A consultation center that has been helping displaced Fukushima residents through the process of claiming compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) revealed this week that less than half of claimants have received payment in the first round.
As of Dec 31, of approximately 70,000 claimants who applied for compensation, only 34,000 applications were accepted, NHK reported
Some media observers have suggested that the low rate of payouts may be connected to the complicated claim forms, which drew harsh criticism last year when TEPCO distributed to evacuees not only a bulky application form package but also a 156-page instruction manual. Lawmakers criticized the company for making the application form needlessly complicated.
A TEPCO spokesman was quoted as saying that since the utility simplified the application forms last month, the number of claimants has risen sharply, NHK reported. He said that TEPCO will assign 1,000 more staff by March to help process applications and ensure payouts as quickly as possible.© Japan Today