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Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees establish liaison group for lawsuit plaintiffs

Members who came from around the country for a meeting held to establish the "nationwide liaison group of nuclear victim lawsuit plaintiffs" link arms in Tokyo's Toshima Ward on Feb. 13, 2016. (Mainichi)

The plaintiffs in group lawsuits filed by Fukushima Prefecture evacuees against the national government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. in courts around the country for damages from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster met on Feb. 13 to set up a "nationwide liaison group of nuclear victim lawsuit plaintiffs" in order to establish communication.

    Member plaintiffs expressed their intent to observe each other's court proceedings and submit statements to courts calling for fair hearings, as well as to conduct group negotiations with the national government and other entities that call for long-term economic policies for evacuees, such as the continuation of free-of-charge housing.

    According to the liaison group, there are a total of around 30 different group lawsuits across the country calling for objectives including pain and suffering damages related to the evacuation, as well as restoring air radiation levels to those that existed prior to the nuclear disaster.

    The number of plaintiffs in these cases exceeds 10,000, among which around 9,700 have joined the nationwide liaison group, representing a total of 21 different plaintiffs groups.

    Around 180 people attended a meeting that was held in Tokyo on the occasion of the liaison group's establishment.

    Akiko Morimatsu, 42 -- a co-organizer of the liaison group who evacuated from the city of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, after the nuclear disaster to the city of Osaka, where she has continued to live with her children -- commented, "By coming together and transcending the differences in our circumstances, such as whether or not we evacuated (from Fukushima Prefecture), as well as the location of our evacuation, we plan to make our appeals known widely throughout society."

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