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Court orders TEPCO to pay Y27 mil in damages over suicide linked to Fukushima

18 Comments

The Fukushima District Court has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to pay 27 million in damages to the bereaved family of a man who committed suicide after being displaced due to the March 11, 2011 disaster.

Kiichi Ikazaki, then 67, and his family were forced to leave their home in Namie town, not too far from the nuclear plant, in March 2011, Sankei Shimbun reported. In July, Ikazaki committed suicide. His surviving wife Eiko and family filed a suit against TEPCO, demanding 87 million yen in damages.

In handing down the ruling on Tuesday, the judge declared that the court saw a direct relationship between the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the evacuations and the extreme stress forced upon the evacuees, and that these factors drove Ikazaki to commit suicide.

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18 Comments
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not very much for a life but its good to see TEPCO take the blame.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hope this is going to open the flood gates.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Looks like they finally found a way to deal with the Fukushima aftereffects.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To date, there are around 1,000 suicides connected to the displacement in Fukushima. The amount paid to this family seems rather small. I guess it's based on five years salary because of his age. As much as it is good to see these people receiving compensation for their hardship, TEPCO will only cry poor and increase tariffs to compensate for it and, in the long run, it is the consumer (us) that will be paying their compensation. And, not one of the TEPCO executives has faced any criminal charges what-so-ever, despite openly admitting the meltdown was cause by human error and a failure to upgrade safety procedures and technology.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They're probably preparing a 1000 page document to read and sign by the person to receive the money, which has all sorts of clauses like it'll be paid over the decommissioning period, and other ways to worm out of it. I hope they get sued by heaps more people, but knowing scummy companies like TEPCO I have ZERO doubt that anyone who has been eligible to receive any kind of compensation -- and a pittance, no doubt -- has had to sign documents that make it illegal for them to sue in the future, so it would have to be for other reasons, and even then clearly TEPCO is fighting it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There are many others in the legal pipeline.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Please put tepco management is jail while you are at it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

To date, there are around 1,000 suicides connected to the displacement in Fukushima.

Where are you pulling data or information from? You have made a few erroneous statements regarding a number of different stories. There have been over 1,000 deaths related to the displacement and it is wrong to write suicides, there are a ton of other reasons.

TEPCO should be held responsible for these deaths, but they were and are not all due to suicides but other health related issues.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And, not one of the TEPCO executives has faced any criminal charges what-so-ever, despite openly admitting the meltdown was cause by human error and a failure to upgrade safety procedures and technology.

And criminal charges are never going to happen. The entire nuclear industry was shut down on account of the actions of the management of one company. Don't you remember all the news stories about the "nuclear village" and the "safety myth" and the "cozy relationships between industry and regulators" and all the other things that allegedly caused the accident? Nobody was interested in going after the actual guilty parties then, and for obvious financial and legal reasons they never will be.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In handing down the ruling on Tuesday, the judge declared that the court saw a direct relationship between the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the evacuations and the extreme stress forced upon the evacuees, and that these factors drove Ikazaki to commit suicide.

Finally a voice of reason and compassion towards the victims of Fukushima, who have nedured over four years of misery. Meanwhile, in Tokyo, they throw money at an Olympic stadium to be a symbol to the world about how well Japan has "recovered" from 3/11. Talk about screwed-up priorities.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Finally a voice of reason and compassion towards the victims of Fukushima,

You do know yes that the "victims of Fukushima" have received nearly ¥5 trillion in support and compensation payments and are in a better financial position than other Fukushima people outside of the evacuation zone or the other victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Many of those also lost everything they owned but without financial support or compensations. Many of the nuclear refugee's will continue to receive support until about the spring 2017 even if they were to return to their former homes and communities.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And, not one of the TEPCO executives has faced any criminal charges what-so-ever, despite openly admitting the meltdown was cause by human error and a failure to upgrade safety procedures and technology

Admitting human error is not the same as worthy of a negligence charge, the standard of which is failing to take "reasonable" precautions. What's reasonable is determined by a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory norms. As long as TEPCO hadn't broken any paper regs and they were not less careful and prompt to upgrade safety procedures and technology than the average in Japanese nuclear industry, they won't be guilty and they shouldn't be.

In fact, I'm very much of a mind that it is hypocritical for things to have gotten this far already. A country that turns human error into negligence charges is not going to make it very far as everyone thinks only of covering his butt.

Besides, you don't think anybody is going to "openly admit" to huamn error ... etc if they were going to be prosecuted, would they?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A country that turns human error into negligence charges is not going to make it very far as everyone thinks only of covering his butt.

There is a point however where human error does become negligence, particularly when there is more than one person responsible. It's a pattern with TEPCO which means that errors were as it seems to me, common knowledge, and overlooked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the judge declared that the court saw a direct relationship between the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the evacuations and the extreme stress forced upon the evacuees

If TEPCO is guilty of that, aren't they also guilty of the disruption of business law as well? How many citizens businesses were and still are being disrupted? The government uses this law against many who hardly disrupt a single business, why don't they take action on this one?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You do know yes that the "victims of Fukushima" have received nearly ¥5 trillion in support and compensation payments and are in a better financial position than other Fukushima people outside of the evacuation zone or the other victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

zichi -- what a heartless post. First off, you know full well, your number of JPY 5 trillion is highly suspect, and includes nearly JPY 2 trillion paid to the JA, the agricultural coop. The amount actually paid directly to the survivors, when divided by their numbers, is a pittance. Second, as you no doubt know:

The government also announced that they would terminate compensation payments for all evacuees except those from the “difficult to return zone” by 2018. There is no consideration being given to the prospect of these people having a functioning home to return to or not.

