of power. Most large buildings use centralized air and heat to reduce costs, but those systems aren't connected to backup generators. Since Japan's power grid is more than 99.99% stable, most places never consider power outages in their calculations, since power outage usually means building destruction anyway.

I cannot see a tort against TEPCO or NSC going forward under any actual laws including common laws, but a suit against the central government and media is in order. The central government ordered the evacuations, and the media made sure those evacuations were expanded and never rescinded even after the area was considered safe under WHO guidelines. The central government mandated evacuations were also hastily done without any planning, leading to a mess of a situation.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

basroil. I bet you would think different if it was your kid standing in front of you with a bloody nose everyday. In fact, the kids I am speaking of did not change their lifestyle in any significant manner (ie. staying inside). Please stop playing the fearmongering card. And as for heart failure, please check the ECRR reports on effects of exposure to radiation. But I guess there is no point as you probably know more than them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Onniyama, I was one of those kids. The area I lived in was very dry due to high altitude, and I had nosebleeds almost every day. My parents had even considered surgery to get it to stop. But then I moved to a place next to water and those nosebleeds magically stopped. In fact, the next time I had a nosebleed was when I broke it over a decade later.

As for radiation reports, the ECRR is not a trustworthy source, as they simply pick and choose data from other sources. One of those sources is WHO (world health organization), which compiles a very large collection of data into informative reports and analysis of the information. WHO does not consider low level radiation a heart health risk. In fact, only one source does consider it, Christopher Busby, who has never published a peer reviewed article on the issue. In fact, all publishers have rejected his works due to things like biological implausibility (he talks about photoelectric effect on molecules that have no electron mobility) and lack of independent verification of his work.

If you would care to see the list of health issues caused by radiation, both WHO and the US Armed Forces both have documents freely available that break down issues by exposure levels, age, and other factors. I trust data collected over the last fifty years over theories. Even for Chernobyl, which was seven times more radiation released, WHO puts excess cancers worldwide at 9000, while the notoriously anti-nuclear greenpeace puts the seventy year death rate at 90000. Even if exposure and cancer risk were linear (studies show it isn't entirely linear, especially at low doses where there seems to be no correlation) , we would expect 13000 extra deaths over seventy years. In comparison, 370000 people would have died in car crashes (current rate), and 2.17 million would have committed suicide (five year average). It is very clear mathematically, especially when car crashes are just as simple to prevent (simply remove all cars from Japan)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

basroil. Glad you no longer have nosebleeds but what are talking about? These people do not live at a high elevation and have no history of nosebleeds. Seems like you are grasping at straws to try and prove radiation is safe for people. Well, I guess you can say anything when you do not have to live there. As for radiation reports, the WHO is not a trustworthy source because they are handcuffed by the IAEA. They cannot release any reports on radiation without the approval of the IAEA. The IAEA exists to promote the proliferation of atomic energy so.............well you can do the math. Even if they were allowed to report, their method of research based on the ICRP method, is terribly outdated. The ECRR is not a group made up solely of Chris Busby (although I am sure you believe it is) but of many scientists including Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake who has spent a lifetime researching the effects of radiation. As for your mass hysteria/stress theories, give me a break. Do you work for a nuke industry? You sound just like them. Is it only the stress of worrying about RADIATION that leads to nosebleeds and heart failure? My grandparents raised 6 children in war-torn Europe and were bombed on a regular basis and occupied by the Nazis.. None of them or people they knew had these problems. I guess stress from worrying about radiation has different properties than other extreme stresses. And what is this car stuff? If you do not want to die in a car crash, do not get in a car. Too bad the people in Fukushima do not have this option. They have to live in the radiation. Once again, grasping at straws here man. And if you do not believe that long term exposure to radiation has any ill health effects, watch the following video. And believe it or not, Chris Busby is not invovled. Wow!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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