Local governments appeal tsunami death compensation rulings


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"It's nearly impossible for the principal and other teachers, who are not anti-disaster experts, to predict a tsunami," Masato Chiba said.

True, but they are supposed to know better than the children, whose lives they were entrusted with, to RUN when they are told, and not wait around sucking their teeth!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The principal and teachers may not be able to predict a tsunami, but I bet they could understand spoken Japanese. When an announcement was made saying, in Japanese, “run for higher ground,” they should have done just that. And saved their own lives along with the children in their charge.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The tsnami came after the earthquake. Surely teachers must know what to expect.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The school teachers were following the prefecture safety and evacuation guidelines but once the tsunami warning was given they should have evacuated the children in their care to higher ground. The children and teachers lost their lives. The amount of compensation seems high for a child.

Sad loss of the children who might have been saved.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Read Richard Lloyd Parry's book, Ghosts of the Tsunami. He spent months interviewing the families of the Okawa school, and from the descriptions of the event in the book it is clear that the teachers procrastinated because they didn't know what to do as the manuel was incomplete. It only said "seek higher ground" but not where, or when, which made the teachers all hesitate. Apparently some of the children were yelling at the teachers and asking them to take them up the mountain because they heard the sirens and warnings from the fire trucks and got sacred. But the teachers just told them to be quiet, and by then it was too late.

Appealing this ruling is an attempt to shirk responsibility, and nothing more. They should be ashamed of themselves.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"It's nearly impossible for the principal and other teachers, who are not anti-disaster experts, to predict a tsunami," Masato Chiba said.

Absolute bull. It was a GIGANTIC earthquake. The threat of a tsunami was huge. Schools here go through countless evacuation drills (and have been doing so for decades). Plus, it's common sense to go to higher ground as soon as possible even if the manual doesn't say so.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The ruling should stick. Japan is all about "Rules" and following those "Rules" so if the Rules are stupid, then there should be some encouragement to fix them, without this ruling being upheld, nothing will get done and stupid mindless robots will follow them even if it means jumping off the proverbial cliff-edge.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's not right the government is against compensating their own people. The familes should receive more $$$

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hindsight is 20/20.

The school was located 4 km away from the seashore. The place was not classified as tsunami danger zone in the previous assessment. Few people thought the tsunami might travel as long as 4 km. We cannot predict everything.

By the way, down town Tokyo is classified as tsunami danger zone. Tsunami actually came to Tokyo seashore on March 11, 2011. It was very small, but we cannot tell its size until it hits the seashore. How many evacuated from downtown Tokyo right after the earthquake to protect oneself and the family from the tsunami?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Both Tokyo and Sanriku had recent massive tsunamis in recent history. If I’m cooking and put too much chili in my dish, I be very careful about the next time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Indeed hindsight is hindsight, however, what you say about the distance from the seashore is misleading. The school is on the Kitakami river, the mouth of which goes into Oppa Bay, only just over 2 km down stream. While it might not be normal for a tsunami to go 2 or 3 or 4 km inland from a coast, you should be more aware of the possibility for it to go inland along the course of a river. It will always do that.

If there is a tsunami warning, which there was, the first thing you should do is act. Don't overthink it. It is better to be embarrassed at nothing happening than be caught in a bad tsunami with a lot of school children in your care. Masato Chiba has not done a good job as a spokesman.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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