So, basically, the government is washing their hands of these folks, regardless of whether or not they will have a home to return to.

Japan is a heartless country, even to its own victims. Except, of course, as I pointed out, unless you can help them look good with the Olympics. It thrills me that my post got thumbs-down -- means I scraped that carefully maintained veneer.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@jerseyboy

zichi -- what a heartless post. First off, you know full well, your number of JPY 5 trillion is highly suspect, and includes nearly JPY 2 trillion paid to the JA, the agricultural coop. The amount actually paid directly to the survivors, when divided by their numbers, is a pittance. Second, as you no doubt know:

nope! I have written hundreds of comments on the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I have never written any heartless comment about the situation but I do believe we need to be accurate with the facts and not just make stuff up to suit our bend of thought.

The nuclear evacuee's who fled their homes because of the disaster have received monthly support payments, free rental emergency housing and more than 80% have also received compensation payments. You should check before accusing of wrong doing.

The figure to date is actually about ¥5 trillion which covers the costs of the monthly support payments on average about ¥100,000 per person and compensation payments. These support payments will continue until spring 2018, which will make a 7 year support period. More than 80% of compensation claims have also been paid on average about ¥10 million per family.

The ¥5 trillion to the nuclear evacuees has nothing to do with compensation paid to the JA. ¥5 trillion divided by 150,000 persons is ¥33 million each. By 2018, the payments will be about ¥10 trillion.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/comp/images/jisseki-e.pdf

Japan is a heartless country, even to its own victims.

That is a gross error or misunderstanding on your part.

On March 11th 2011 there were three powerful major disasters. The powerful earthquake, followed by the powerful tsunami and also the nuclear disaster. As of April 2015, the earthquake/tsunami killed 15,891 people with 2,500 still missing. The earthquake/tsunami destroyed a very large area with many victims and survivors losing everything they owned and treasured. 350,000 people were provided with emergency and then temporary accommodations. The entire country mustered to help the families of the victims and the survivors and the international community responded to with donations totalling about ¥800 billion. In addition there were private donations from people like Masayoshi Son, CEO of Softbank who personally gave $120 million.

But there is a difference between the survivors of the nuclear evacuation and the other survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. Many have lost everything but only the nuclear evacuee's have received support payments and compensations which puts them in a better position than those who didn't receive any.

The cost of the reconstruction of Tohoku runs into many trillion of yen. The Tokyo government set aside ¥6.5 trillion to cover the costs of the next five years. Local governments of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima will pay ¥22 billion of that. To date all the reconstruction costs have been paid by Tokyo. ¥3.4 trillion is for rebuilding homes and communities damaged by the disaster. ¥500 billion for work at the nuclear ground zero and a further ¥400 billion for supporting the nuclear evacuee's.

The total for the disaster reconstruction for ten years 2011-2021 will be ¥32 trillion.

Previously, I have stated that the 20 km exclusion zone should have stayed until the work at the nuclear ground zero was finished in many decades times. That all the people and business of the zone receive compensations and everyone finds a new community to live in. Fukushima is a big place.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is a heartless country, even to its own victims.

That is a gross error or misunderstanding on your part.

No, it is a statement of fact, as you yourself, in all your numbers simply reinforce. You believe simply spending money, a huge amount of which has been wasted, is "showing heart". You think JPY 100,000 a month in "support payments" and still living in bascially a shack is sufficient. Well, I don't. I think it is simply the country trying to assauge its guilt, because it benefitted from decades of cheap energy, all the while fully knowing the risks, and these folks are the victims.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@jerseyboy

No, it is a statement of fact, as you yourself, in all your numbers simply reinforce. You believe simply spending money, a huge amount of which has been wasted, is "showing heart".

I don't understand why you would continue with your wrongful thinking and statement. In your previous comment you made accusations about the nuclear evacuee's not receiving compensation and being forced to live in temporary accommodations. When I point out to you the level of support and compensation the evacuee's are receiving you alter your thinking to;

You think JPY 100,000 a month in "support payments" and still living in bascially a shack is sufficient.

Well so many errors in your statement. ¥100,000 per person is more than most people earn from working. The support payments don't prevent people from working and indeed many have continued to do just that. In addition more than 80% have also received compensations.

The numbers still living in temporary accommodation are decreasing and there are others who live in public housing and private housing and also have their rents paid.

The numbers of evacuee's in 2011 were almost 150,000. Since then, the numbers have reduced because some have decided to start a new life in another community. The number of evacuees inside the prefecture, as of Mar.2, 2015, 73,077. Outside, 43,735. Unknown , 50. Total, 118,862.

Let's compare all this with disasters in your own country, America.

My family, mother and step-father lived through Hurricane Andrew in 1992 which destroyed a large part of Florida but fortunately not the home of my parents in Miami-Dade. The CAT 5 hurricane was the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States. Damage was $26 billion. The 2005 Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans and broke the levee's.

In both disasters the victims and survivors received very little help from the government. In Hurricane Andrew, the situation was so bad, my brother in New York was running food supplies down to Florida for our parents and others in the area. FEME was very slow in Hurricane Katrina and many people were unable to secure one of those badly built FEME mobile homes. Certainly, there were no support payments.

So before you want to yell shout and throw stones be careful of the glass house you also live in.

Well, I don't. I think it is simply the country trying to assauge its guilt, because it benefitted from decades of cheap energy, all the while fully knowing the risks, and these folks are the victims.

I don't think Japan, when compared to countries like America, have ever had decades of cheap energy since all fuels and energy have to be imported.

You have accused Japan of being heartless but you are so wrong.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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